I have been aware of Dream Water since it debuted over a year ago, but it was not until fairly recently that I was actually able to give it a try. When it was first released, I searched and searched in an effort to find the fabled elixir until eventually I just gave up, assuming that it had not yet made it to my area of the country. I then ashamedly forgot about Dream Water in my continual search for new beverages until I suddenly happened across it several months ago in, of all places, a local Wal-Mart. Despite missing my chance to try Dream Water's original 8 oz. version (it is only available in a 2.5 oz. shot at the time of this writing), I am very glad that I finally stumbled across the stuff, because it really works.
Dream Water, as you can probably gather from its charmingly apt title, is an all-natural relaxation shot intended to help the drinker fall asleep easier and promote truly restful sleep throughout the night. For those who are like me and find sleeping to be a tedious and annoying chore, functional beverages like Dream Water are an often welcome and appreciated aid. Unlike some of the competition, however, this is a drink that is only intended to help you fall asleep, rather than actually induce tiredness. Dream Water uses a proprietary concoction of three primary ingredients in its sleepy cocktail: GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), melatonin, and L 5-hydroxytryptophan (commonly referred to as 5-HTP). Despite their intimidating chemical names, all three of these ingredients are important, sleep-related neurological compounds that already occur naturally in the human brain; Dream Water just gives you more of them. Additionally, Dream Water uses all natural flavors and is sweetened exclusively with stevia, making it difficult (or at least unreasonable) for even the most ardent proponents of natural dieting to take issue with the drink.
Typically, seeing stevia listed in the ingredients would be an immediate point of discouragement for me with a beverage. However, it's really not a problem with Dream Water. This may be due largely to the fact that - since it is a shot - it is only spending a few seconds in your mouth anyway, and the stevia really doesn't have time to impart its usual, bothersome aftertaste. At the same time, however, this quickness of consumption also makes it difficult to discuss the drink's flavor in any especially meaningful way, so I will simply cover the basics. Dream Water is currently available in three flavors: Pineapple PM, Lullaby Lemon, and Snoozeberry, which is a general mixed berry flavor. They all carry the natural essence of their advertised fruits very well, and they maintain just the right amount of sweetness throughout the entire duration of the shot. I prefer the pineapple, but the others are good, as well, and given that the drink will likely take you less than five seconds to imbibe, the flavor is just not as immediately relevant as it is in larger drinks. That being said, all three varieties are still pleasant and tasty, which makes taking the shot an enjoyable and gentle experience, regardless of which flavor you choose.
As I mentioned above, the focus of Dream Water is not so much to make you tired as it is to simply help you go to sleep. And this is exactly what it does: it just makes sleeping easier. The bottle recommends that you take one Dream Water shot about thirty minutes before you intend to go to sleep for maximum efficacy, and I recommend that you follow these directions if you really want to feel the full effects. The first time that I used a Dream Water shot, I did exactly as the label advised, and although I did not really feel any different before I got into bed, as soon as my body hit the sheets, I felt an overwhelming desire to simply stop moving and slip into unconsciousness. This sort of willful paralysis is something that is exceptionally rare for me, as I usually tend to toss and turn and generally just feel very uncomfortable for an hour or two before I am actually able to perform whatever half-involved mockery it is that my body regards as "sleep." The next morning, I woke up feeling surprised and well-rested, and I was excited to add Dream Water to my list of favorite functional beverages.
In the interest of fairness, however, I must add here that the second time that I took a Dream Water shot, it did not work. But it did not work for a reason that I think - and stay with me here - is actually a positive point in the beverage's favor. At the time, I was watching through old episodes of a television show on Netflix, and rather than preparing for bed when the thirty minute mark approached, I decided instead to keep pressing the "play next episode" button until three in the morning and then press it some more until I finally went to bed at some profoundly unreasonable hour. For a brief moment, I did feel a slight twinge of sleepiness from the Dream Water, but my will to stay awake and fill my mind with moving images superseded the effects of the beverage, and I subconsciously fought the drink away without much trouble. At face value, this would seem to come across as a glaring weakness of Dream Water, but I actually sort of like that its effects are not necessarily all-pervasive. Rather than feeling like I am relying on the drink to knock me out, I feel like Dream Water acts more to simply encourage my body to fall asleep when it is ready, in the process promoting a more healthy and natural attitude towards the entire act of sleeping. It seems as though the drink - if I may take the liberty of personification - is communicating that while it will not force you to go to sleep, it would be very glad if you decided to follow the directions and go to sleep on time so that it can do its thing. This sort of "cooperative" mindset is something that I have found very effective, and in the times that I have used Dream Water accordingly since my initial failure to heed the instructions, it has worked every time.
While Dream Water may not be a "wonderdrug" that immediately whisks you off to a land of peaceful slumber, it is certainly effective when you want to go to sleep. In this way, it offers a sort of two-fold benefit: not only does it help you fall asleep (and stay asleep) more easily, but it also encourages those of us with more sporadic bedtimes to actually get in bed on schedule to avoid wasting the three dollars spent on each shot. Rather than simply cause sleep, it promotes an attitude of "sleep-mindedness" that - with a bit of repeated use - permeates deeper than the drink itself. All in all, Dream Water is a powerful little beverage that works as well as you want it to work, and those in need of a better night's sleep should definitely consider picking several of these up.
Verdict: Highly recommended
Purchased: Primitive Home and Gift [Abbeville, SC]
Size: 2.5 fl. oz.
Price paid: $2.99
For more information about Dream Water, visit the official website