What is a sleepy girl mocktail? How to make the viral tart cherry juice pre-bedtime drink

TikTok is overflowing with videos of the beverage.

January 18, 2024, 4:10 AM

When a recipe reaches viral fame online, it can surge during various seasons or see a spike when renewed interest arises for desired outcomes, like fast and easy air fryer snacks or nonalcoholic mocktails in the new year.

Many people departed the revelry of December by swapping out holiday cocktails for something sans alcohol to hit the wellness reset, for instance.

PHOTO: Gracie Norton holds a glass of her now-viral "sleepy girl mocktail."
Gracie Norton holds a glass of her now-viral "sleepy girl mocktail."
Gracie Norton

As searches during Dry January soared on social media, one viral recipe from 2023 saw an uptick: the "sleepy girl" mocktail.

What is the sleepy girl mocktail all over TikTok?

The now-wildly popular three-ingredient drink was first posted on TikTok in March 2023 by wellness creator Gracie Norton, and amassed over 1.5 million views, inspiring thousands of similar versions for the pre-bed concoction. The hashtag #sleepygirlmocktail has another 4.2 million views on the video sharing platform.

"I have been making mocktails for a few years due to the effects alcohol had on my hormones and have always loved winding down with a beverage before bed," Norton, who struggled with sleep due to PCOS told "Good Morning America."

The beverage is made with tart cherry juice, magnesium powder, and Lemon Lime OLIPOP, the soda made with plant fiber and prebiotics.

TikTok user Taylor Olsen told "GMA" she hopped on the trend because "I love any easy health tip," adding that she enjoyed the drink and has made it a handful of times.

"Seeing people recreate my recipes and incorporate my wellness practices has brought so much joy into my life," Norton said, adding that her goal to share her personal journey with hormone health "has turned into an entire community of women enjoying a plethora of my recipes."

Potential sleep benefits of tart cherry juice

PHOTO: Glass of sour cherry juice with fresh red cherries, summer juice
STOCK IMAGE/Getty Images

Nutritionist Melissa Pfeister who saw the TikTok trend thought at first glance the drink would be a "crazy mix of vitamin-packed drinks" but told "Good Morning America," she was "shocked to see it’s only tart cherry juice, magnesium powder and some prebiotic pop or sparkling water."

She called the tart cherry juice craze a good example of the benefits of a so-called "superfood."

"Cherries, whether sweet or tart, are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants. Tart cherries however contain natural high amounts of melatonin, the 'sleepy hormone' that jumpstarts our body into feeling sleepy," Pfeister said.

She added that cherries also contain "an amino acid called tryptophan, which is used by our bodies to produce melatonin and serotonin."

"The other reason tart cherries are called a rockstar in regards to helping you sleep naturally, they are also packed with anti-inflammatory properties which lower our stress hormones, helping us to more fully relax," she said.

The popular social media famous drink uses magnesium powder as another main ingredient, which Pfeister said can "promote not only physical relaxation but mental as well."

"Be careful to check which magnesium you are using, she suggested. "Magnesium glycinate helps with relaxation whereas magnesium citrate can help you go to the bathroom. So not the one you need when trying to get a restful night of sleep."

Overall she also suggests using an unsweetened juice without added sugars and drinking the mocktail 30 minutes to an hour before bed "since hte ingredients need time to get you body relaxed for sleep."

One study published in the European Journal of Nutrition in 2011 suggested tart cherry juice might help increase melatonin production and calm the nervous system. Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the brain in response to darkness that helps the body's internal clock know when it's time to sleep, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Another study published in the journal Current Sleep Medicine Reports in July 2023 stated that "there is evidence to support significant improvements to total sleep time and sleep efficiency" by drinking tart cherry juice, though the study authors noted that the finding "warrants further research."

How to make the sleepy girl mocktail

Watch the video below to recreate the simple sipper at home.

Taylor Olsen tried this mocktail, which supposedly helps ensure a better night's sleep.
Taylor Olsen tried this mocktail, which supposedly helps ensure a better night's sleep.

1/2 cup pure tart cherry juice
1 tablespoon of magnesium powder
A splash of OLIPOP prebiotic soda

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