Photo: Tom McCorkle's photo for the Washington Post.
The first thing you need to know about Nightfood, a new "sleep-friendly" ice cream, is that it's a great idea. This statement is true, whether it really works or not. But many people have trouble sleeping and many love to eat ice cream, and the possibility of Ambien with cream and biscuits, although it is not exactly the operation of the product, will go from ir to others insomniacs.
"Part of me, it's like, I'm jealous, I'm not part of this marketing ploy," said Raj Dasgupta, assistant professor of clinical medicine specializing in sleep at the Keck School of Medicine's 39, University of Southern California. "They knew exactly where to hit."
Yes, just in the taste buds. Nightfood ice creams come in flavors such as decaffeinated cold beer, Bed and Breakfast (waffles and syrup), chocolate cherry and Dreams Cookies. Ice creams do not contain melatonin or other sleep supplements, so they will not necessarily help you fall asleep. The problem is that they will not prevent you from sleeping: the ice cream is designed to contain less substances that can prevent your digestion from causing sleep disturbances, such as lactose, sugar and caffeine. It has also increased the levels of certain vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, which, according to studies, are beneficial for sleep. It is endorsed by Michael Breus, the "sleep physician" consultant who has been involved in its development.
You can eat Nightfood at any time of the day without feeling sleepy, but the product is designed for sleep because surveys have shown that one of the most common periods where people eat a pint of ice cream is the night, probably watching Netflix. But can junk food really solve your sleep problems? Probably not, said Dasgupta.
The best way to improve your sleep is to maintain good sleep hygiene: take a set time to go to bed and wake up every day, avoid caffeine and mosquito nets late at night and, uh, do not eat in them. two hours later. But our will does not leave us with a "Russian doll" stuffed with mint chocolate chips.
"They know that no one will listen to this advice, then, as well to satisfy them," said Dasgupta. "Sweet snacks" are non-banned foods that you do not want that someone eats [before bed]. If they are going to eat it anyway, I would prefer that they catch the nutrient rather than the Twinkie or the cupcake. "
And here's the thing: it tastes really good. Unlike other "functional" ice creams that boast more protein, less sugar and less fat, Nightfood uses real sugar without other sweeteners. There is milk and cream in the list of ingredients. It contains fewer calories than your typical pint, but its texture and taste will barely tell you. (However, one wonders how many calories are subtracted to lightly fill pints – something I've noticed with each Nightfood container that I've tried.) That does not seem to be a healthy ice cream, which makes it all the more sympathetic. Compared to Haagen Dazs, Nightfood pints contain significantly less sugar and fat, but their taste is much better than other low fat alternatives, such as Halo Top.
I can not say for sure if it really improved my sleep. Fashionable adaptogenic foods – foods containing natural compounds that promote certain physiological functions, such as healthier skin, less anxiety or improved concentration – are on the rise, but it is difficult to determine how well these products meet their expectations. The placebo effect is strong. And even though my sleep has not been disturbed after eating Nightfood, this is usually not the case after eating other ice creams.
"I do not think they'll do a double-blind try on ice cream," said Dasgupta.
Nightfood is not the only product on the market that promotes sleep. Counting Sheep Coffee, launched in 2013, is a decaffeinated coffee containing valerian, a natural sleep aid. There are also several soft drinks, including Som and Neuro Sleep. They might help a little, but Dasgupta warns that sleep-promoting foods are not a panacea.
"You will not only begin to eat this food and sleep well, there are other aspects that go into the makeup", such as your general health, your stress level and the time you spend scrambling. Twitter in bed.
So, if you were hoping your doctor would prescribe ice cream. . . well, in your dreams.