What Science Says About The “Sleepy Girl Mocktail”


Have you heard of the Sleepy Girl Mocktail? It went viral on Tik tok and has made the rounds of the internet quite a bit. I thought I’d take a look at it through a functional medicine perspective to break down what it’s all about, and if it might be worth your time to try it out.


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Here is the recipe: 

  • 1/2 cup pure tart cherry juice
  • 1 tablespoon magnesium powder
  • Prebiotic soda or sparkling water

Instructions: Simply stir, sip, and sleep tight (or so the story goes).

Let’s check out each element first. 

Tart Cherry Juice

There are several potential benefits to drinking tart cherry juice: (1)

  • Melatonin. Tart cherry juice contains this natural sleep aid that signals your body to wind down for a restful night's sleep. Melatonin regulates our internal clock and signals when it's time to wind down. Produced in response to darkness, it promotes relaxation and drowsiness by synchronizing with the natural day-night cycle. By acting on brain receptors, particularly in the hypothalamus, melatonin helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, facilitating easier sleep initiation and enhancing overall sleep quality. In essence, melatonin serves as our internal timekeeper, supporting a healthy sleep pattern.
  • Tryptophan. This is an amino acid that helps produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter, and eventually, melatonin, the "sleep hormone." When you enjoy tryptophan-rich foods, you're essentially inviting the body to create these sleep-inducing compounds, setting the stage for a restful night. So, think of tryptophan as your natural ally in the quest for a peaceful slumber.
  • Antioxidants and Anti-Inflammatories. Beyond its sleep-friendly ingredients, tart cherry juice is also a treasure trove of antioxidants. These not only protect your cells but also possess anti-inflammatory properties. These anti-inflammatory foods, like tart cherries, can help lower stress hormones, making it easier to relax and slip into a restful sleep state.

Magnesium Powder

Magnesium is a key player in the Sleepy Girl Mocktail, and not all magnesium powders are created equal. Nor will the many different versions give you the same benefits. 

In this case, we’re talking about magnesium glycinate. 

Magnesium glycinate consists of magnesium bound to the amino acid glycine, creating a powerful duo that brings more than just magnesium to the table.

Glycine, known for its calming influence on the body and the brain, synergizes with magnesium. This makes magnesium glycinate an excellent choice for those seeking improved sleep quality and reduced anxiety.

One of the standout features of magnesium glycinate is its superior absorption rate. This means your body can make the most of its magnesium content, optimizing its calming effects.

Unlike some other magnesium forms, magnesium glycinate has a gentler impact on the digestive system, resulting in less of a laxative effect. This makes it an ideal choice for daily supplementation and overcoming magnesium deficiencies without the concerns of digestive discomfort.

If you’re interested in a really great functional magnesium supplement, I suggest you check out The Magnesium. It is crafted with meticulously selected magnesium compounds supported by scientific research for their superior bioavailability. It features Albion chelated magnesium combined with Magtein™ (magnesium L-threonate), the exclusive magnesium form validated in animal studies to effectively traverse the blood-brain barrier.

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Prebiotic Soda or Sparkling Water

Let’s talk about prebiotic soda. It’s said to give a boost to your gut health. Be mindful, however, that a soda can’t replace getting prebiotics through your diet and eating the foods that contain these. Such sodas might also contain artificial ingredients, tons of sugar, or alternative sweeteners that aren’t necessarily a great choice for most. 

You can also just opt for sparkling water, and get the flavor boost that comes from the tart cherry juice. The bubbles will add some fizzy fun to your sleep routines. 

Take a Holistic Approach to Improve Sleep

That brings us to a very important point, which is rethinking what you’re doing before bedtime, if you’re one of the many who struggle with sleep. 

A Sleepy Girl Mocktail could certainly be a part of that, but what else are you doing? Consider other sleep-inducing practices such as disconnecting from electronics an hour before bedtime, engaging in calming activities, and maintaining consistent sleep and wake times. 

The potency of a Sleepy Girl Mocktail should be emphasized as part of cultivating your sleep hygiene, not counting on it as a magic bullet. When you have a routine built into your life that promotes getting into that restful state each night, you’ll start to finally get the sleep you need and deserve. 

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  1. Losso JN, Finley JW, Karki N, Liu AG, Prudente A, Tipton R, Yu Y, Greenway FL. Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms. Am J Ther. 2018 Mar/Apr;25(2):e194-e201. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000584. PMID: 28901958; PMCID: PMC5617749.


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Dr. Will Cole, DNM, IFMCP, DC is a leading functional medicine expert who consults people around the globe, starting one of the first functional medicine telehealth centers in the world. Named one of the top 50 functional and integrative doctors in the nation, Dr. Will Cole provides a functional medicine approach for thyroid issues, autoimmune conditions, hormonal imbalances, digestive disorders, and brain problems. He is the host of the popular The Art Of Being Well podcast and the New York Times bestselling author of Intuitive Fasting, Ketotarian, The Inflammation Spectrum and the brand new book Gut Feelings: Healing the Shame-Fueled Relationship Between What You Eat and How You Feel.

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