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Some nights, I’m asleep the second my head hits the pillow. And then there are those other nights. The tossing, turning, it’s too hot, no, it’s too cold, no, it’s too hot, up 50 times to pee nights.

I’m willing to try almost anything to knock myself out, but I draw the line at prescription sleep medication. So when my co-workers started raving about Dream Water ($29.99 for a 12-pack), a sleep drink that’s available over the counter, I knew I was the target demographic. 

Well, lo and behold, one of those hell nights happened to me last week—so around 1 a.m., I grabbed a bottle of Dream Water and put it to the test. It comes in either 2.5-ounce “shots” or a small packet of powder that can be mixed into water.

Both formulas contain melatonin, GABA and 5-HTP, a trifecta of established heavy hitters in the natural-sleep-aid world. Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone that’s been scientifically proven to help some troubled sleepers, GABA is an amino acid that increases feelings of calm and has been linked to more restful sleep, and 5-HTP is a supplement frequently used to treat sleep disorders. With all three of these guys on my side, how could I lose?

First, a word of warning: The cutely named “Snoozeberry” flavor is extremely sweet in an artificial cough syrup kind of way, so it’s probably worth following it with a glass of water. But only a few minutes after I finished my Dream Water, I noticed the difference. I turned on my Kindle and read about three pages before I started feeling noticeably drowsy. Like, just-took-Benadryl-on-an-empty-stomach drowsy. My eyelids continued to droop, so I put my e-reader away and turned off the light. Within seconds, I was asleep. And best of all, I stayed asleep. I didn’t get up once, not even to pee (which I usually do 75 percent of the time).

When I opened my eyes the next morning, I half expected to feel a bit zonked, like I sometimes do after taking a sleep aid. But surprisingly, I felt refreshed, like I’d had a full eight hours of restful sleep. A huge win, in my book.

Will Dream Water work for everyone? Maybe not, especially if you have chronic sleep issues. But is it worth a shot if you sometimes have trouble falling asleep? No doubt about it.

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