We Tried Dirty Lemon’s New Valerian Sleep Drink. Here’s the Verdict

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The biggest perk of being an editor at PureWow? Getting to try out every new product and gadget out there, from Peeps cereal to baby food makers. We were huge fans (and early adopters) of Dirty Lemon’s O.G. sleep drink, so the editorial team was thrilled when we were invited to sample a new-and-improved version: Dirty Lemon +valerian, redesigned to help you get a full night of sleep, with valerian root (aka “nature’s Valium”), magnesium (which amps up GABA production in the body), rose water and anti-inflammatory botanicals. But does chugging a bottle before bed actually lead to sweet dreams? Our three most sleep-deprived editors weighed in. 

“I usually sleep fairly well once I'm actually in bed, but I'm terrible about turning my brain off (read: putting away my phone/laptop) at the end of the day, which leads to absurdly late bedtimes and tired mornings. I drank valerian during what I hoped would be my last Netflix episode of the night, and by the time the credits rolled, I felt not so much drowsy as super-relaxed. I still had the energy to wash my face, but my pillow and comforter suddenly looked really appealing. The next day, I actually felt more rested than usual—whether it was the valerian itself or the fact that I turned the lights out before midnight for once, I'll never know.” - Carolyn Stanley, Senior Editor  

“I tried Dirty Lemon Valerian an hour before bedtime and was pleasantly surprised by the taste—warning, it's super tart, but that happens to be right up my alley. Maybe it's just psychosomatic, but I started to notice relaxing effects pretty quickly. Unfortunately, there is one enormous downside to drinking a large sleep drink right before bed: I needed to use the bathroom a LOT throughout the night, which actually ended up costing me more sleep than it might have otherwise provided. On the upside, the drink is probably great for just relaxing during the day or setting you up for a short catnap on the couch.” – Philip Mutz, Senior Editor, Trends and Entertainment

“I'm not the world's greatest sleeper, so I'm always down to try new sleep aids. I read the instructions and it said to drink the entire bottle to get the full effect, which was a bit intimidating, considering these are not small bottles. I've never had a drink from this brand before, so I wasn't sure what to expect, taste-wise. Let's just say, I took one sip and instantly regretted it. It tasted like bitter, watered-down lemonade. Needless to say, that was all I was able to stomach.” – Rachel Gulmi, Associate Managing Editor

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Freelance Editor

From 2015-2020 Lindsay Champion held the role of Food and Wellness Director. She continues to write for PureWow as a Freelance Editor.