As a brief aside from my coffee-centric ventures I thought I would review an item near and dear to many coffee lover- chocolate. This spring I once again visited the Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Supply Show of the Southeast hosted annually right here in Myrtle Beach. I always enjoy browsing the booths and checking things out to see what’s new, what’s changed, and who has the best free samples. As The Coffee Scholar I always zero in on the coffee-related booths to see what’s going on. Unfortunately, it’s usually the same brown water that passes for institutional coffee in the majority of hotels and eateries. I like to zero in on the foodie booths as well for the tasty treats.
One of the many booths that caught my attention was Sleep Squares. Well, I admit, it was the chocolate that caught my attention. Then, once it drew me in, I checked to see what it was actually about. Chocolatey Sleep Squares from Slumberland Snacks is a chocolate supplement that purports to be “the bedtime delight that helps you sleep through the night.” I didn’t actually try a sample myself but I asked for several boxes to use for a review.
According to the website Sleep Squares are a sugar-free, non-habit forming supplement “developed to help you fall asleep fast, maintain sleep throughout the night, and wake up feeling rested and recharged without any grogginess or side effects.” The ingredients list reads like that of a standard multivitamin, so like many supplements, I imagine that it’s the particular concentration or mixture of the ingredients that causes the intended action. The website isn’t very clear about how it works, which I can understand to a degree because of proprietary information. Still it would be nice to see some kind of study or scientific information to back up the claims.
I enlisted my good friend Shane Watson for a little experiment. Watson is a master’s degree student at Coastal Carolina University in the teaching program. He also assists one of the professors. He also works fulltime. He also works as a student teacher at a local high school. You get the idea? He’s a busy guy and when he gets the chance to sleep, he really needs it. He’s also someone who has trouble sleeping anyway, despite the added burden of the hectic non-stop schedule. The perfect guinea pig to try my Sleep Squares experiment.
I asked Watson to keep a journal for two weeks. The first week would be his normal sleep habits and the second would be using the Sleep Squares. His normal habit is to use Unisom when he has trouble sleeping. The first week he proceeded as normal and used a sleep aid on four out of six nights. He slept a total of 50 hours the first week under normal conditions. Sleep journal comments ranged from “slept through night again, woke up generally mad at the world” to “good sleep, thought I woke up once at 0300.”
The second week I asked him to use the Sleep Squares and see if there was any discernable difference. The recommended amount is one to two pieces per night. He started out with one piece early in the week and progressed to two pieces at the midpoint of the week. The first night’s comment was “Went with one for first day. Will do more if needed. Slept well, not groggy in morning.” He slept a total of 53 hours that week, not a huge difference but a slight one nonetheless. His last night’s comment was “Slept fine. Woke up feeling awake.”
Although my experiment was not a controlled scientific endeavor I would say that it does reveal an indication that Sleep Squares work as well or better than a standard non-prescription sleep aid, or at least they did for Watson. With that said Sleep Squares also pose several advantages over pharmacological sleep aids. Natural ingredients versus chemicals and tasty chocolate versus a pill. In other words, it’s definitely worth a try if you either have trouble sleeping peacefully or would like to try an enhancement to sleep better. Or if you need an excuse to eat chocolate.