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The Vicious Cycle

Sleep & Stress Sleep & Stress

When walking through the beverage aisles of your supermarket and convenience stores, notice the burgeoning array of “energy” drinks that are available. Meanwhile, in the self-care (over-the-counter) and pharmacy, sleep inducers are growing too—Ambien, Lunesta, Sonesta, Sominex, Unisom, Tylenol PM, Advil PM, and now NyQuil’s ZZZQuil.

Unfortunately, too many adult Americans are revving up on caffeinated and other energy beverages and shots throughout the day to prevent the feeling of sleepiness, and then cannot shut off at night to achieve a restful, healthy sleep, so they take any of the aforementioned sleeping pills, or worse.

“Relaxation is growing within supplement innovation as consumers want to reduce stress and get to a point of restfulness after a long day,” observed Jackson Zapp, vice president of innovation, Applied Food Sciences, Inc., Texas (AFS). “We know consumers want to maximize their day and require energy in order to get more done. However, what appears to be happening alongside the need for increased energy is a contrasting desire to relax, unwind, de-stress and achieve a restful night’s sleep. We attempt to maximize each day to get more done both mentally and physically during the day. Oftentimes this means we chase one stimulant after another leaving us hardwired and unable to unwind. Ultimately this lifestyle leads us to higher levels of anxiety, stress, and even reduced sleep. Around 70 million Americans report sleep problems and the market for relaxation and sleep products is becoming a giant.”

Zapp noted that the consumer has already responded to this as relaxation beverages alone generate $218 million in annual revenue and have risen at an annualized rate of 30 percent since 2009 (IBISWorld, 2016). The global sleep aid market hit an all-time high of nearly $62 million in 2015, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3 percent through 2020 (P&S Market Research). Solutions ranging from herbal teas to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs have spiked in use.

“However,” he said, “as consumers becoming increasingly skeptical of medications and their potential negative side effects, natural alternatives are making a huge push in the market place to fulfill these functional roles.”