We know, we know—we’re over the whole “girl”-ification of grown-ass women on the internet, too, but one recent girl-centric TikTok trend piqued our interest: the Sleepy Girl Mocktail. A combination of tart cherry juice, magnesium powder and prebiotic soda or sparkling water, the bevvie is the internet’s latest wellness drink darling. But can it actually help you fall (and stay) asleep? We reached out to dietitian Rachel Kreider, MPH, RD, the vice president of product innovation and science for GNC, for her take on the TikTok craze.
The Sleepy Girl Mocktail Is Trending on TikTok, So We Asked a Dietitian If It Can Actually Help You Snooze
Today in viral wellness trends
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Meet the Expert
Rachel Kreider, MPH, RD, is the vice president of product innovation and science for GNC. She received her Master of Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Her studies focused on behavior change, community health and epidemiology. She received two Bachelor of Science degrees from Penn State University—one in Applied Nutrition Science and one in Life Sciences. She has been a Registered Dietitian since 2011, after completing her yearlong dietetic internship, where she did a supervised practice in hospitals, long-term care & rehab facilities, retail and school nutrition.
Though there are slight tweaks to the recipe depending on which video you watch, the classic sleepy girl mocktail seems to incorporate tart cherry juice, magnesium powder and some sort of non-alcoholic mixer like probiotic soda or sparkling water.
As Kreider tells us, “I was skeptical about this trend, but I tried it for myself, and this tasty combo has been helping me get to sleep without my usual melatonin gummy. I get tons of questions about solutions to improve sleep, so I will definitely add the sleepy girl mocktail to my list of options to recommend to clients.” So, what is it about this concoction that induces sleep? Kreider tells us it helps in a few ways:
- “Magnesium has important roles in regulating the excitability of the central nervous system and sleep,” she notes, adding that studies (like this paper by researchers in Tehran, Iran) shows that low serum magnesium levels are associated with poor sleep quality and insomnia. “The research on providing supplemental magnesium to improve sleep is less clear because much of that research is on people with insomnia, but the mechanism of action makes sense.”
- Kreider tells us she prefers to use magnesium glycinate for sleep, which basically means the magnesium is bound to the amino acid glycine. Pointing to research like this article published in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology, she explains, “Glycine can also help with sleep because it can help lower core body temperature, which can help optimize your chances of drifting off to sleep. Some of the other types of magnesium supplements, like magnesium oxide or magnesium citrate, do not offer the added benefit of glycine.
- Tart cherry juice has been studied and shown in a couple of small studies to have mild benefits for sleep. Take this research published in the Journal of American Therapeutics. The study looked at the effects of the beverage on patients suffering from insomnia and poor sleep quality and found that the group treated with tart cherry juice showed improvements in sleep efficiency and overall sleep time. The placebo group, on the other hand, did not. It is not entirely clear why tart cherry juice helps with sleep-related woes, but it most likely has to do with the fact that tart cherries contain a small (but significant) amount of melatonin, the hormone associated with regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
- “Making a sleepy girl mocktail part of a nighttime ritual can also help with sleep if you do it regularly,” Kreider says. “Just like when we’re kids, rituals and routines like warm baths and reading help to signal our mind and body that it is time to wind down.” Simple as that.
This all sound great, but you might’ve seen a few TikToks of creators trying this drink and having digestive issues afterward. Kreider chalks this up to folks using too much magnesium (above 1000mg), which can lead to cramping and diarrhea. “The dose that I use in my version of the sleepy girl mocktail is 300 to 400mg, so I have not had trouble. If a client has a sensitive stomach, I recommend that they start with lower doses and build up.”
So, should a sleepy girl mocktail replace the glass of pinot noir you sometimes drink to wind down at night? Kreider says yes. “[One of the major things] to avoid for good sleep is alcohol. I know a lot of people like to have a glass of wine to help them sleep, but alcohol can actually disrupt your sleep rather than help it. Stick to a mocktail and say goodbye to the traditional nightcap.”