NEW YORK — The problem of too little sleep is as critical as ever. According to a recent Consumer Reports survey, 27% of 4,023 U.S. adults polled said they had trouble falling asleep or staying asleep most nights, and 68% struggled with sleep at least once a week.
“Sleep is very important,” says Mary Adekunle, clinical director of the Sleep and Neurodiagnostics Center at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation in Pomona, N.J. “Diet and exercise are key, too, but sleep is even more important, because if you’re not sleeping, the other two are not working.”
According to the American Sleep Association, between 50 million and 70 million adults in the United States have a sleep disorder, which can include insomnia, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome and others.
Phil McWaters, brand franchise director for North America Vicks at Procter & Gamble Co. (P&G), says that as consumers begin to place more emphasis on health, wellness and self-care, creating a relaxing nighttime routine and getting a good night’s sleep is key. “From smart mattresses and smart alarms to sleep trackers, we’ve never seen more technology focused on sleep. At the end of the day, people are looking for products that will help them fall asleep and get a better night’s sleep, He notes a December 2016 survey of more than 2,000 American adults found that nearly nine in 10 (87%) say they experience trouble falling asleep. The survey, commissioned by ZzzQuil and conducted online by Harris Poll, found that two-thirds (67%) admitted to having trouble falling asleep at least once a month, and nearly half (47%) stated at least once a week.
“In addition, a recent poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation also found that Americans aren’t prioritizing sleep. However, of those who feel they have excellent sleep health, 90% say they feel very effective at getting things done each day, compared to 46% of the Americans who admit to having poor sleep health.”
McWaters explains that each person’s experience with sleep is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all strategy to treat sleeplessness. He adds that consumers have different sleep needs at different times, and P&G is constantly looking for ways to innovate to provide new products that meet their needs.
He says that knowing consumers have different sleep needs at different times, ZzzQuil recently launched ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs Melatonin Gummies to provide consumers another alternative for a realistic sleep option.
“When people need to fall asleep fast, in as little as 20 minutes, they can turn to ZzzQuil, and when they are looking for a product that can be used daily to help them fall asleep naturally, they can rely on new ZzzQuil PURE Zzzs Melatonin Gummies,” he adds.
“Beyond falling asleep at night, we know that sometimes people need to wind down at the end of a long day, so Vicks launched Vicks PURE Zzzs Soothing Aromatherapy Balm to provide consumers with another relaxing step in their bedtime routine. Vicks PURE Zzzs Aromatherapy Balm contains soothing oils of lavender and chamomile and a moisturizing formula with coconut oil and aloe leaf extract,” McWaters notes.
Jim Creagan, president of Randob Labs, says that consumers continue to search for over-the-counter solutions for sleep that are affordable, fast-acting and effective. “Dormin has been trusted for those reasons since 1950, and with the recent gain of our newest distribution at Family Dollar, we’re happy to continue to deliver great value as well,” he explains.
“When it comes to people falling asleep, they want to do it fast. Delivering on that promise is probably a key factor in the sleep aid category. Dormin’s capsules are fast-dissolving so they work quickly.”
Creagan says the company is helping educate consumers on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep through social media. “This year, with the help of our marketing agency RLA Collective, we are growing our social/digital positioning to appeal to a younger audience. The Millennial audience isn’t typically targeted by sleep aids, so we’re looking to break the mold. To get the word out, we have a TV commercial on airing again in the second and third quarters.”
He says the bottom line is that, although it is a small company, Randob Labs is growing as it embraces the newest ways to cost effectively and creatively reach its potential niche consumers to drive them to its partner retailers — both brick-and-mortar and online. “We believe we are strategically taking advantage of marketing avenues that make our brands more relevant, and we are seeing the sales results. Pushing our target audience to Amazon for convenient shopping during those key ‘can’t sleep’ hours or moments also continues to be a focus.”
James Lacey, chief executive officer of Healthy Ventures, is also looking at amping up its marketing efforts for its Berry Sleepy and Berry Awake brands.
He says the brands recently appeared on “Modern Living with Kathy Ireland”. Ireland’s program reaches 228 million households around the world. Lacey says Berry Sleepy and Berry Awake will also be sharing their berry-based supplement message across social media networks.
“Known for her health-conscious initiatives, Kathy Ireland interviewed our Berry Sleepy and Berry Awake team about our Berry Sleepy product. By amplifying marketing focus, we are set to take the sleep and energy shot segment to new levels,” says Lacey.
Jennifer Moyer, vice president of marketing and sales at Clarion Brands, says that during the past year the company has launched a new portfolio of sleep products — Lipo Sleep Solutions — to join its Lipo-Flavonoid Plus supplements.
She says a good example of this is Sonorest Sleep Tones, which is a compact, first-of-its-kind ambient sound machine designed to help tinnitus sufferers create a comfortable and relaxing sleep environment so they can fall asleep, stay asleep and awake refreshed.
“Sonorest Sleep Tones produces a range of sounds in white/pink/brown spectrums so individuals can select the tone that is most beneficial in creating an environment more conducive to sleep or relaxation.”