Wake Up On Time: The alarm clock in a pill - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/20/09

Wake Up On Time: The alarm clock in a pill

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By Karin McCay  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - We always hear about pills to make you sleep, but what if there was a pill to make you wake up? We found a supplement that promises to wake you up - on time. So we tested it and learned more than we bargained for.

"Wake Up On Time" - the name says it all. The package makes it even more clear with a clock and a rooster. Inventor Kathy Beggan says "There's a very high dosage of all the B vitamins and Guarana seed extract which is a natural form of caffeine."

Since we know caffeine can keep you awake, the inventor says she found a way to delay release the Guarana extract to wake you up instead. Also, she is quick to add, "I have thousands and thousands of happy customers."

But something on the box could turn off some users. It says take 2 before bed and it will wake you up in 7 or 8 hours. A survey of NewsChannel 11 employees showed most don't have that much time to sleep anyway. But we found 5 late sleepers who were willing to try "wake up on time" to see if it would wake them up in 7 or 8 hours as promised. Reporter Ann Wyatt Little sleeps 8 plus hours, Melissa Carter in accounting sleeps 8 or more hours, Lucas Champion in Production sleeps at least 8 hours, Kim Owen in sales sleeps 8 plus hours and weekend anchor Nicole Pesecky likes to sleep 8 or 9 hours a night. 

Each took 2 tablets home for the experiment. We'll have the results shortly, but first, we wanted to check with the Texas Tech School of Pharmacy to learn more about Guarana and get their impression of a pill that could wake you up on time.  Dr. Charles Seifert, Regional Dean of the School of Pharmacy says, "Bogus is my initial response." He says time-release medication may work quickly, slowly, or in stages depending on the coating, but not all at once at a certain time.

"Having a dosage formula sit quietly in our bodies the whole time then all of a sudden release its contents when you're ready to wake up is pretty far-fetched", says Dr. Seifert.

Another concern about supplements and natural ingredients: he says they're just not consistent. Like fine wine, the active ingredient may vary according to the age or the origin of the product. "Variation is so great that one batch may have a certain amount.  The next batch will have quite a bit more," said Dr, Seifert.

Dr. Seifert also adds some supplements have bits of real medicine in them. And since herbs and supplements are not regulated, there is always the potential for drug interactions, especially going into surgery.

As for Guarana, the active ingredient in the wake-up pill, "It has about twice as much caffeine as a coffee bean would," he explains. "If you have high blood pressure, what's the first thing the doctor tells you? Don't drink a lot of coffee or caffeine sodas. It's the same thing here." 

There is this caution on the box; "As with any supplement, check with your physician before taking this product." That's why we checked with our volunteers to make sure their blood pressure is normal.

So what happened when they took the wake up on time pill? Did it wake up our group in 7 or 8 hours, as promised?  Ann Wyatt says she slept 6 hours, Lucas slept 5 and a half hours, Melissa slept 8 and a half hours, Kim woke up in 2 and a half hours, and Nicole slept 11 hours!

That's why Dr. Seifert says what we learn from this is the same with any supplement, "A person may get one batch and it works great, and the next batch nothing happens."

Footnote: When I told the inventor what Dr. Seifert said about inconsistent ingredients, she told me she uses a U.S. supplier to make sure the Wake Up On Time pill goes through a rigorous testing process. So, she says every batch is the same and documented.  She also told me something that is not on the box: that the pill will affect different people differently, which is something Dr. Seifert says people should understand anyway, especially when taking supplements or natural remedies.

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