If you're looking for a chocolate dessert that doubles as a sleep aid (who isn't?), perhaps you've found your answer in "Lazy Cakes." These melatonin-laced brownies ("relaxation baked in" reads the tagline) have been on the market for about six months and have sold millions nationwide.
Two Massachusetts mayors of Fall River and New Bedford, however, are calling for the product to be banned, claiming that the brownies are marketed directly to children. In January 2011, a two-year-old Memphis child ate a small piece of Lazy Cake and then "began slipping" and had to lie down, according to Fox Memphis, though he ended up fine.
Lazy Cakes website advises:
Lazy Cakes are recommended for adults only! Although perfectly safe for adults, these are NOT a snack for children. These are meant as a dietary supplement to aid adults who lead a stressful, energy drink fueled lifestyle to wind down and relax. As with any product, it is highly recommended that you read the labels.
The logo, a cartoon brownie that is reclining and smiling (described as "the budget brownie version of Sponge Bob") probably isn't helping Lazy Cakes' claims.
Each Lazy Cake contains eight milligrams of melatonin, an unregulated sleep-inducing supplement. Add two more milligrams and an adult would "abruptly fall asleep," according to Dr. Caroline Apovian, director of the Nutrition and Weight Management Center at Boston Medical Center. In Europe, the common melatonin prescription for adults is .03 milligrams. There are about 5,000 emergencies per year involving melatonin, more than any other supplement.
Lazy Cakes has over 25,000 fans on its Facebook page with many commenters asking where they can purchase the product, and others coming to its defense (of course the inevitable references to pot brownies abound).
For those that don't "lead a stressful, energy drink fueled lifestyle," a regular, everyday brownie will probably be just fine.