What Is InstaSleep?
Formulated by physicians, InstaSleep’s mint melts are advertised as an advanced, drug-free sleep aid that uses a fast-acting proprietary formula to help you experience restful slumber, without grogginess the following morning or worrying about forming a habit.
All you have to do is place one tablet in your mouth about 15-20 minutes before your desired bedtime, and allow it to dissolve naturally before swallowing. No water is required, and we’re told you’ll wake up feeling refreshed.
The reality is that nearly all of us have had difficulty falling or staying asleep at some point. But whether you’re experiencing infrequent or chronic issues, can you realistically expect InstaSleep’s three-ingredient formulation to provide meaningful relief?
That’s exactly what we’ll help you figure out, starting with the root of the problem.
What Can Cause Poor Sleep?
The definition of ‘good’ sleep can vary widely between individuals. As perhaps evidence of this, the National Sleep Foundation reports that the recommended amount of sleep for adults age 18-65 is seven to nine hours per night, although anywhere between five and 11 hours “may be appropriate.”
Regardless, whatever we define as “enough” sleep, the Centers for Disease Control reports that one in three of us aren’t achieving it on a regular basis. And since less-than-stellar sleep quality is often a symptom rather than a diagnosis itself, there can be countless causes.
Common ones include psychological issues like depression, excessive stress, and anxiety; medical conditions such as fibromyalgia, low blood sugar, and hyperthyroidism; as well as lifestyle factors like excessive caffeine or alcohol intake, not getting enough exercise, travel, and smoking.
Consequently, the best treatment options will largely depend on the underlying causes. Common choices include behavior and lifestyle changes, relaxation techniques, prescription medications, and psychological therapy.
What about InstaSleep? How does it promise to help you sleep better?
Taking a Closer Look at InstaSleep’s Ingredients
According to the supplement facts label posted on Amazon, InstaSleep contains the following ingredients:
Proprietary Blend 48mg: 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), Melatonin
No one on the HighYa team is a medical expert or a sleep specialist. As such, we rely on sites like the Natural Medicines Database, WebMD, and Examine.com, who provide summarizations of the available clinical for any specific ingredient, and whether or not they’re classified as ‘effective’ for a given claim.
With this said, these sites cumulatively report that between 0.3mg and 8mg of melatonin daily may help address trouble falling asleep, sleeping problems in those with sleep-wake cycle disturbances, insomnia, and jet lag.
However, without knowing exactly how much is contained in InstaSleep’s proprietary blend, we can’t know if it features the same level of melatonin reflected in these supporting studies.
However, the same sites indicated there’s insufficient clinical evidence that 5-HTP or GABA can address any sleep-related concerns.
Could InstaSleep’s Ingredients Cause Any Side Effects?
The Natural Medicines Database and WebMD indicate that most individuals do not experience any side effects from these ingredients when taken in the cumulative dosage found in InstaSleep.
However, the manufacturer emphasizes that you should not exceed two tablets per 24 hours. In some instances (no specific circumstances or dosages noted), WebMD reports that melatonin can cause side effects like “headache, short-term feelings of depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach cramps, and irritability.”
They also note that you should “not drive or use machinery for four to five hours after taking melatonin.”
How Much Does InstaSleep Cost?
No prices were available on the InstaSleep website, although a 24ct package of Mint Melts was priced at $11.99 on Amazon, while a 16ct package on Target.com was available for $7.99 at the time of our research.
Shipping charges and refund policies will vary based on retailer, although InstaSleep’s customer support department can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
What Can We Learn From Online InstaSleep Customer Reviews?
Among more than 50 Amazon reviewers, InstaSleep’s Mint Melts had an average rating of 4.2 stars at the time of our research. There, most compliments appeared to revolve around ease of use, effective results (e.g., falling asleep quickly, remain asleep longer, etc.), no grogginess, and good taste.
On the other hand, frequent complaints (what relatively few there were) seemed to reference no results. Two reviewers also mentioned that the supplement gave them heartburn.
From a company perspective, InstaSleep was founded in 2011 by Dr. Robert Lee and is based out of Brooklyn, NY. They weren’t listed with the Better Business Bureau as of 9/13/17.
The product’s website explains that the supplement was formulated out of a need for quality sleep while Dr. Lee was in medical school, although we didn’t encounter any third-party websites indicating that he is a practicing physician in the U.S., or that he has professional experience related to sleep problems.
Are There Other Chocolate Sleep Aids Like InstaSleep?
Searching Google Shopping for the term “sleep aid” returned well over 200 results at the time of our research—many from nationally recognized brands, most of which were priced between $3 and $15. On top of this, the majority of these options were available locally, potentially saving S&H charges and making the return process as easy as driving back to the store.
The vast majority of these contained some level of melatonin, while a handful of also contained GABA. However, we didn’t encounter any supplements that combined the same 5-HTP/GABA/melatonin formulation as InstaSleep.
In addition to capsules and tablets, we encountered dozens of different ways to consume these sleep-enhancing ingredients, including sublingual drops, chewable tablets, gummies, and lozenges.
Are there any chocolate melt sleep aids competing with InstaSleep? Here are the closest competitors we encountered during our research:
|InstaSleep||Mint-flavored chocolate melts||$8-$12 for 16-24||Proprietary formulation of melatonin, 5-HTP, GABA|
|Nature Made VitaMelts||Mint chocolate-flavored tablets||$8.99 for 100 tablets||3mg melatonin per tablet|
|Good Day Chocolate – Sleep||Candy coated chocolate||$36.99 for 12||1mg melatonin per piece|
|GNC Melatonin Chews||Chocolate chip cookie dough-flavored soft chews||$14.99 for 60 chews||3mg melatonin per piece|
If you’re experiencing sleep problems and are looking for relief from an over-the-counter supplement, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you start by talking with your doctor. Based on your diagnosis, they’ll be able to identify potential interactions, determine the most appropriate dosage, and answer your questions.
From there, it’s important to keep your expectations realistic about OTC sleep aids, as ChoosingWisely.org reports that “Sleep studies show that they only help people fall asleep about 8 to 20 minutes faster. And they add less than 35 minutes to nightly sleep.”
Even then, these sleep aids are only considered temporary solutions. So, if you continue experiencing poor sleep, you’ll want to schedule another appointment with your healthcare provider.
Our Final Thoughts About InstaSleep’s Mint Melts
Running the numbers, InstaSleep’s mint melts were the second most expensive of the bunch at $0.50 each, outdone only by Good Day’s $1.68 per piece price. But since its melatonin was part of a proprietary blend, there wasn’t a way to know if you’ll get the same level of potentially sleep-inducing effects for your money.
Comparatively, of the options above, Nature Made's VitaMelts were only $0.09 and delivered 3mg of melatonin each, which could offer the most bang for your buck.
See Also: 9 Simple Ways to Improve Your Sleep
This option didn’t contain the 5-HTP or GABA found in InstaSleep, but as we learned from sites like the Natural Medicines Database and WebMD, there isn’t sufficient clinical evidence that either of these ingredients can help address sleep issues.
The bottom line is that, as we mentioned earlier, sleep is a highly personal matter, which also means that the effectiveness of any sleep aid can vary greatly from one individual to another. But most online customers report tangible benefits from InstaSleep, and it can be purchased at some local retailers, allowing you to potentially experience better sleep tonight.
Legitimately helpful, or overpriced re-wrap of the same old sleep aid?
I'm going to preface this review of InstaSleep dissolvable sleep aid tablets by that it is going to be a long one, so bear with me! If you would like to skip the details, I have also provided a breakdown at the bottom of the review.
Sleep, or the lack thereof, has been a lifelong battle for me. I have been clinically diagnosed with Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD), and it is a notoriously difficult disorder to treat. So much so, that most specialists generally will ultimately throw up their hands, and end up suggesting changing careers to that of one that allows you to work the graveyard shift. In the meantime, providing you with military grade stimulants/cognitive enhancers just so you can get through your 9-5.
In brief, DSPD can be described as a case of permanent jet lag, as the body does not start producing the chemicals and hormones required for sleep until much later in the night than the average person. As a result, I am no stranger to OTC sleep aids, as well as most specialist treatments available.
Cue InstaSleep from stage right. I was incredibly dubious when I ran across the $7.99 box of 16 dissolving tablets at the local Target. Ingredient wise, it is very similar to another sleep aid called Kavinace, except if you can believe it, a bit cheaper. The delivery method is also different with Kavinace being a powdered formula in a gel cap, whereas InstaSleep is a tablet that dissolves in your mouth. I hadn’t been impressed with the efficacy of Kavinace, so InstaSleep was already starting on rocky ground. Ultimately, I decided ‘why not?’ and purchased it alongside with my usual giant bottle of diphenhydramine.
On the subject of ingredients, let’s break down the components of the 48mg “proprietary blend” found in each tablet:
Each of these ingredients is nothing new in the world of OTC sleep aids. I have taken each on their own, as well as in combination with other supplements such as L-Theanine and diphenhydramine to limited results.
That said, let’s start with 5-HTP, or 5-Hydroxytryptophan, a naturally occurring amino acid that works as a catalyst for the production of Serotonin. As you may know, Serotonin is instrumental in the body’s ability to actually go to sleep. It is also frequently marketed on the European markets to assist with depression. 5-HTP’s role in the production of serotonin does cause some issues, however. The most predominant of such is a potentially severe reaction if taken in combination with an MAOI or SSRI class medication, leading to a condition called Serotonin Syndrome. As such, I would not advise taking InstaSleep if you are also taking either an MAOI or SSRI without first consulting with your physician.
5-HTP, when taken by itself, yielded rather limited results in my quest for sleep. I was able to amplify them by taking supplemental melatonin and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl), but even still the results were inconsistent.
Now, let’s talk about GABA: GABA, or gamma-Aminobutyric acid, is an amino acid which acts as a neurotransmitter inhibitor. In summary, it has a relaxing effect. It is natural, and if anything, a critical amino acid produced by the body, as it helps in the body’s creation of melatonin. However, it is not without its flaws. Taken by itself orally, GABA has problems crossing the blood-brain barrier, which means in that form it is as effective as a placebo. To work, it must have a catalyst.
Finally, there’s melatonin. Everyone knows melatonin and its efficacy on those with general occasional sleep issues. Melatonin in this context is a catalyst, as both GABA and 5-HTP play roles in the synthesizing of it in our bodies.
What does all of this mean for our pricy box of sleep aids? Well, there’s at least some science behind why it might work, if it does.
As we have now covered the basics, let’s jump into the review of InstaSleep itself. Note that my experiences are taking it in combination with Diphenhydramine, which has long been my “Go To” for the chemical equivalent of a knock over the head with a frying pan. Taking diphenhydramine alone results in grogginess, but fails at flipping the neuro switch for sleep mode.
The first night I tried InstaSleep, I took a reduced dosage of diphenhydramine (150mg) with one dissolving tablet. 30 minutes later, I felt restless and was so drowsy it prevented me from going to sleep. This effect was the same one might experience taking 300+ mg of Diphenhydramine, and in general, is not pleasant.
At this point, I adjusted my dosage to 100mg Diphenhydramine taken an hour before bed, followed by two tablets of InstaSleep 45 minutes later. It was at this stage that I realized I was onto something, as for the first time in many years, I peacefully drifted off to sleep about an hour and a half later. I was surprised, to say the least. Figuring it a fluke, or placebo effect, I tried it again the next night with similar effect.
It now has been two weeks, and still works pretty well. Although I still only get about 5-6 hours a night, it is much better than the 1-3 I had been getting previously. As such, I would recommend giving InstaSleep a try if you can afford it and have been waging war on your sleep for a long time.
Would I recommend it? Yes, provided you are not also taking an MAOI or SSRI.
What is the biggest flaw? The price. At $8 per 16 count box, it is definitely one of the more expensive sleep aids on the market. It is cheaper than Kavinace, however.
Ingredients work well in synergy with each other.
How does it compare to other OTC Sleep aids? It ranks high based on my personal experience with a myriad of other OTCs.
I hope this review helps others who are on the fence or on their last sleep deprived leg! If it does not, remember that sleep an be a very personal thing, and what works for one person may not work for another.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend