I tried TikTok’s viral Sleepy Girl Mocktail

Sleepy Girl Mocktails are the newest bedtime beverage to take over TikTok.

Mocktails were a major trend throughout Dry January, as people chose to abstain from alcohol after the post-holidays frenzy. People were inspired to improve themselves with a “new year, new me” mentality, and transition to a drink with some beneficial purpose. Enter: the Sleepy Girl Mocktail.

The Sleepy Girl Mocktail isn’t just a fun little treat to top off your night; it’s supposed to help you fall asleep easier. Wellness enthusiast Gracie Norton first posted about the concoction on TikTok last March, because she found that mixing tart cherry juice and magnesium worked wonders for her polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Since then, everyone seems to have attempted the recipe and documented their own results.

It’s almost a badge of honour in society to brag about how well you can function on the smallest amount of sleep, but the Sleepy Girl Mocktail is meant to give people “the best sleep of their lives” the way it did for Norton. Of course, I can’t hear a such a claim and not be a little bit skeptical. So, I had to try the Sleepy Girl Mocktail for myself.

The drink combines tart cherry juice with a magnesium powder and some type of mixer, like a lemon-lime soda or just regular sparkling water. Not only has the drink been marketed toward people participating in Dry January, but it’s also for people that struggle with sleep.

Although I’m not someone who normally struggles to fall asleep, the Sleepy Girl Mocktail seemed like an easy trend to incorporate into my routine should I go through a period of insomnia. For those who are unaware exactly how the Sleepy Girl Mocktail is supposed to help you fall alseep, tart cherry juice contains both tryptophan and melatonin, according to the Sleep Foundation. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that’s secreted at certain times of day to help the body transition to sleep, while tryptophan helps the body produce melatonin. Higher levels of magnesium in the body are also associated with better sleep, longer sleep times, and less tiredness during the day.

Before trying your first Sleepy Girl Mocktail, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body can be sensitive to new supplements like magnesium. While the serving size for my particular container of magnesium was two teaspoons, it’s recommended to try just a half a teaspoon of magnesium and work your way up.

For one week, I combined tart cherry juice with half a teaspoon of magnesium powder and sparkling water around one hour before I planned on going to bed. When it comes to supplements like melatonin and magnesium, my biggest complaint has always been feeling groggy the next morning. Although magnesium has helped me fall asleep very quickly, I never woke up feeling well-rested.

The first time I drank the Sleepy Girl Mocktail was on a Sunday night. I woke up feeling pretty groggy the next day and it took much longer than usual to wake up. By day three or four, I began to think the viral drink was completely a scam. It wasn’t making me tired, but I wasn’t sleeping any better either. While I was still getting eight hours of rest each night, I didn’t think I needed the Sleepy Girl Mocktail to accomplish that.

When I decided to increase the amount of magnesium powder in my Sleepy Girl Mocktail, it only helped me sleep slightly better… but it still wasn’t enough to deem the viral drink worth it.

According to Dr John Saito, a pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital of Orange County, methods like the Sleepy Girl Mocktail can be viewed as more of a “quick fix” rather than an actual solution to lack of sleep. Take someone who typically gets five hours of sleep each night – if they transition to the Sleepy Girl Mocktail method and suddenly get three more hours of sleep, that doesn’t change the fact that they only received five hours of sleep just one night before. This phenomenon, Dr Saito said, can be referred to as “sleep debt”.

“If you don’t pay it back, your brain suffers the consequences and your body suffers the consequences,” Dr Saito told The Independent.

Because taking magnesium has the added benefits of increasing drowsiness, Dr Saito maintained that methods like Sleepy Girl Mocktail can be positive but in moderation. As for cherry juice, which contains melatonin, he compared the sleep hormone to a bell going off in your brain – alerting the body that it’s time to go to sleep.

“We’re looking for quick fixes,” he said. “It’s okay to take a supplement or, you know, to take a mocktail. But, it’s a caution for everybody who’s relying on it.”

For those who looking for more long-term solutions, Dr Saito suggested seeing a certified sleep specialist if no other methods work to cure your insomnia. “If you’re trying some of these remedies and it isn’t helping you or you’re still struggling, you should see a certified sleep specialist because the self-medication can be harmful in the long-term,” he added.

“I think the important advice is to seek help earlier rather than later, so that you can retrain your brain and not get so entrenched into the negative thinking about sleep. That’s much harder to undo, but it’s doable.”

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends some specific tips to establish a healthy sleep regimen and improve the overall quality of sleep. Begin by keeping a consistent sleep schedule and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations. Before bed time arrives, make your bedroom quiet and relaxing while keeping the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.

People should also limit exposure to bright light in the evenings and turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The AASM suggests that people should exercise regularly, maintain a healthy diet, and avoid consuming caffeine, nicotine, or alcohol before bedtime. If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed and do a quiet activity without a lot of light exposure until you feel sleepy.

After trying the Sleepy Girl Mocktail for an entire week, I don’t think I’ll be having it again any time soon. It may not have given me the best rest of my life, but I could see it working for those who’ve gone multiple nights without sleeping. The main key is not to rely on the Sleepy Girl Mocktail. Instead, try fixing what might be causing sleep problems rather than using TikTok for a band-aid solution.

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