We Tried The Viral TikTok Sleepy Girl Mocktail And This Is How It Affected Our Sleep

With people taking on Dry January or becoming sober curious, many are coming up with ways to swap their alcohol for something that doesn't adversely affect their health. You can find all sorts of alcohol-free drinks that have adaptogens to lift your energy and improve your mood. Others incorporate herbs that have a calming effect to help you sleep. Rather than pay a fortune for some of these drinks that have proprietary blends where you can't identify the strength of these herbs and adaptogens, you can turn to homemade mocktails using just a few ingredients.

You can always find plenty of these mocktail recipes on TikTok. If you're looking for a simple drink to help you relax for the evening, the Sleepy Girl Mocktail has been all the rage on TikTok. The #sleepygirlmocktail hashtag on TikTok has garnered more than 50 million views, with some accounts getting millions of views in just a few days. It's no surprise then that "TikTok Sleepy Girl Mocktail" tops the list of mocktail search trends on Google. Searches over the past month were up over 350% for "Sleepy Girl Mocktail," up over 550% for "Magnesium Mocktail," up over 300% for "Sleepy Mocktail," and up over 400% for "Dry January."

Here at Health Digest, we wanted to see how well TikTok's Sleepy Girl Mocktail works to help us sleep. But first, we wanted to check in with our experts, a dietitian and a doctor, to get their take on why this Sleepy Mocktail might boost sleep. Let's start with the main ingredients of a Sleepy Girl Mocktail: tart cherry juice, magnesium powder, and Olipop soda.

Tart cherry juice has melatonin and tryptophan

Google searches for tart cherry juice have also been trending, up more than 350% from last month. Jamie Feit, MS, RD, CDN, owner of Jamie Feit Nutrition, says in our exclusive interview that tart cherry juice has two sleep-improving components: melatonin and tryptophan. Melatonin helps your body's circadian rhythm establish your sleep/wake cycle. Meanwhile, the amino acid tryptophan is needed in the production of melatonin and serotonin. Serotonin can also regulate your sleep as well as your mood. "Increased amounts of these hormones can also help induce a better mood which can help induce sleep," Feit said.

Tart cherry juice alone can increase how long you sleep and sleep efficiency (how long you're asleep while in bed), according to a 2018 pilot study in the American Journal of Therapeutics. However, you'll have to drink a little more if you want to alleviate insomnia. The study had people drink two 8-ounce bottles of tart cherry juice every day for two weeks. Even so, the researchers said that the amount of melatonin found in tart cherry juice wasn't substantial enough to be responsible for the sleep-inducing effect. People often take up to 5 milligrams of melatonin to treat insomnia, and drinking tart cherry juice only boosted their daily melatonin intake to 85 micrograms, which is less than 2% of the melatonin people might take in a supplement.

Magnesium can induce calm

If you've shopped for sleep supplements before, you've probably seen magnesium included in them. Although the benefits of magnesium aren't new, searches for magnesium are up 120% from last month on Google. More people have been searching for Magnesi-Om Moon Juice just in the last week. The Sleepy Girl Mocktail includes magnesium powder as part of its sleep-inducing power.

Even though many stress and sleep supplements include magnesium, Jamie Feit says there isn't any research that says that it can help you sleep. A 2022 systematic review in Biological Trace Element Research found that observational studies showed a possible link between magnesium and sleep, but more stringent clinical trials are less certain of this association. However, that doesn't mean magnesium can't support sleep. "Magnesium can help with muscle aches, regulating blood glucose levels and decreasing symptoms of depression," explained Feit. "Any of these benefits may help to improve sleep."

In an exclusive interview, Dr. Jason Singh, Chief Medical Officer and Physician at One Oak Medical, states that magnesium partners well with the tart cherry juice to help you sleep. "Magnesium is well known to play a role in sleep by calming the nervous system and relaxing muscles," he told us.

As for the Olipop soda, Singh says that there isn't anything in this soda brand that has sleep-enhancing qualities. Feit adds that Olipop soda has prebiotics and fiber that might irritate a sensitive stomach. She suggests drinking the Sleepy Girl Mocktail an hour before bed.

Choosing the ingredients in the Sleepy Girl Mocktail

You've probably found different recipes for the Sleepy Girl Mocktail, but we decided to be purists. Rather than use a tart cherry juice cocktail mixed with cranberry juice and added sugar, we chose a 100% tart cherry concentrate that was certified organic with no added sugar. TikTok users weren't specific about how much tart cherry juice to use, so we stuck to what's considered to be a serving size according to the label, which was two tablespoons.

We also chose a 100% chelated lysinate glycinate magnesium powder that gives 200 milligrams of magnesium, which is almost half of your daily recommendation for magnesium per scoop. Rather than use Olipop prebiotic soda, we chose Poppi sparkling prebiotic soda in Cherry Limeade flavor. Since Dr. Singh told us the type of soda made little impact on sleep, we chose Poppi because it had less fiber and prebiotics to upset our digestive system. We put half a can of soda in our drink. Our Sleepy Girl Mocktail is rather "skinny," coming in at about 73 calories and 2 grams of fiber.

Drinking the Sleepy Girl Mocktail

We thought it odd to be drinking something over ice just before bed, especially during a wintery cold spell. The tart cherry juice had a vibrant deep red color as it trickled over the ice. The magnesium had some trouble dissolving, even though we stirred it several times. It also made the drink change color. We then topped it off with the Poppi soda. The drink tasted great, combining the sweetness from the tart cherry juice with the fizz and tartness of the Poppi soda.

Much of the magnesium kept caking at the bottom despite stirring, and it turned the mixture dark purple after several minutes. Once we got to the bottom, the taste became less pleasant. At the bottom of the glass was a glob of the magnesium paste that had turned green. We tried to drink what was left at the bottom, but the magnesium was too bitter.

How the Sleepy Girl Mocktail helped us sleep

After drinking the Sleepy Girl Mocktail, we waited for about half an hour to feel any effects. The first night, we didn't feel any different. Because it was a weekend night, our sleep tracker said we slept for 9 hours and got a little more than 6 hours of restful sleep. Our overall sleep score was much higher than the average score for January.

We tried the mocktail the next night, but this time we made sure the magnesium dissolved a little better than the night before. Although we didn't feel tired, we definitely felt calmer. We also got a higher sleep score than the previous night and 40 more minutes of restful sleep, even though we got the same 9 hours of sleep as the previous night.

Looking deeper into our sleep metrics, we noticed that just 6% of our sleep was considered to be deep sleep. In the month of January, we averaged 9% of our nights in deep sleep. The Sleep Foundation says about 20% of sleep is in the deep sleep stage, and this stage is important for your immune system, cognition, and memory.

In sum, the Sleepy Girl Mocktail probably improved our sleep score because we slept longer, but we didn't get more deep sleep as a result. Just for kicks, we tried drinking just the tart cherry juice mid-morning, and it wasn't until we drank the magnesium hours later that we felt calmer.