The internet is raving over the viral “Sleepy Girl Mocktail.” But does it really help improve sleep?

I tried the tasty (and visually-appealing) drink myself to see if it would help me sleep better

By Joy Saha

Staff Writer

Published February 20, 2024 2:44PM (EST)

Cherry cocktail (Getty Images/Mindstyle)
Cherry cocktail (Getty Images/Mindstyle)

The internet is obsessed with all things girlhood, especially in the realm of food. First, there was “Tomato Girl Summer,” a rendition of Megan Thee Stallion's “Hot Girl Summer” that’s filled with joie de vivre. A Tomato Girl Summer entails sipping on aperol spritzes by the beach, reading romance novels at local cafés and vacationing by the Mediterranean coast, where tomatoes are a key part of the diet. Then, there was Girl Dinner, an assemblage of small snack plates that are enjoyed as a meal. Now, there’s “Sleepy Girl Mocktail.”

The viral recipe is TikTok’s favorite sleep hack, mainly because it’s supposedly guaranteed to help you get a goodnight’s rest without any medication. It’s also tasty and pretty. The mocktail, which bears a deep red hue, is supposed to be sipped out of a wine glass with a straw.

Sleepy Girl Mocktail was first shared on TikTok in January of last year, but became popular after creator Gracie Norton reshared the recipe. The drink itself contains three simple ingredients: pure tart cherry juice, magnesium powder and prebiotic soda (like Olipop) or sparkling water. Norton claimed the beverage helped improve her nightly routine, saying “pure tart cherry juice and magnesium is a match made in heaven.” Others said the same, swearing by the drink and encouraging those seeking the best sleep of their lives to try it for themselves.

I’m a sucker for tasty, visually-appealing beverages so naturally, I had to try my hand at making the mocktail. I picked up tart cherry juice from my local Whole Foods and settled for POPPI Sparkling Prebiotic Soda after struggling to find a single can of Olipop. I also ordered magnesium glycinate powder off Amazon.

I made my first mocktail an hour before going to bed. Per the recipe, I added crushed ice to a wine glass and filled it with ½ cup tart cherry juice. I then added one tablespoon of magnesium powder and a splash of POPPI before stirring everything together with a straw.

The mocktail’s taste was surprisingly sweet, both from the tart cherry juice (which I thought would be more sour) and the POPPI. It was also incredibly refreshing. In hopes of embodying the “sleepy girl” theme to its fullest, I put on a matching pajama set and an eye mask while savoring my beverage. I can also confidently say that the drink did work. I was knocked out pretty quickly afterwards and enjoyed a deep slumber.

Although TikTok loves hailing the Sleepy Girl Mocktail as some kind of magic potion, much of the drink’s capabilities can be attributed to science. Researchers believe magnesium may reduce cortisol, a stress hormone; increase melatonin, a hormone that promotes the sleep-wake cycle; and help regulate neurotransmitters for the central nervous system, per Medical News Today. Tart cherry juice also contains a high concentration of melatonin, hence why the combination is believed to guarantee better sleep.

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As for prebiotic soda, there is no concrete evidence suggesting that prebiotics (both in foods and drinks) will help you fall and stay asleep. In fact, they may actually do the opposite, dieticians claim. Prebiotics are great for digestive issues, but they can also induce gaseousness and bloating. Abdominal pain and diarrhea can also occur with high intakes of prebiotics.

That being said, the Sleepy Girl Mocktail is a fun night time beverage to indulge in. It’s fun, it’s girly and, yes, in my experience, it will help you sleep better.

By Joy Saha

Joy Saha is a staff writer at Salon. She writes about food news and trends and their intersection with culture. She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Food Food Trends Girl Dinner Melatonin Science Sleep Sleepy Girl Mocktail Tiktok Viral Recipes