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Sleepy Girl Mocktail: Does the Trendy Sip Live Up to the Hype? Experts Weigh in

Plus, the delicious tweaks that make it even more powerful

Chances are if you ask a friend or coworker how they’re doing, you’ll get “tired” as a response. Sleep is something we need and never seem to get enough of! In the last decadethe use of sleep aids in the U.S. has doubled as folks try to improve the length and quality of their shuteye. To formulate a more holistic approach to induce sleep, DIY beverages like the sleepy girl mocktail have risen in popularity. But do they work? We asked experts to share their thoughts. Read on to find out just how effective the sip is, the potential downsides of having too many mocktails and get a few recipe substitutions for a fresh take on the viral drink.   

What is the sleepy girl mocktail?

The #sleepygirlmocktail is everyone’s new favorite pre-bed ritual on TikTok. Open up the app and you’ll see thousands of posts on how to prepare this snoozy drink. The viral concoction contains a medley of sleep-promoting ingredients including tart cherry juice, magnesium  and prebiotic soda.   

Why is the sleepy girl mocktail so popular?

For one thing, the drink is pretty tasty. But it’s also a nice alternative to a traditional cocktail. Many women like to unwind after a long day with a glass of wine, a hard seltzer or a cocktail. And while alcohol can lessen the time it takes to fall asleep, drinking alcohol before bed can disturb your sleep cycle in several different ways. “It disrupts blood sugar levels, which can remain elevated for up to 12 hours after drinking. Alcohol also disrupts the REM (rapid eye movement) cycle of your sleep, which is the deepest form of sleep, so people who drink before bed are more likely to have interrupted and broken sleep,” says  Kylie Bensley, MS, RD, certified nutritionist, clinical dietitian and founder of Sulinu. With a sleepy girl mocktail, you get the relaxing benefits of the nighttime ritual — without the downsides.

4 ways a sleepy girl mocktail brings on sleep  

Each component of the sleepy girl mocktail is proven to increase sleep quality. Read on to learn the sleep-inducing powers of each, then keep scrolling for FIRST’s recipe for the perfect sleepy girl mocktail.  

sleepy girl mocktail: Top view of a beautiful blonde woman sleeping in bed. She looks peaceful and fast asleep.

1. Melatonin makes you tired   

The first ingredient, tart cherry juice, contains melatonin, a natural hormone that helps control your sleep cycle, ensuring you feel tired at bedtime. Study after study has shown that supplemental melatonin can help you fall asleep faster. In addition to providing a dose of melatonin, tart cherry juice is also rich in antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and stress, both of which can help you get better sleep quality, says Shelby Harris, Psy.D, Director of Sleep Health at Sleepopolis.     

Must-read: MDs Caution: Melatonin Gummies Can Have Dangerous Side Effects

2. Magnesium relaxes the body  

The next ingredient in a sleepy girl mocktail is magnesium powder. “Magnesium supports relaxation by calming your nervous system and muscles, making it easier to unwind before bed,” explains Dr. Harris. There are several types of magnesium, and it’s important that you mix the right one into your mocktail. “Magnesium glycinate is one of the best, as it is shown to raise blood serum levels of magnesium and to relax the nervous system and muscles,” says Bensley. Magnesium glycinate is readily absorbed by the body, easy on the digestive system and available as a supplement in capsule or powder forms.  

Related: Discover The Best Magnesium for Sleep and Wake Up Happy! 

3. Prebiotics get your gut ready for sleep

The final, fizzy sleepy girl mocktail ingredient: prebiotic soda. Popular prebiotic soda brands like OLIPOP and Poppi contain plant fiber that fuels the “good” bacteria in your gut. Why that matters: “A healthy gut biome can influence your sleep, just as unhealthy sleep behaviors can alter your gut bacteria in a negative way,” says Bensley. Studies show that dietary prebiotics increase time spent in rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, which is believed to be critical for stress recovery and feeling refreshed in the morning.  

Must-read: Are Prebiotic Sodas Good for You? Top Doctors Weigh In

4. The ritual of a pre-bedtime sip makes you sleepy 

The drink’s effectiveness isn’t only thanks to its sleep-promoting ingredients. The ritual of assembling your nightly sleepy girl mocktail plays a role, too. “Think of it as a signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and relax,” says Dr. Harris. “The act of making the mocktail can be a nice moment of self-care and mindfulness.” Dr. Harris suggests sipping on your mocktail while dimming the lights and engaging in deep breathing or listening to calming music. This preps your body for good-quality sleep and adds to the relaxation induced by a sleepy girl mocktail. 

Must-read: CBD Oil For Sleep: Top MDs Explain How It Works and When To Take It For Best Results

Are there downsides to a sleepy girl mocktail? 

It’s important to enjoy your sleepy girl mocktail in moderation. Imbibing in too much of the drink could result in elevated blood sugar levels. To blame? The tart cherry juice. One half-cup serving of the juice contains a whopping 16.5 grams of sugar, or about 4 teaspoons of the sweet stuff. Tart cherry juice is also very acidic. That can be a problem for some women, says Bensley. “The high acidity levels may bother people with heartburn and acid reflux, especially consuming something so acidic directly before bed when laying horizontally.”   

Related: 9 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Heartburn Fast at Night — And Wake Up Happy

Dr. Harris warns that drinking too much of the sleepy girl mocktail could result in overdosing on magnesium, which could lead to nausea, vomiting and other digestive issues if you’re not careful. The Recommended Dietary Allowance of magnesium is 320 mg for women. If you’re new to supplementing, start with 200 mg a day.

The bottom line: You and your physician know your body best, and “some mocktail ingredients may have negative interactions with certain medications you’re taking,” says Dr. Harris. “If you’re unsure, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor for personalized advice.”

A delicious sleepy girl mocktail recipe   

sleepy girl mocktail: cherry smoothie on the wooden background isolated in closeup
Oleg Begunenco / 500px/Getty

There are several recipes floating around the web, but here’s how we like to make it at FIRST:  


  • ½ cup tart cherry juice  
  • 1 serving of unflavored magnesium glycinate powder (follow your brand of choice’s recommended serving suggestion) 
  • 1 cup prebiotic soda  
  • ice cubes  


Combine all ingredients into a glass (consider chilling the glass in the freezer for 30 minutes before assembly for an extra crisp drink) and enjoy!

Tip: For an extra smooth finish, consider preparing the cherry juice and magnesium powder in a cocktail shaker with ice to ensure the powder is fully emulsified before adding to the prebiotic soda.  

Easy upgrades to a sleepy girl mocktail  

In case of allergies or if you want to get creative with this ingredient list, try some of our expert recommendations for substitutes for a makeshift sleepy girl mocktail. “Instead of only tart cherry juice, you could add other dark fruits like purple grapes or pomegranates, which also pack melatonin and antioxidants,” says Dr. Harris. She also suggests trying a different form of magnesium (e.g., exchanging magnesium glycinate for magnesium citrate) to see if one works better or faster to promote sleep in your body.   

Related: Top Doctors: You’re Likely Not Getting Enough Magnesium If You Feel Anxious, Achy, Tired and Have Trouble Losing Weight 

If a fizzy drink before bed isn’t your idea of calm, try adding tea to your sleepy girl mocktail instead. “You could make this into mocktail tea, which could combine an herbal tea with sleep benefits, such as Rooibos or valerian tea, which has been shown to improve sleep. I recommend chilling these teas and adding a splash of tart cherry juice, magnesium powder and honey,” suggests Bensley. Missing the gut-healthy benefits from a prebiotic soda? Consider taking probiotics along with your tea. They’ve have also been proven to promote sleep quality, to boost the drink’s effectiveness.   

Related: The ‘Lullaby’ Lavender Tea Guaranteed to Melt Stress and Deepen Sleep  

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

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