Posted September 10, 2012 by Big Red Boots in anti energy drink

Relax and Sleep relaxation shot

Relax and Sleep is an interesting relaxation shot because their selling point in very different that most others I have tried.  While there are many drinks like this without melatonin, this one proudly professes the lack of it.  Instead, they use a special botanical blend to try to bring you over to the sleepy side. Melatonin can be found in lots of naturally occurring foods, like cherries, bananas and grapes, rice and cereals, herbs, olive oil, wine and my favorite sleep agent, beer.

They sent me over four samples, and I was anxious to give them a try.  I love relaxation drinks, although I personally like my melatonin when I need to crash.  I can see why some people don’t like to take melatonin though.  It can lead to grogginess in the morning, as well as crazy vivid dreams while you sleep.  I like my crazy dreams though, as long as they dont have me waking up in the middle of the night screaming ” GET TO THE BASEMENT! GET AWAY FROM THE WINDOWS!”

Relax and Sleep did a decent job with their packaging, riffing off the 5 hour energy package.  This time, rather than the silhouette man running up the mountain at sunrise, the silhouette man is relaxing on a island tree at sunset.  They use the same 5 hour energy bottle, as well as a gigtanic 5-Hour-esque Lemon logo to let you know the flavor.  The biggest selling point of Relax and Sleep is that it is a sleep aid that does not have melatonin, and they do a great job of emphasizing that point front and center on the wrap.  While this is no marvel of packaging prowess, it does the job nicely.  They list the ingredients and cautions clearly, the packaging is crisp and clean, and they even have enough room to put in the recycle logo.

Relax and Sleep tastes like a mixture of mosquito repellent and a badly sweetened over-lemoned tea.  There is nothing relaxing about having to chug this noxious stew down, and after downing this shot, I feel a need to run to the fridge and find something to wash this down, not climb into bed.  Actually, the best way to drink Relax and Sleep is ice cold, so just hang out in the kitchen for a little while after chugging it down past your taste buds.  It not only makes it go down faster, but it tastes much less like something you picked up at a hardware store.   I know – to each his own – and maybe it was just my taste buds which were off.  So, without any qualms I offered it up to my kids for a taste test too.  I guess it suffices to say that my kids all decided they would rather fight through  sleeplessness than take another helping of the stuff.

The part that bothers me is you can tell that the makers of this shot, Better Life Beverages, meant for Relax and Sleep to taste just like this.  They had other taste testers as well as the general public, and the fact that they still came out with this as their product means they either had lying testers, a different batch or something did not go right with their mix because this was generally disliked by everyone who had a sip.

One of the good things about this drink is that it tries to make a person sleepy without melatonin, for those who react badly to it.  I, for one, react very well to melatonin, and the chemical never fails to knock me out like Lindsay Lohan on a Kombucha and Vodka cocktail.  So I am already a little suspect that this will do much for me, but they sent me enough samples I could try giving one to my 13 year old son when he had a hard time falling asleep at midnight.  Once he managed to get it down, he then spent the next 4 hours bouncing around the house making sandwiches and playing video games and reading and being bored.  I almost turned into one of those dads and gave him a helping of Nyquil just so I could get some sleep.  Needless to say – it did not do anything for him, or me.

The next night  I gave it a spin.  It was a long and hard day at work,  and was going to bed with a   general feeling of vague stress and discomfort.  I was exhausted but could not sleep at 1AM when I gave up and went to my relaxation drink shelf.  What better time to try out a drink that should help me Rest!  So about 3 hours after I took it I finally crashed, and had this dream about getting being locked in a shopping mall with tornadoes spinning out of control to our hiding spot and all of us knowing we were about to die.

Second try I picked a night where I had much less stress, but just wanted to crash out.  This should have been an easy one for the shot to take care if, and my thinking was if I was feeling nice and rested already his should help me drift quietly into slumber, hopefully natural disaster free.   Instead, I found myself staring at the  sci-fi TV show Lexx, and spend the next 9 hours watching old bad cgi instead.  While I should have been sleeping I was left watching alien love slaves and craptastically animated battleships. No Dice.  When I finally did pass out – I had this vivd dream about these dudes with ginormous teeth threatening my kids…

Finally I got it to work right on me – but I cheated.  I got out my TENS machine to help leg pain, and got a great electrocution massage.  This was followed by 2 cocktails and Charlie Rose on TV.  Nothing in the universe is as powerful a sedative as Charlie Rose interviewing a pollster about their analysis of the Democratic National Convention.  Even typing that makes me want to snore.  Still,  I chugged the ice cold Relax and Sleep, and yes, about 30 minutes after taking it I was nice and asleep.  But really,with Charlie in the background, a neighborhood gangland turfwar probably could not have kept me conscious.

Thing is, I really like the different ingredients they used to try to make a person relax and sleep – they go far above and beyond the normal valerian root/rose hip mixture most non-melatonin sleep aids have. There is the California Poppy (they promise that you still cn pass a drug test after taking this though),  as well as catnip and blue Lotus flower.  Of course they add the rose and lavendar and all the other Sleepytime Tea extracts in here too, just for good measure.  Unfortunately, it did absolutely nothing for me, except have me nervously stare out of the windows at work for signs of death from above.

Big Red Boots