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Non-Alcoholic

New coffee promises restful night’s sleep

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Two blends promise a restful night's sleep. (Counting Sheep Coffee)

Most people drink coffee to stay alert but a new brews claims it can help java lovers get to sleep quickly and stay asleep.

Counting Sheep Coffee features a unique blend of decaf beans and approximately 176 mg valerian root, a natural sedative found in many herbal sleep aids.

In addition to promoting more restful sleep, valerian root also purportedly helps ease anxiety, relaxes muscles and aids restlessness. The herb is native to Europe and Asia.

“The decaf market was 10 percent of the coffee market. That’s a huge number of people drinking decaf to begin with,” Deland Jessop, co-founder of Counting Sheep Coffee, told the Boston Globe. “We don’t know exactly how big. But the decaf market is worth billions of dollars, so there is space there.”

Jessop says he came up for the idea for a sleep-inducing blend because his wife loves coffee but is so sensitive to caffeine that she can't even drink decaf in the afternoon. After trying chamomile and lavender, which are often used in teas that promote restfulness, the team found adding valerian root did not significantly alter the taste of the coffee--but still worked as a calming agent. 

Counting Sheep is currently available in two varieties: the bolder ‘40 Winks’ (formerly original 'Bedtime Blend') and ‘Lights Out!’ which has more added valerian for a quicker feeling of drowsiness.

So what’s the buzz on this bedtime beverage?

“It doesn’t taste like coffee, it’s more like a coffee scented tea,” one taster at the New York Daily News commented on the Bedtime Blend.

On Amazon, reviews on taste are mixed, but mostly positive, with most supporting the claim that they do make you sleepy.

“I am shocked to see anything negative about this product…You don't pass out or anything, just slowly feel drowsy and relaxed, and for those of us who adore coffee, it’s a great new way to enjoy the beverage,” wrote A. Macintyre.

The Lights Out! reportedly tastes like Starbucks Pike Place Roast and induces drowsiness about 20 minutes after drinking.

But like many sleep aids, both blends may cause morning grogginess.

Counting Sheep Coffee is available on Amazon.com and select retailers throughout the country in 12 oz. pre-ground packages and individual K-cups for Keurig machines.