Sleep and the power of marketing

Caught an ad on TV for this Midnite sleep aid the other day.   Based on the claims in the ad, I checked it out and was not surprised to find that it was basically melatonin plus a few other natural extracts which I doubt have any proven value in helping people sleep.  So, basically, this is a sleep aid for suckers.  Melatonin has been available for years and years from all sorts of no-name vitamin and supplement manufacturers.  In fact, all three of the Greene boys rely on it to fall asleep at night (and before you think I’m a , bad parent, it’s under doctor supervision).  Anyway, it was just interesting to see that some drug companies realized all you’ve got to do is add a few interesting-sound extracts, invest in some marketing, and double the price, and you’re rolling.  I’ll stick with the generic stuff at Whole Foods and Wal-green.


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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