Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Two-Product Review: Zenwise Labs Sleep Support and Zenwise Labs Resveratrol

Disclosures: As my readers know, I occasionally receive copies of books or samples of products for review. In this case, Zenwise Labs provided me with one bottle each of Zenwise Sleep Support and Zenwise Resveratrol, pursuant to a "get bloggers to review this stuff" campaign [post-publication change: Reference to promotional mechanism deleted at mechanism operator's request]. The foregoing links (and any repeated links below) are NOT affiliate links. I will receive NO commissions should you buy the products through them. Nor have I received any financial or other inducement, beyond provision of the review samples, for writing this review, nor were there any preconditions on the tone or conclusions of the review (in English, nobody said "you have to say you like it"). Finally, I am not a medical doctor and you should not consider this review to be professional medical advice (I am a Doctor of Letters, though, so feel free to get in touch if you have a broken English that needs a cast put on it). All that said ...

Zenwise Sleep Support

This product is right in my wheelhouse, as I often have trouble sleeping, and more particularly, regulating my sleep schedule. Our family of four tends to run on highly variable sleep schedules, so it's not unusual for two of us to be in the middle of our sleep cycles while one is wide awake and the fourth just went to bed.

I've tried various sleep aids over the years. In general, I've found that "sleeping pills" work, after a fashion. They knock me out. But I wake up feeling like I haven't slept (light research says this may be because I don't get sufficient REM sleep, even though I'm not conscious either).

I've also used melatonin on and off, with very mixed results. More light research says this may have to do with "bioavailability" issues. That is, melatonin only goes where it's supposed to go and does what it's supposed to do under certain conditions, i.e. the presence of this amino acid or the absence of that mineral.

For the last week, I've set a target bedtime of between 10pm and 11pm, and used Zenwise Sleep Support on alternating evenings. Put simply, it works. The label says to take two capsules with 8 ounces of water 30-60 minutes before bedtime. On the four nights I've done that, 30-45 minutes after taking the capsules, I feel drowsy; when I lie down, I fall asleep quickly and easily; I sleep through the night; and when I wake up I feel well-rested. On the "off" nights, when I haven't taken the supplement, I'm not especially sleepy at bedtime and either go ahead and get back up for a couple of hours, or toss and turn awaiting sleep.

Why does Zenwise Sleep Support work? I don't really know. It includes 6mg of melatonin, but there's more to it than just melatonin. There's also magnesium (which I'm not deficient in -- I take 500mg daily); L-Taurine; L-Theanine; chamomile flower powder; Valerian root; 5-HTP; GABA; and L-Ornithine. No, I do not know what all those things portend. I just know that the product works, at least for me. I hope that once I get on a regular schedule, I won't need the stuff every night ... but I plan to keep a bottle on hand, and if you have sleep problems, I recommend giving it a try.

Zenwise Resveratrol

This product is slightly harder to review, because its effects aren't the kind that are readily apparent. But I'll give it a whirl.

I don't link to very often these days, but in this case I'll make an exception and heartily recommend Bill Sardi's article, "How to Prevent Sudden Cardiac Death." As I've mentioned in the not too distant past, this is a concern of mine now that I'm pushing 50. One of the recommendations is to get resveratrol, either by drinking 2-6 alcoholic beverages a week, or as a supplement. I've been trying to do the "at least two drinks a week" thing for months, but I usually forget. I'm just not the drinker I used to be. One or two beers or bourbon-and-diet-colas are more my speed.

On the other hand, if I'm going to spend money on resveratrol, I'd mostly rather get it in a bottle of IPA than in a capsule. That's just me. So anyway, I'm taking the Zenwise Resveratrol right now, in the recommended dosage of two capsules per day, instead of trying to remember to have a beer.

Here's a fork in the road, though: Sardi mentions (and links to supporting literature affirming) that "modest doses of resveratrol (100-350 milligrams) produce the best effect.  Excessively high doses may be counterproductive." The recommended dose of Zenwise Resveratrol contains 600 milligrams of resveratrol (plus something called Bioperine, and a "proprietary blend" including grape seed and acai extracts, among other things). That's well short of the "danger zone" of 1750 milligrams, but I'm planning to cut down to one instead of two capsules per day so that I'm within Sardi's recommended dosage. Your mileage -- or, for that matter, your need for the supplement -- may vary.

I'm prepared to recommend Zenwise Resveratrol for two reasons.

One is that everything I've read says you should be getting some resveratrol, especially if you're a male over 50. As I mention above, I am not a medical doctor and don't intend to misrepresent myself as one. But I can also read, and based on what I've read, resveratrol's a big deal for coronary health.

The second is that even though I can't -- and can't be expected to -- feel any obvious effects from Zenwise Resveratrol, I know that Zenwise Sleep Support works as advertised, and therefore feel reasonably secure that whatever Zenwise Labs says is in their resveratrol supplement is in fact in that supplement (there have been some recent scandals regarding some supplement companies basically selling falsely labeled capsules full of nothing worthwhile).

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