About Sleep Squares
By some figures, 60 million Americans experience sleep problems, whether chronic or occasional, and 20-40% will have insomnia at some point over the course of the next year.
To help many of these sufferers get a better night’s sleep, Sleep Squares is a chocolatey food-based supplement that claims to help you fall asleep fast, remain asleep throughout the night, and wake feeling refreshed and alert—without pills, prescriptions, or grogginess. The company also claims that Sleep Squares is clinically shown to be effective, even on the first night.
All you have to do is take one Sleep Square 30 minutes prior to bed, and its all-natural, non-habit forming ingredients will naturally elevate your levels of serotonin, melatonin, and acetylcholine, which can help even out “speed bumps” throughout the night. And compared to a lot of other supplements, the company claims Sleep Squares are so strong that they’re effective for moderate to severe sleep issues.
Whether you experience infrequent sleep problems or haven’t had a good night’s rest in who knows how long, you’re here to find out one thing: whether or not you should buy Sleep Squares. To help answer your questions, let’s start by taking a look a the causes of poor sleep.
What Causes Sleep Problems? Is There a Cure?
When it comes down to it, insufficient or poor quality sleep is generally a symptom, instead of an underlying condition. What might cause someone to experience insomnia? The list is seemingly endless, but a few common causes are:
- Drinking alcohol or caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime
- Using electronics in bed or soon before sleep
- The ambient temperature of your room
- Improper mattress or pillow for your sleeping type
- Medical conditions (especially injuries or chronic pain)
- Excess stress or depression
- Insufficient exercise
- Poor diet
Ultimately, this means that any “cure” to your sleeping problem—whether it’s insomnia, poor quality sleep, irregular sleep-wake syndrome, or anything else—lies in addressing your underlying condition.
We’ll come back around to this shortly, but for now, is there anything contained in Sleep Squares that can provide some assistance?
Are Sleep Squares’ Ingredients Effective for Sleeplessness?
According to their supplement label, Sleep Squares contains the following ingredients:
- Vitamin C 5mg
- Vitamin D 120IU
- Thiamine 1mg
- Riboflavin 5mg
- Niacin 10mg
- Vitamin B6 5mg
- Folic Acid 150mcg
- Vitamin B12 50mcg
- Pantothenic Acid 10mg
- Calcium 40mg
- Magnesium 20mg
- Zinc 2mg
- Sodium 10mg
- 5-HTP 15mg
- Melatonin 300mcg
- Proprietary Blend 160mg: Vervain (more commonly known as verbena), Choline L-Bitartate, Passionflower Extract, L-Theanine, Hops Extract
There is some clinical evidence showing that a combination of B vitamins (especially niacin) may provide benefits for those suffering from sleep problems, although it’s not understood exactly why this occurs, and effects are generally moderate.
Similarly, anywhere between 0.3mg and 10mg doses of melatonin have been shown to be effective for addressing a variety of sleep disorders, including trouble falling asleep, those with sleep-wake cycle disturbances, insomnia caused by beta-blocker drugs, and primary insomnia. However, melatonin only helped patients fall asleep 12 minutes faster, but didn’t seem to improve sleep duration or quality. Again, keep in mind that Sleep Squares only contains 300mcg of melatonin.
5-HTP may be effective for treating depression (when taken in 150-3,000mcg daily doses—Sleep Squares only contains 15mcg), and passionflower may help reduce anxiety, sometimes as well as prescription medications.
Outside of these specific ingredients, we didn’t come across sufficient evidence showing that Sleep Squares’ other ingredients could provide any sleep-related benefits.
Are There Any Side Effects for Sleep Squares?
As with most of the nutritional supplements we’ve reviewed, you probably won’t experience anything worse than mild digestive upset when taking Sleep Squares—if anything at all.
However, WebMD warns that “some people who have taken [5-HTP] have developed a condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome (EMS), a serious condition involving extreme muscle tenderness (myalgia) and blood abnormalities (eosinophilia). Some people think EMS might be caused by an accidental ingredient or contaminant in some 5-HTP products. However, there is not enough scientific evidence to know if EMS is caused by 5-HTP, a contaminant, or some other factor. Until more is known, 5-HTP should be used cautiously.”
Important note: According to CEO Jeff Luciano (more shortly), the company rigorously tests all their ingredients throughout the manufacturing process in order to ensure quality and purity. This is because, since Sleep Squares are sold all over the world, the company has to adhere to more than just U.S. regulations.
In addition, uncommon melatonin side effects include “headache, short-term feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps, and irritability.”
Finally, it’s important to remember that Sleep Squares contain soy. They’re also manufactured in a facility that processes peanuts, tree nuts, soy, dairy, eggs, wheat, fish gelatin, and shellfish. As such, be extra cautious if you’re allergic to any of these ingredients.
Are Sleep Squares Clinically Proven?
In several areas on their website, you’ll notice that the company claims Sleep Squares are clinically proven to be “highly effective” and to work on the “very first night.” Do they provide any information to support these claims?
According to their Clinical Study page, Sleep Squares was part of a single-blind, crossover study conducted by BioScreen Clinical Services, which involved men and women between the ages of 18 and 65 who scored between 8 and 21 on the Insomnia Severity Index, and who regularly slept in a temperature controlled environment.
While no additional information was provided on their website, Sleep Squares’ founder (more in a moment) let us know that about 50 applicants were part of the 6-week study, each of whom received a sleep journal with specific questions and things to keep track of.
At the end, the company claims:
“Subjects taking the suggested amount (1 piece) of Sleep Squares before bedtime reported less difficulty in falling asleep, were more satisfied with their sleep patterns, slept longer, and woke up fewer times during the night, compared with baseline. Subjects also reported that they felt more rested and energetic in the morning when they took Sleep Squares at night.”
In fact, 76% reported less difficulty falling asleep, 70% reported an improved sleep pattern, 82% said they felt more rested in the morning, and another 82% claimed to have experience fewer awakenings throughout the night.
How Can You Buy Sleep Squares?
Sleep Squares are available in Original Chocolate, Raspberry Chocolate, Orange Chocolate, and Mint Chocolate flavors, and can be purchased through the following:
- 1-Week Supply (7 pieces): $9.95, plus $7.95 S&H
- 1-Month Supply (30 pieces): $29.95, plus $7.95 S&H
- 2-Week Free Trial: Two 7-count boxes in the flavors of your choice (Orange Chocolate & Original Chocolate, or Mint Chocolate & Original Chocolate) for $6.95 S&H. There is no autoship enrollment, additional charges, or further obligation once the trial ends.
- 1-Month Free Trial: Receive a 30-count box of Original Chocolate for $14.95 S&H. There is no autoship enrollment, additional charges, or further obligation once the trial ends.
- Autoship Program: Choose delivery every month or every other month. $29.95 each shipment, plus a $4.95 S&H fee on your first order (all subsequent shipments come with free shipping). Risk free and can cancel any time.
Outside of the trials, all Sleep Squares orders come with a 30-day refund policy, less S&H. Important note: This only applies to unopened product.
In order to request a refund, you’ll need to contact customer service at 855-753-3785 or [email protected]. You can also use their online contact form or live chat.
Who Makes Sleep Squares?
Sleep Squares is manufactured by Slumberland Snacks, a subsidiary of Upstate Dream Institute (UDI), LLC based out of Spencer, NY. Based on the company’s bio, UDI is “sanctioned by New York State as an official research institute, specializing in the development, marketing, and distribution of natural herbal dietary supplements,” and whose original product was Dream Boost.
Currently, Sleep Squares seems to be the only product available for either company, neither has an independent website (outside of SleepSquares.com), and neither were listed with the Better Business Bureau at the time of our research.
However, we did come across some limited online customer reviews for Sleep Squares. On Amazon, Raspberry Chocolate had a 5-star average rating based on 3 customer reviews, while the Orange Chocolate flavor received a 3.7-star rating based on 4 customer reviews. What did everyone say?
Overall, it seems like the most common compliments revolved around help falling asleep faster (although not necessarily better or longer), great taste, and no side effects. On the other hand, lower-rated reviews seemed to cite ineffectiveness.
Our Conversation with Sleep Squares’ Founder
Recently, we had the pleasure of speaking with Upstate Dream Institute’s founder Jeff Luciano, who gave us some insight into the background and ethics of his company.
What lead you to create Sleep Squares? Do you have a background in sleep disorders? Do you suffer from one yourself?
According to Jeff, his background as a bulk herbs importer brought him into contact with indigenous growers in Mexico, many of whom had used these ingredients for generations to aid sleep.
Based on this (as well as an opportunity for these communities to improve their income), Jeff and his team decided to create their first sleeping product, Dream Boost, which was the only one of its kind on the market. As a result, he was met with a lot of interest and great customer feedback, and even decided to patent the formulation. Unfortunately, Dream Boost was marketed as more of a lucid dreaming supplement than a sleep supplement, and didn’t gain a lot of traction.
As a result, Jeff and his team of PhDs went back to the drawing board to create a new product, using much of the formulation and research from Dream Boost. This time though, they didn’t want to create another pill or tablet—instead, they wanted to create an effective sleep aid that would “change the industry.”
To do this, UDI partnered with a company that utilizes a new process to make chews, and worked cooperatively with them to develop the formula for what would soon become Sleep Squares.
Since the product’s release, Jeff claims that he’s been flooded with amazing success stories from customers—some of whom even claimed that Sleep Squares helped save their life.
How did you come up with the specific formulation for Sleep Squares?
As alluded to above, Jeff claims that Sleep Squares’ formulation came about from a combination of firsthand knowledge from indigenous herb providers, along with PhDs on his staff who provided the necessary research.
In a nutshell, Jeff said that he wanted to focus only on what the body needs for sleep. Not only this, instead of the “more is better” approach found throughout much of the supplements industry, Jeff wanted to use lower levels of ingredients that would work synergistically with your body, and that would allow a variety of people to find relief.
Jeff also wanted to avoid artificial sedation (commonly found with prescription sleep products), which might help you sleep, but doesn’t allow your body to perform all the restorative functions it needs.
Taking all of this into consideration, should you try Sleep Squares to help with your sleep problems?
Are Sleep Squares “the Natural Way to Get Your Sleep Back on Track”?
There’s no doubt that the company behind Sleep Squares is legitimate and stands behind their products with a 30-day refund policy. It’s also refreshing to find a supplements manufacturer that doesn’t automatically enroll their customers in recurring shipments, make the cancelation process difficult, and who’s transparent about their business. From these perspectives, we don’t think you have anything to worry about.
However, it’s also important to keep your expectations realistic when it comes to sleep supplements like Sleep Squares. Why? Because, although there’s strong clinical evidence supporting some of the product’s ingredients—just like any other product—they won’t work for everyone. And even for those who find Sleep Squares effective, any sleep assistance it provides will most likely be 1) dependent on what’s causing your sleep problems and 2) fairly mild.
Whatever you decide though, it’s important to speak with your doctor about your insomnia, who might be able to provide more effective treatment methods based on your specific diagnosis.