One Love. One Heart. Let’s get together and commercially exploit the image of an antiestablishment iconoclast.
Pros: They’re delicious. One of the better Arnold Palmers that I’ve had. It contains a mix of various naturally occurring herbs to promote relaxation and sleep (valerian root, hops, chamomile, passionflower, lemon balm). I will admit, each time I drank it, it made me relaxed and drowsy within 30 minutes.
Cons: Each can has 32 grams of sugar, which aside from being terrible for you, spikes your insulin response, causing short periods of energy and crash. More importantly, it’s a 16 oz beverage, which, for full effect, must be consumed all at once directly before bed. Drinking this much before bed is terrible sleep hygiene for the obvious reason that you have to wake up several times during the night to pee out all that delicious Bob Marley Mellow Mood Drink. This is all quite counterproductive, since waking up that many times interrupts your all-important REM cycles. If you are going to go the natural sleep supplement route, it makes more sense to bite the bitter bullet and take the awful-tasting supplements in capsule or dropper form.
Do you also enjoy Bob Marley’s delicious, sugary relaxation drinks? Comment Below!
Pros: The book is filled with excellent sleep tips and sleep hygiene, such as only using your bed for sleep and sex, using white noise in the bedroom, avoiding bright lights at night, etc. Sleep hygiene is the bread and butter of legitimate sleep therapy and these tips will doubtlessly help many insomniacs. The hypnosis CD itself was quite pleasant sounding and well-produced, and may help those with certain kinds of insomnia.
Cons: I’m stick to death of his stupid, sexy voice. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a beautiful, melodic voice in its own right. But I listened to his hour-long sleep hypnosis CD every night for an entire month, and if anything it made my insomnia worse. Many who suffer from chronic insomnia actually have a phobia towards it. The more you worry about falling asleep, the less likely you are to actually fall asleep. McKenna’s voice in my ear was a constant reminder of my insomnia. And in the back of my mind, I always worried: what if I get to the end of his hour-long inane drivel and am still wide awake?
Plus, McKenna’s shtick of neuro-linguistic programing is, at best, on shaky scientific ground. Most eye-raising was his claim that the prose of the book itself was written in just such a way to make you fall asleep. Riiiiiiight.
Bonus Con (pro?): Paul McKenna’s crooning voice made me question my sexuality. His technique of “hypnosis” is to whisper his throaty bedroom growl directly in your ear. He already has best-selling hypnosis CDs titled I Can Make You Quit Smoking and I Can Make You Thin. His next best seller could be: I Can Make You Confusingly Aroused. Listen to his sexy growl here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZ5MoMpT3_4
Share your sleep hypnosis stories in the comments below!
Pros: Melatonin is a hormone produced naturally by the body to trigger sleep, so it’s relatively safe when used correctly. Melatonin is even naturally occurring in many foods, like bananas! Aside from potential sleep benefits, research suggests that melatonin is also a powerful antioxidant. I do have to admit, it made me drowsy within half an hour.
Cons: HOLY GOD THE RIVER OF SNAKES! Upon further research, the most common side effects of melatonin supplementation are lucid dreams and exceptionally vivid nightmares. After taking 10 mg of melatonin, I became self-aware that I was inside a nightmare, finally clawed myself awake, only to find that I had “awoken” into another Inception-style nested nightmare. The horror! To rule out coincidence, I kept taking the melatonin for two weeks. Result: two solid weeks of waking up in a panicky pool of my own sweat.
No wonder melatonin supplements are prescription-only in Australia and the UK. One thing to note if you do take melatonin: studies show that an effective dose is much, much smaller (as little as .3mg) than what is often sold in stores (up to 10mg). With melatonin, less really is more. The extra strength dose may be responsible for my night terrors, but at this point, I’m too terrified to find out.
Sleep Rating: (note: this rating is not for melatonin supplements in general, but specifically the irresponsible and scientifically suspect Extra Strength doses that exist due to marketing rather than sound scientific research).
Did extra strength melatonin give you lucid nightmares or help with your insomnia? Share your story below!