The Sleepy Girl Mocktail Got Me Through Damp January—Now It’s Part of My Nightly Routine

After finding myself craving a nighttime beverage (that wasn’t a glass of wine), I gave in to trying this viral drink—and it didn’t disappoint.

Sleepy Girl Mocktail with limes

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Let’s be real—January is no one’s favorite month (sorry, January babies). But as it’s the first month of the year, it has one thing going for it: It’s the perfect time to reflect and reset. 

Going into 2024, I didn’t plan to evaluate my drinking habits. A few friends of mine have gushed about the benefits of doing Dry January, and as I didn’t have any plans for the next week (other than sitting in my apartment and binge watching HBO's Girls), I decided to partake. 

As it turns out, reaching for a glass of wine in the evening can become a ritual you look forward to without really realizing it. Like clockwork, I found myself just wanting something to sip on before turning in for the night. I didn’t have much mocktail experience, so I didn’t really know where to start—but spending enough time on social media and staying decently caught up with lifestyle trends, I had heard of the Sleepy Girl Mocktail. Knowing I could easily pick up the ingredients at my local Trader Joe’s, I deemed it my go-to Mocktail of the Month. 

The drink originally went viral on Tiktok in March 2023, and the hype hasn’t died down since. One of the first videos about it posted by wellness influencer @gracie_norton now has over 106,000 likes, and a search for “sleepy girl mocktail” on the app gets you all kinds of results—from people giving recommendations on their favorite sparkling water to sharing how it impacted their sleep. It’s gotten coverage from all kinds of outlets, from the New York Times to People

While the buzz around the drink made me pretty confident that it would do what it claims, it’s difficult to not be at least a little skeptical when it comes to trying out any internet trend. I kept my expectations low—besides, I mainly wanted a tasty beverage I could mix up and pour in a wine glass. I wasn’t thinking about the supposed health benefits or potential for better sleep.

When I went through the checkout line with my tart cherry juice (along with sparkling lime water), the Trader Joe’s employee ringing me up gave it a bit of a side eye—and rightfully so.

"Interesting,” he said.

“I’ve never tried it,” I said. “I’m doing Dry January.”

“I knew it was something.”

Making the Sleepy Girl Mocktail took just the right amount of effort—it felt like a fun little activity but didn’t require much prep work or mixing. I put a few ice cubes in my glass, poured in 1 part cherry juice to 2 parts sparkling lime water, and squeezed in a fresh lime for added flavor. I was nervous it would be too sour for my taste, but I found it delightfully refreshing. The sparkling water gave it a satisfying fizz that I definitely think is necessary, and I felt good knowing I would wake up the next morning not feeling the sense of grogginess that a little too much wine can give you.

I made the mocktail for myself a couple times each week, and my bottle of juice and sparkling water lasted me the entire month, making a homemade Sleepy Girl Mocktail way more economical than indulging in an alcoholic beverage every few nights. 

In terms of my sleep quality, I tried the mocktail with and without the magnesium powder to test if the cherry juice itself has any effect (according to TikTok, it should). I’m not sure if comparing it to drinking alcohol before bed made it seem like I was getting better rest—I was aware that doing so helps with falling asleep but ultimately leads to a disrupted cycle—but I felt more refreshed on a regular basis, and it wasn’t as much of a struggle to get out of bed. I usually wake up a few times in the middle of the night, but I was able to get more uninterrupted sleep after treating myself to a glass (especially when I added the magnesium).

While it’s pretty much impossible to definitively confirm whether the Sleepy Girl Mocktail works, it gave me what I was looking for: a fun, easy evening beverage sans alcohol. Especially if you’re new to the world of mocktails, this is a non-intimidating way to get into it. Dry January may be over, but I’m planning on subbing in the Sleepy Girl over a glass of red every once in a while for the rest of the year (and probably even beyond).

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