Can chocolate help you to sleep better? It sounds like some magical thing from the land of pixies and fairies, doesn’t it? Dark chocolate that helps you sleep!
I’ve always joked that sleeping is my superpower! Apart from the (many) years when babies and young children would wake me up all night, I have always been a great sleeper. My mum often talks about how, even as a very young child, I would ask to go to bed!
The idea of not being able to fall asleep quickly and easily was pretty foreign to me…until just recently.
There’s been a lot of ‘stuff’ going on and I’ve found myself not only having trouble falling asleep but also waking frequently all night as though I’m never actually getting into a deep sleep.
It was at this low point in my sleeping abilities that the magical algorithm of Facebook decided to present me with an ad for Peak Rest Chocolate – chocolate that helps you sleep!
This is a product that is said to combine two of my most favourite things in the world – chocolate and sleep! I couldn’t resist, I had to know more.
On researching further I was pleasantly surprised to find that ordinary dark chocolate is actually beneficial for sleep too. Apparently chocolate is a good source of tryptophan which stimulates serotonin and melatonin which, in turn, help you to sleep.
Of course chocolate is also a good source of magnesium too which is also beneficial for sleeping, especially if you suffer from restless legs like I do.
But, I digress, I needed to find out more about this Peak Rest Chocolate, and here’s what I discovered:
This specially formulated night time chocolate contains Chamomile, Decaf Green Tea, Zinc, Magnesium and L-Tryptophan, all ingredients said to help induce a good night’s sleep. So far, so good but, what worried me the most was how this chocolate was sweetened.
I know a lot of you might be alarmed at the thought of eating sugar before bed, but that’s not what worried me at all – sugar doesn’t bother me. I’m from the school of people who can’t stand the taste of artificial sweeteners!
Yes, I can taste the difference and yes, it does have an awful aftertaste so no, I won’t eat or drink anything containing artificial sweeteners. I’m a full strength Coke girl – no Diet Coke for me!
So, when I saw that the chocolate had no added sugar, my heart sank a little. No added sugar means it’s been sweetened with something else and unfortunately for me, even ‘natural sweeteners’ such as Stevia leave a really bad taste in my mouth (literally!).
The sweeteners listed were Erythritol and Thaumatin. I know nothing about these sweeteners specifically (other than what you can read from their Wikipedia pages as linked) but I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like the taste of them.
However, my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to give this chocolate a try. Maybe the strong flavour of dark chocolate (which I love) would be able to overpower the taste of the sweeteners used?
Plenty of reviewers said it tasted great – but then again, plenty of people actually like the taste of diet soft drinks which I can’t stand. Still, they were having a sale, I was still having some trouble sleeping, so I thought, why not?
My chocolate arrived a couple of days later – apparently it’s made in Melbourne but warehoused in Sydney, regardless, it didn’t take too long to get here. I eagerly awaited my bedtime chocolate treat. The first taste was good.
It had a nice, strong dark chocolate taste and even the texture was reasonably good for a healthier style of chocolate.
Unfortunately within a second or two, the overpowering taste of the sweeteners kicked in and, quite frankly from my point of view, made the chocolate virtually inedible.
I powered through eating one piece – there’s no way I could have eaten all three pieces in the 20g pack which is supposed to constitute a serving size. The sweetener taste and aftertaste is just too strong for me.
Despite the poor taste and consequent small amount of chocolate eaten, I definitely experienced a heightened sense of drowsiness within an hour or so of eating my chocolate.
I was in bed reading (as I do every night) and could hardly keep my eyes open for more than a few pages.
So, my verdict is that this chocolate actually does work to help you to sleep. If the taste of sweeteners other than sugar doesn’t bother you then you should definitely give this sleepy time chocolate a go.
If they ever come out with a version sweetened with sugar, maple syrup or honey (the only sweeteners I can tolerate) I will definitely be back for more but, unfortunately for me, the sweetener taste is just too strong to actually enjoy eating the chocolate. I guess I’ll have to stick to Cadbury for now!
If you’d like to try some Peak Rest Chocolate, the good people behind the brand have given me a coupon to offer you 15% off your order!
As I’ve said, if artificial sweeteners (or sweeteners other than sugar) don’t bother you, then you’ll probably really enjoy this chocolate. However, if you fall into my camp and can’t stand artificial sweeteners, you’ll probably have to give this one a miss.