Monday, September 13, 2010

Take 10 For Sleep - Review by Kaiden Fox

It’s probably not the best time for me to be reviewing a new kava, but it’s probably the best time to be drinking kava anyway. If your life is at all like mine, you’ll enjoy some kava at the end of a day like today.

I have to explain tomorrow to my boss’s boss’s boss why I insist that that a yellow guy with a slanted eyes, lemon-yellow skin and a conical hat is an offensive racist caricature. Oh, wait, that’s right… Pekin, IL no longer calls their team the “Pekin Chinks” and thus has abandoned that mascot. The kava must have confused me, or maybe the other stuff they add to it in this mixture. The actual mascot I have to explain is an offensive caricature is Chief Wahoo. This is on top of arguing over an incorrect $35 charge, trying to choose a schedule when I don’t really know what will work best with classes, a car in need of repairs (but not dire need), and just a generally messed-up life situation.

Well, this stuff appears to be more or less kava. The taste isn’t too bad. I expected sweet. People like sweet. Kava isn’t sweet. I don’t think kava is bitter, but it is “earthy.” That is perhaps the best way to describe kava. This anti-energy shot is not “earthy.” Originally, I wasn’t going to rate the flavor, because the flavor isn’t kava. But, it’s not the citrus “rancid Mountain Dew” taste of an energy shot. The flavor is “blackberry,” and they come pretty close to mimicry of a berry flavor. Naturally, the recommendation to put the tropical fruit away goes double here. While I almost never cleanse my pallet with fruit after kava these days, I do recall a Laura Ingles Wilder story about a birthday party with cake and lemonade. The girl took a sip of lemonade, thought it was sweet, took a bite of cake, thought it was sweet, and took another sip of lemonade, and thought it was sour. The cake is a lie. I won’t lecture anyone on diet today, other than to say a good way to appreciate kava, as well as appreciate the taste of natural foods in general, is to completely eliminate all sugar and sugar substitutes and never look back. Of course, this is hypocritical of me to recommend as I drink a sorbital-sweetened elixir.

This is definitely kava, and a few other things. This is the first time I’ve drank kava since Monday, but the kava effects I’m feeling are probably due to the build-up effect. If this anti-energy drink is your first introduction to kava, it is probably a truer way than pills but a less frightening way than a shell or two of prepared or even instant kava.

Rather than using a shell, I am drinking these shots in-situ. Partly this is out of respect for the shell, and partly because the intent of the packaging is to have the drink be self-contained. 

For effects, it is really not quite as “body” as many of the other kavas, but it is relaxing. Fatiguing, even, perhaps. Mentally, I feel creative but not under pressure. (To be fair, I started writing after deciding I had enough after writing a few paragraphs about the epistemological failure of H. Sapiens to grasp death as a state). Music euphoria is present. I’m listening to tracks with trance roots, four-on-the-floor beats, beats made for dancing, straight drum beats and a female vocal. This, according to, is the music I prefer when listening to kava.

This isn’t just kava, of course. We’re looking at a combination of various somewhat-narcotic herbs. With valarian and passionflower, this produces very relaxing sleep complete with the vivid dreams that kava sometimes incudes. The product, “Take 10 For Sleep,” lives up to its name. There does not appear to be much of a morning-after effect, but I did wake up quite happy.

At $4.50 for two bottles, (and the package says not to take more than two bottles at once), it’s about on par on the cost of a shell at a North American nakamal. I would recommend this product for short trips where you expect to have your luggage searched and don’t want to explain why you have a zip-lock bag of brown powder that numbs the lips and tongue when tasted.

Taste 9/10 (this is compared to “energy shots,” not kava)
Effect, 8/10

Overall, 8.5/10 “shots” of sleeping potion.


  1. I found the Take 10 SLEEP at a Meijer store in Michigan. Bought some... Loves it for travel and have since gotten more from 8.5/10 is about right for the score.

  2. Thanks for the website, Todd. I'll see if I can buy it cheaper than I can at Meijer. So far, Meijer is the only chain I know that carries it, and not in all location, either.