Does TikTok's Sleepy Girl Mocktail Actually Improve Your REM Cycle?

I put it to the test.

I have a love-hate relationship with TikTok. Although the app can have me in an obsessive scrolling trance for longer than I care to admit, I’ve come to question the endless parade of viral trends and solutions that suck me in time and time again. From manifesting tricks to skin slugging, there’s no shortage of quick-fix solutions that promise to heal and beautify you from the inside out. The latest health craze to hit the app involves a time honored tradition many of us — including myself — struggle with: sleep. Yes, the sleepy girl mocktail, a fruity mixture of magnesium powder, tart cherry juice, and sparkling water, has taken over TikTok, with many users singing its slumber-inducing praises.

As someone who has struggled with falling and staying asleep for years, I’ve historically relied on melatonin to help activate my REM cycle, but I find it leaves me groggy and sluggish in the mornings. I was ready to try a new line of defense, so I decided to test out the aforementioned sleepy girl mocktail ... armed with a good amount of skepticism, of course.

I should also preface this by saying that there’s no substantial research around this specific mocktail supporting its claims of improving sleep (besides testimonials posted to TikTok, of course). Many medical professionals are also hesitant to promote the mixture, although the individual ingredients do contain snooze-friendly properties. Magnesium, for example, is reported to help promote sleep, prolong it, and also prevent tiredness during day. Tart cherry juice contains the aforementioned melatonin and is said to possibly lead to elevated levels of the slumber-inducing hormone in your body.

But, still, experts are not completely convinced this latest social media craze is anything but that. In a Jan 17 interview with The New York Times, Dr. Pieter Cohen, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, attributed the sleepy girl mocktail’s rave reviews to a placebo effect and “entirely magical thinking.” He’s also quick to note that said thinking could actually do you some good in the long run, even if it’s not based on solid truth. “If you start taking anything and you start believing that it allows you to go to sleep — that belief is really powerful,” Dr. Cohen said.

That said, Samantha Cassetty, a registered dietitian based in New York City, said in a Jan 24 interview with CNN that she isn’t quick to completely denounce the buzzy drink. “I don’t think that it’s necessarily going to be like a magic bullet the minute you consume it, but I do think that the ingredients in it can support healthy sleep,” she said to the publication.

My Process

For context, I typically try to get to bed between 10-10:30 p.m. at the latest (I have a 5:20 a.m. wake-up call as I live in Los Angeles, but work East Coast hours). I typically take a 5 mg dose of melatonin via gummy supplements, and read in bed until I dose off to sleep. On a typical night, it can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to get me to sleep. I also am prone to waking up in the middle of the night and often struggle with grogginess and sluggishness in the morning.

For 10 days, I decided to sip on a sleepy girl mocktail about an hour before my bedtime. For the mixture, I used a teaspoon of Moon Juice’s Magensi-Om powder, which includes a magnesium chelate blend, L-theanine (which provides cognitive support and can help support relaxation), as well as natural flavorings like dried lemon juice, citric acid, and monk fruit extract. I also used half a cup of organic pure tart cherry juice and topped off my mixture with a generous pour of sparkling water.

I typically sipped on my drink while watching TV for about 30 minutes and then heading to bed to read and slow my brain down. (I also used the restroom prior to sleeping to try to avoid waking up in the middle of the night.)

For a week and a half I tried to follow this routine pretty closely, although I must note I wasn’t always consistent due to nighttime work events and dinners. So, there were certainly evenings that I went to sleep later and when I would sip the drink much closer to bed time than I’d like.


My Results

One of the main things I noticed in my 10 days of testing the sleepy girl mocktail was how quickly I went to sleep. While, with melatonin gummies alone, it still took me up to 45 minutes to get to the slumber zone, the TikTok drink had me dozing off in half the time. I still found myself waking up in the middle of the night here and there, mainly to use the restroom (likely because of the pre-bedtime sip). But, I will say, getting back to sleep was pretty quick and immediate. My wake-up behavior was also slightly improved. I’ll likely always struggle a bit with my early wake-up call, and some sluggishness was still somewhat present on my mocktail kick. However, I found it to be short-lived and I was able to feel much more clear-headed and alert within 20 minutes or so of waking up after washing my face and drinking big glass of water — no coffee needed. That’s definitely a new development.

All in all, the effects of the sleepy girl mocktail were not exactly revolutionary, but I saw enough of a difference to quit my melatonin gummies cold turkey and switch to magnesium for the foreseeable future. The trial also made me realize that are likely other small tweaks that can be made to my nighttime routine to help me achieve a full eight hours every night. Going forward, in addition to my magnesium cocktail, I’ll likely shift my bedtime to a half-hour earlier and shorten my late-night TV habit to allow my brain to rest and calm on its own. Most of the times these “mocktails” and viral trends work best in optimum situations. There often needs to be other healthy habits in play to maximize the results. And sometimes it’s these baby steps that lead us to our solutions.