You can’t open TikTok without seeing videos for the Sleepy Girl Mocktail, but does this bedtime beverage work — and what’s in it? I’m a Sleep Science Coach and it’s my job to test out anything designed to help you sleep better, from natural sleep aids to the best mattresses in the world. Yes, I get paid to sleep.
I admit, when I first heard the words Sleepy Girl Mocktail I rolled my eyes and thought, ‘Here comes another fad’. But then I took a closer look at the ingredients: tart cherry juice (which contains tryptophan and melatonin) and magnesium. Both are sleep-friendly, so I was intrigued.
I decided to whizz up my own Sleepy Girl Mocktail and delve a little deeper into this viral TikTok sleep hack to see if it could improve nighttime sleep. Here’s what I discovered…
What is the Sleepy Girl Mocktail and how do you make it?
Take a liberal pour of tart cherry juice, one serving of magnesium powder and some sparkling water. Swirl it all around in your favorite cocktail glass or jar with some ice, and there you have it: a Sleepy Girl Mocktail.
The two important ingredients here are tart cherry juice and magnesium powder – the sparkling water is just for taste. So why these two ingredients? Do they actually help you sleep better, faster and for longer?
The good news is that tart cherry juice does contain melatonin. The bad news is that it contains only very small amounts (see below). The main thing is to choose raw tart cherry juice and avoid anything processed, as the raw juice will be bursting with antioxidants and free from added sugar that could keep you awake and delay bedtime.
So what about the magnesium? The TikTok in question features Magnesi-Om by Moon Juice, which contains L-Theanine, chelated magnesium gluconate and acetyl taurinate, and magnesium citrate. According to Moon Juice, all you need is one teaspoon – which is good, considering one single pot costs $34.
Do magnesium and tart cherry juice help you sleep?
The research is limited on both ingredients, and studies on whether magnesium improves sleep quality have so-far been inconclusive. Here’s what we do know about them:
Tart cherry juice contains very small amounts of melatonin (the sleepy hormone) and an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan plays many roles in your body, including making serotonin (the mood-balancing hormone). A byproduct of that process is melatonin.
As I said above, while tart cherry juice does contain melatonin, the amounts are small. A 2017 pilot study found that 100mg of tart cherry juice contains 0.135 micrograms of melatonin. For sleep, the recommended dose of melatonin is 0.5-5mg.
Magnesium is a mineral that your body relies on to undertake hundreds of different tasks. While it’s a popular sleep aid (magnesium glycinate is thought to be best for rest), science is still investigating the link between magnesium and better sleep. So as of right now, there is no conclusive evidence that taking magnesium will help you sleep better.
That said, I take magnesium glycinate every night. Does it help me to sleep well? I think so, but mainly because I occasionally experience Restless Leg Syndrome (a hangover from my pregnancy) and magnesium has been excellent for relaxing my muscles and staving off an attack of RLS.
Does the Sleepy Girl Mocktail work?
The good thing about the Sleepy Girl Mocktail is that it’s free of alcohol, caffeine and any other stimulants that could derail your sleep. While there is no major science backing each of these ingredients as powerful sleep aids, many people swear by them for a good night’s sleep.
As a Sleep Science Coach, I don’t see anything harmful with the Sleepy Girl Mocktail, but I wouldn’t get your hopes out that it will help you ‘sleep like a baby’ as TikTok claims. I have a 17-month old baby and I can promise you that no-one sleeps like a baby – not even babies!
Honestly, you’re better off eating healthy, whole foods rich in magnesium, protein and amino acids including tryptophan – our feature on the best foods for sleep will get you off to a great start – and making sure you practise good sleep hygiene and establish a relaxing bedtime routine that you stick to each night.
Hey, you could even make a Sleepy Girl Mocktail part of your routine… just don’t down it too close to bedtime otherwise you’ll be Googling ‘Nocturia’ before you know it.
If you think you have a sleep disorder or issue, always speak to a qualified doctor or sleep therapist.