Malaysian sleep aid canned drink alternative to sleeping pills
During my college and work years, I have come across many people who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep even after trying various methods, ultimately relying on medication to help them.
Even though I’m a light sleeper, I would say that eight times out of ten, I manage to fall asleep without too many problems. If I’m struggling, there’s probably the caffeine I consumed after noon to blame.
Getting good sleep puts me in a better mood the next day, but there are other reasons why some people crave good sleep.
For Wui Khong, an amateur bodybuilder with a computer background, he tries to get a good night’s sleep in his fitness routine in order to stay on track with his goals. Still, he sometimes has bad nights where he can’t fall asleep in less than two hours.
Meanwhile, IT developer Alan has been working late nights for 10 years and he finally decided he had to change his unhealthy bedtime. However, he struggled to find a natural way to achieve this.
Both wanting to avoid strong drugs in their pursuit of good sleep, they founded Dozoff, a brand that creates sleeping pills made from natural ingredients. Its first product is a drink, also called Dozoff.
Unlike energy drinks
Neither Wui Khong nor Alan had any experience creating consumable wellness products, so how did they get started?
Of course, they turned to the internet, gathering information online and looking for ingredients (traditional and clinically studied) useful for promoting relaxation and sleep.
Then they hired manufacturers and local F&B labs to help formulate Dozoff, giving them a list of researched ingredients that were potentially suitable and could be approved by the local health authority (KKM).
But it was a challenge, as Wui Khong shared that R&D teams were initially confused about what functions Dozoff wanted.
“They tend to associate canned drinks with energy drinks, which leads them to add energy-boosting ingredients to the mix,” he recalls.
Besides the function, Dozoff also wanted to make sure the drink tasted good. Unfortunately, the first samples turned out to be artificial and almost medicinal.
Eventually they found a lab that uses natural flavors, but that didn’t solve everything immediately. They still had to balance the effectiveness and the great taste of the drink, while optimizing the effects and the costs.
“We ultimately settled on a peach flavor, using real fruit powder sourced from Iprona, an Italian fruit company, to ensure Dozoff tastes natural and is suitable for consumption before bed,” said Wu Khong.
The Dozoff that is commercially available today is the team’s 20th iteration, and the one they were all ultimately happy with.
Defy the norm
Creating a sleep aid in the form of a canned drink is a pretty unique selling point (USP), but Dozoff’s plans don’t just stand out.
“We wanted to create a category in the ready-to-drink (RTD) beverage industry here in Asia, which is a wellness RTD product with a function to promote good sleep,” Wui Khong explained.
More importantly, they wanted to make sleep aid products enjoyable. No one likes to take drugs unless they have no other options, he believes, referring to sleeping pills.
“Canned energy drinks usually come to mind when we need an instant energy boost, and there are plenty of tasty options out there,” he noted.
“So we asked ourselves, why can’t we have tasty options to relax and sleep better?”
Don’t get me wrong though, Dozoff is not a drink version of sleeping pills, but rather intended to be a preferred alternative before people settled on sleeping pills.
In a Dozoff box, the team says there are only plant-based ingredients, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, its effect is probably not as strong or instantaneous as that of sleeping pills.
However, in the eyes of the team, Dozoff has more advantages as it does not have addictive properties and should not affect memory and attention span or cause tingling in the limbs, changes in appetite and more side effects.
It’s all in your head
The actual working of Dozoff is to create a relaxed mind, allowing one to start feeling drowsy 30 minutes to an hour after consumption.
Dozoff’s active ingredients such as L-theanine, green tea extract, valerian root, magnesium and vitamin B6 create a combination that helps the brain secrete specific hormones.
They include serotonin, dopamine, γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), melatonin, etc., which are essential for sleep.
Wanting to know if Dozoff’s ingredients were as safe as the team claimed, I did some light research myself.
According to WebMD, L-theanine is possibly safe when used short-term, while valerian root, which has long been used as a natural sedative, is considered pretty sure for most people, reports the Mayo Clinic.
In contrast, small daily doses of magnesium are safe for most adults. All of the above can cause unwanted side effects in an overdose.
The number of mg of each ingredient in a 240ml Dozoff box is undisclosed, but Wui Khong seems confident that their dosage is balanced enough to be healthy and effective.
Note, however, that Dozoff recommends that those on medication avoid drinking it, as there is little information available to guarantee the absence of side effects when using Dozoff while medicated.
If you are on medication but insist on trying it, Wui Khong said consulting a doctor should be enough before making a decision.
Try Dozoff myself to fall asleep
When I tried Dozoff myself, its effects were clear to me. Abnormally, almost an hour after downing a can, I started to feel incredibly sleepy, my mind and body literally relaxing by the minute.
It felt like I had run an intense marathon earlier in the day, and my muscles were finally relaxing as I gently melted into my mattress.
It wasn’t even my usual bedtime yet. Unable to contain the drowsiness, I quickly gave in and didn’t have a dream (which I usually did without fail).
Granted, with such a peaceful sleep, I expected to wake up feeling like a million bucks, but I just felt pretty regular, on top of being well rested.
The flavor of Dozoff was reminiscent of a slightly sweet (unsurprisingly) peach green tea, but as pleasant as it tasted, as someone with a useless bladder, I personally found 240ml to be too much to drink before bed. .
Although my sleep was good, I still had to wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, which can be more disruptive for some people.
Spread better sleep everywhere they go
Going forward, Dozoff plans to expand beyond just sleeping pills to include a variety of wellness-focused functional beverages, though they haven’t confirmed anything concrete yet.
As for their series of sleep aids, they have ideas for Dozoff Zero Sugar, a “sugar-free” formula, Dozoff Shot, a small packet of Dozoff for convenient travel and energy naps, and Dozoff Plus, a more powerful version of Dozoff. .
Wui Khong acknowledged that there are still doubts about the product’s safety and ingredients, saying, “Being a brand new category in the market, we expect a lot of questions from the market, as people will associate first Dozoff on sleeping pills, then will question its effectiveness.”
Believing that these are simply first-mover challenges, he and his team have their sights set on getting more approvals from local health authorities to boost their credibility.
After which they can confidently expand across Malaysia and the greater SEA region, creating and pioneering a new category of ready-to-drink canned beverages.
- Learn more about Dozoff here.
- Learn more about Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Dozoff