Is the sleepy girl mocktail the secret to a good night’s sleep?


by Baylor Scott & White Health

Feb 22, 2024

Having trouble sleeping? You’re not alone. One-third of adults get less sleep than they need, and the quality of our sleep can make or break our day. Not getting enough rest can leave you feeling sluggish, dampen your mood and decrease your productivity.

From taking melatonin to avoiding technology in the evenings, there are many sleep hacks out there promising a better night’s rest. In recent months, a new viral trend has emerged on social media that many are calling a game changer for bedtime routines: The sleepy girl mocktail.

What is the sleepy girl mocktail?

The sleepy girl mocktail is a drink made of just three ingredients:

  • One-half cup of pure tart cherry juice
  • 1 tablespoon of magnesium powder
  • A splash of prebiotic soda (or sparkling water)

How does the sleepy girl mocktail help you fall asleep?

This trio of ingredients boasts several natural sleep aids. Tart cherry juice contains both tryptophan and melatonin.

“Tryptophan helps you produce melatonin in the body and melatonin helps you transition to sleep,” said Lisa Marsh, MS, RD, LD, CNSC, a registered dietitian at Baylor Scott & White Signature Medicine. Plus, magnesium powder has an overall calming effect on the body. “It helps relax the muscles and gets you ready for a good night's rest,” Lisa said.

The magnesium powder and melatonin in the tart cherry juice team up to provide a natural solution for improving sleep. This powerful duo also reduces stress and anxiety (a common factor that keep us awake at night) as magnesium plays a key role in regulating stress hormones like cortisol.

Magnesium 101: What you need to know

Before bed, it’s important to use the correct form of magnesium: magnesium glycinate. There are many different types of supplements out there and some may have adverse side-effects. “Another popular form of magnesium, magnesium citrate, can actually cause diarrhea, bloating and gas,” Lisa said.

Make sure not to take too much magnesium—more is not always better when it comes to supplements. The upper limit to the amount of magnesium you should consume each day is 350 mg.

What about prebiotics?

Another key ingredient in the sleepy girl mocktail is prebiotic soda. These sodas often come in a variety of flavors and contain prebiotics to help optimize your gut microbiome, keeping your gut happy and healthy.

Marsh warns that many individuals can be sensitive to prebiotic sodas, especially if they have a history of irritable bowel syndrome or other gastrointestinal conditions. Prebiotic sodas are rich in fiber and some people can experience some discomfort if their bodies are not used to them. 

If you find you are sensitive to prebiotic sodas or aren’t a fan of carbonated beverages, you can replace the prebiotic soda in the sleepy girl mocktail with sparkling water or another low-calorie beverage.

Is the sleepy girl mocktail beverage safe?

Though the sleeping girl mocktail isn’t necessarily unsafe, it’s important to pair the beverage with good sleep habits:

  • Avoiding bright lights in the evening
  • Engaging in calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a shower, light yoga, mediation or reading
  • Keeping a regular sleep-wake schedule
  • Reducing noise and distractions
  • Setting the thermostat to a cool, yet comfortable temperature
  • Turning off electronics at least an hour before bed

Want to try the sleepy girl mocktail?

While it may be tempting to hop on the latest viral trends, it’s important to check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new supplements. Your healthcare team will make sure there aren’t any potential interactions between your current medications and the ingredients in the sleepy girl mocktail. If you have diabetes or are watching your blood sugar, be sure to choose a cherry juice that does not have any added sugars.

Does the sleepy girl mocktail actually work?

There is no science-backed evidence that this popular beverage helps you fall asleep and sleep better, but some people may see the benefits.

“I think the mocktail is a good addition to your nighttime routine,” Lisa said. “You can try it as long as you check with your doctor about any medications you're taking, making sure you don't take too much magnesium and you’re using the right form of magnesium.”

Sleep is a hugely important part of your health and well-being routine. If you’re having trouble sleeping, find a sleep specialist near you.

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