Behind the Scenes, How I came up with Slumbera

Behind the Scenes, How I came up with Slumbera

For almost the entirety of my adult life, I've had trouble sleeping. Which is wild, because when I was younger, I could sleep anywhere, anytime. My freshman year in college, I had a 6:40am Business Law class, that I never missed. Then I had a two hour break, and I would nap on an indoor bench in the student center, leaving myself just enough time to walk to the next class. I used to be able to sleep on planes, trains, and rollercoasters.

 



Then in my my mid 20's, I started having this issue, where no matter how tired I was, as soon as my head hit the pillow, the racing thoughts took over. I started thinking about something stupid I said 13 years earlier, or all of the things I had to do tomorrow, or about how to really nail the captivating opening paragraph for the novel I'm never going to write.

 

 



I got a prescription for a popular sleep medication, that I won't name because they have better lawyers than I do, and it worked great. It also had me waking up in the morning, on a regular basis, asking, "What the hell happened last night?". As an example, one morning I woke up to find that I had apparently taken about 15 pairs of shoes, walked down the stairs from my bedroom to my living room (this had to have involved several trips), and scattered them all over the floor for some reason, with no recollection. I also sleep-ate a lot of meals that required cooking, scaled a couple stories of a building to get in a window of my then-girlfriend's place (she was 50% receptive and 50% bewildered), and some other nonsense. Needless to say, this medication was quickly ruled out as an option moving forward.

 

 



So I tried everything else. Various combinations of Melatonin, 5-HTP, Valerian, Tryptophan, CBD, you name it, I put it in me. Then a therapist recommended a different pharmaceutical, and I gave it a go. It worked great, for a while, then I noticed a tolerance developing. I started at 0.5mg, then it went to 1mg, then 1.5mg, etc., all the way up to 4mg (8x the original dose). About halfway through this upwards titration I started constantly waking up groggy, albeit with no shoes scattered all over my living room. I needed a better solution.

 

 



With my background in scientific research, I had casually been looking into the published data on natural sleep supplements for several years. But it wasn't until my friend (and now business partner) Burton had a conversation with me about this, where he said something along the lines of "Let's make a better product". He made something click in my insomniac brain. The sleep supplements on the market are shit. They are mostly targeting increased REM, which, contrary to popular belief, is counterproductive. They're all using the same three or four ingredients, and none of them are very effective in the long term. We can make a better product.

 



I came up with a list of six goals, of what a sleep supplement can, and should be:

 

  • Help me fall asleep faster (reduce sleep latency)

  • Keep me asleep throughout the night (many people can fall asleep fine, but wake up frequently)

  • Help me wake up feeling refreshed, not foggy groggy and soggy

  • Become more effective over time, not less

  • Doesn't suppress any natural hormones (cough, cough, melatonin)

  • No weird side effects (sleep cooking, shoe scattering, cooking shoes, etc.)

     



I spent several months reading every relevant peer-reviewed published study I could find on natural sleep ingredients, and came up with a wish list. After a couple more months of fine tuning to make it realistic (I could have made a product that would require a 15 capsule servings size and cost $200/month, but obviously nobody would ever use that), I devised a rough sketch of Slumbera. We tested and refined it several more times to deliver a formula that hits all six of my goals, and I could not be more proud of the end result.

 

In summary, Slumbera will support falling asleep faster, encourage you to get more quality nREM deep sleep instead of excessive, lighter REM sleep, help you stay asleep throughout the night, and promote waking up feeling super refreshed. I now wake up fully rested before the alarm goes off, for the first time ever.

 



Personally, I take four capsules about 90 minutes before I want to be asleep, away from food. With any supplement, you'll want to find the lowest effective dose. So I'd recommend starting with two capsules for a few days, if that works, that's your dose. If that isn't working, titrate your way up to the full four capsules if needed.

 

I'd also recommend blue light blocker glasses at night, and a light box in the morning to fully optimize circadian rhythms, which you can read more about on the Slumbera website blog here.

 

Back to blog