I can never fall asleep on a plane. Between the cramped conditions, frigid temperatures, and ambient noise that inevitably comes with sitting in economy, the prospect of arriving at my final destination feeling rested and restored seems far less likely than winding up next to a vacant seat (aka the holy-grail of seating arrangements when you're flying coach).
In my (increasingly desperate) efforts induce a post-takeoff slumber, I've tried a number of promising sleep aids and methods on long-haul flights, including taking magnesium pills, downing a glass of wine (or two), and even slathering on a $20 "miracle" lotion promising to cure insomnia. But nothing has proven to be more effective for getting some seriously needed in-flight shut-eye than Care/of's new Dream Team quick sticks. Basically, they're ingenious, melt-in-your-mouth sleep supplements that don't require any water.
Made with melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the body, these supplements promise to support quality sleep and natural sleep cycles and reduce the effects of jet lag. "We launched Dream Team because we know how important it is to get a little sleep support when you need it, especially if you're traveling across time zones," Craig Elbert, co-founder and CEO of Care/of, told MyDomaine. "There is strong research supporting melatonin's ability to reduce the effects of jet lag, a key deciding factor when we set out to formulate this product," Elbert explained.
When Care/of's new Dream Team sleep supplements came across my desk, the timing could not have been more perfect. I was in the midst of preparing for a long-haul flight from Los Angeles to Moscow. Of course, this included sifting through sleep-aid product reviews in search of the holy-grail supplement to help me survive the 12-hour-long red-eye. I knew that landing well-rested was seriously going to impact how much time I had to explore the city, so I was eager to put Care/of's jet-lag-reducing supplements to the test.
As a minimalist packer, the first thing I noticed was that the supplements took up almost no space in my carry-on. (The five quick sticks come in a cardboard pack that's only about the size of a cell phone.) Unlike supplements that come in pill form, packing these sleep-inducing sticks didn't require tossing a bulky bottle into my bag or pouring pills into a Ziploc baggie (which always looks somewhat questionable to the person sitting next to you on the plane). As someone who prefers to travel light, this thoughtful packaging certainly didn't go unnoticed.
Anticipating that I'd want to take these supplements as soon as I possibly could, I strategically stashed them in an easily accessible pocket in my carry-on while waiting to board my flight.
After takeoff, I wrapped myself in a blanket, put in a pair of earplugs, and ripped open one of the supplement sticks. As the surprisingly delicious berry-flavored powder melted in my mouth, I donned an eye mask and waited for the sleep-inducing effects to kick in—which wasn't long. Within 10 minutes, I was already feeling drowsy and was quickly lulled to sleep by light turbulence. When I woke up, I was shocked to find that I'd slept for a full eight hours. I rarely get an uninterrupted night's sleep even when I'm in the comfort of my own bed.
(I'm a light sleeper and constantly wake up in the middle of the night.) The only downside was that I'd missed the first meal service (a welcome trade-off for beating jet-lag in my opinion).
When I landed, I felt rested, restored, and ready to head straight to the first destination on my jam-packed itinerary. That night, I easily fell asleep on Moscow time, and throughout the entire trip, I was able to keep up a regular sleeping schedule (with the exception of a few late nights spent out drinking). If you want to avoid jet-lag, I suggest you pack this holy-grail supplement in your carry-on. I certainly don't plan on boarding a flight without it again.