Does The Sleepy Girl Mocktail Actually Make You Sleep Better?
Getting a good night's sleep is pretty much top of our to-do lists here at Delish, and if there's anything that'll help us get it, we're willing to give it a crack.
However, when we saw the so-called "sleepy girl mocktail" hit our TikTok feeds this month, we were skeptical.
The drink was first posted about by Holistic Health Practioner Calee Shea back in January 2021, but fast forward to 2023 and it's wellness influencer Gracie Norton's version that's been going viral.
So, let's get deep down into the trend, shall we?
What is a sleepy girl mocktail?
First, you'll need to grab a long-stemmed wine glass, because everything looks fancier in a wine glass, right? Then, fill it with ice cubes. Next, you need to fill about 2/3 of the glass with tart cherry juice with no extra sugar. Then, this is where Calee's recipe differs from Gracie's. Calee simply tops with a prebiotic Olipop Ginger and Lemon soda drink, whereas Gracie adds a couple of spoonfuls of magnesium powder to the cherry juice before topping with a Lime and Lemon Olipop instead.
Gracie claims in her 1.3 million view-strong video that pure tart cherry juice and magnesium are "a match made in heaven for good sleep." In Calee's original video, the hormone health focussed influencer says that cherries can actually increase melatonin available in the body. According to Calee, this can aid sleep because melatonin is created by the body in response to darkness and it's an essential part of your body's sleep and wake cycle. She says that healthy melatonin production therefore promotes better sleep. Sounds legit.
Gracie also adds that tart cherry juice contains tryptophan, which is linked to better sleep. But do these claims hold up? People in the comments seem to think so, with dozens saying that taking magnesium in particular was having a positive impact on their sleep.
Does the sleep girl mocktail actually work?
Let's start with the magnesium element. Magnesium is a mineral that you might have seen on the shelves of the vitamins and minerals section at Boots, and it's primary function is helping our bodies turn food into energy (yay). It's found naturally in food like spinach, nuts and fish but you can also take it as a supplement (usually in capsule form). There are some studies that say that it also aids sleep by regulating melatonin production, so it's entirely possible that it's inclusion in the sleepy girl mocktail is having some benefits on these TikToker's sleep. However, just one drink might not cut it. Mays Al-Ali, a registered nutritionist and naturopath says: "magnesium does help you sleep well but it does need to be taken regularly to have the desired sleep-promoting effect. If you took a large dose of magnesium glycinate it may make you sleepy, but it depends how much and what type."
Then, we've got the cherry juice. Cherry juice is widely recognised as being beneficial to sleep, with a 2011 study by researchers from the School of Life Sciences at Northumbria University finding that cherry juice significantly increases the levels of melatonin in the body. Similarly, a 2018 study in the US found that drinking cherry juice increased tryptophan availability, an amino acid that helps make melatonin.
As for the Olipop soda, although they sound delicious and have cute packaging, the sleep-promoting benefits are probably negligible, or even potentially negative, according to Mays. "Olipop soda contains the sweetener cassava root syrup, and as sugar is sugar in my book, it'll have the blood sugar spiking affect that we want to avoid having before bed. Having a sugar spike before bed can cause a crash in the middle of the night, resulting in disturbed sleep," she says. However, Olipop sodas do contain prebiotics, which makes for a happy gut microbiome, which is just brill for all-round health.
So, it does seem as if the sleep girl mocktail might actually help with sleep, hurrah! However, if you don't fancy the sugar spike, Mays says drinks like chamomile tea are a nice alternative. She also says that instead of magnesium, "herbal supplements containing passion flower, valerian and magnolia are also great."
Will you be giving the sleepy girl mocktail a try?
Remember to always consult your GP before introducing anything new to your diet.