Lazy Cakes are brownies that, besides chocolate, eggs and flour, contain high doses of melatonin (7.8 mg) and certain undisclosed doses of valerian, both known as relaxation and sleeping aids. They are being sold like proverbial hot cakes in many outlets, supposedly as an alternative to energy drinks. Sweet and delicious, they are gaining in popularity, but is there a flip side?
Lazy Cakes are mostly used as a kind of “downer”, an antidote for stress and buzz caused by too much visual, audio, and intellectual stimulation. Or by too much Red Bull or some other energy drink. Lazy Cakes really work as a relaxant and sleep aid, just like any other form of melatonin but since they are packaged as cakes, and in spite of warnings that they are an ‘adult dietary supplement’, there is always a worry that they will be bought by children, or consumed during the day – causing all kinds of problems.
Melatonin is a popular natural sleeping aid that seldom has any side effects if taken correctly, but they should only be taken just before going to bed. Taken during the day, it causes drowsiness and mental fog. Some of the side effects of melatonin are drowsiness, slow heartbeat, nausea, and headaches. As Lazy Cakes are normally consumed during the day, they might indeed produce relaxation, but taking melatonin during the day outside of its normal release period (which is at night) is neither a safe nor healthy thing to do. Also, the dosage of melatonin in Lazy Cakes is pretty high and taking too much of it may reduce our sensitivity to the hormone over time.
In spite of warning on the Lazy Cakes packaging that it is for adults only, it is easy to see that it will attract kids. It is a cake after all, and the packaging is very attractive. However, children should not even be taking any melatonin in the first place!
Lazy Cakes is but one of the new wave of “downer” foodstuff available out there. There are hundreds of “relaxation drinks” in the market today, containing melatonin or other relaxation and sleeping aids. They are marketed as the answer to the huge energy drinks industry; “downers” to their “uppers”.
I guess going to sleep when we are tired is increasingly not an option any more. We keep going with the aid of energy drinks or coffee, constantly cutting on the sleep hours. Then, completely buzzed and hyper, we of course cannot fall asleep, so we need Lazy Cakes or some kind of Lazy Water. We are definitively not doing ourselves any good, but one thing is for sure – Energy drinks and relaxation drinks/cakes manufacturers are making a lot of money now!
Edit to add: Lazy Cakes have indeed been ordered off shelves by the FDA because the melatonin content was deemed unsafe.