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Sleepy girl mocktail made with tart cherry juice, in a story about whether it's safe to drink the sl...

Is The “Sleepy Girl” Mocktail Safe For Pregnant Sleepy Girls?

OB-GYNs have a few words of caution.

Stanley cups, kids asking for Sephora skin care products, and now, the sleepy girl mocktail — what happens on TikTok seems to be leeching out into the mainstream more and more these days. If you’ve caught wind of this tart cherry juice-based drink that reportedly leads to better sleep, of course you want to try it — it looks delish, and who doesn’t want to catch a few extra Zs? But can you drink the sleepy girl mocktail while pregnant? OB-GYNs are aware of the trendy new beverage in town, and they’re not too terribly worried about it. That said, you should be mindful of the kind of magnesium you buy, and maybe avoid the drink altogether if you have one particular pregnancy condition.

If you aren’t on TikTok, the sleepy girl mocktail recipes vary ever so slightly, but all go something like this: throw some ice in a glass, then top it with 2 to 4 ounces of tart cherry juice and something sparkling (most often a Poppi probiotic soda). Most people mix in a powdered magnesium supplement before sipping, while others just wash down a magnesium pill with their mocktail.

Can you drink tart cherry juice while pregnant?

The sleepy girl mocktail is safe to drink, and tart cherry juice itself doesn’t freak them out, experts say. “When made correctly with the appropriate ingredients, including cherry juice, magnesium powder, and sparkling water, there are not many conditions in pregnancy that would require caution drinking this mocktail,” says Dr. Hayley Miller, M.D., OB-GYN at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and maternal-fetal medicine fellow at Stanford Medicine.

It might have tart in the name, and it may not contain added or artificial sugars like some juices, but you should still be mindful of tart cherry juice’s sugar content. This is especially important if you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes.


“Even though it may be more natural sugar, it still can increase the blood sugar level in people who are pregnant in particular. So people who consume large doses of this drink may find that their blood sugar is higher than we recommend during pregnancy, even if they don't have gestational diabetes,” says Dr. Susan Crowe, M.D., OB-GYN at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and maternal fetal medicine at Stanford Medicine. “Particularly for people who have gestational diabetes, we would advise caution, especially in the evening when people cannot exercise or plan to go to bed after consuming the beverage because it can cause them to have higher fasting glucose levels.”

So, in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, tart cherry juice should be A-OK.

Can you take magnesium while pregnant?

Supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the way medications are, so it’s hard to say any old magnesium powder you can buy on Amazon is guaranteed to be safe, experts say. That said, magnesium has been shown to be beneficial in pregnancy.

“We cannot comment on any specific supplements in terms of their safety. However, we can say that many people benefit from the properties of magnesium during pregnancy,” says Crowe. For example, she has seen magnesium help pregnant people reduce the sensation of restless leg syndrome. “This may be something that people do benefit from, and we certainly use magnesium sulfate as something during pregnancy when needed for medical treatment of preeclampsia or preterm labor. So we have no reason to think that it’s unsafe in any way.”

Just be sure to stick to the recommended dose on the label when mixing magnesium powder into your mocktail. More is not better, in this case. “Just remember that there are different magnesium powders and some magnesium, especially at higher doses or formulations, can cause some side effects like diarrhea, bloating, or just upset belly,” says Miller. For example, magnesium citrate is often used for colonoscopy prep to, um, clear you out, so don’t buy that by mistake.

Can you drink the sleepy girl mocktail while breastfeeding?

Yep, it’s totally fine, Miller and Crowe agree (especially since breastfeeding parents need to drink way more fluids than normal anyway).

“During lactation, people actually may benefit from this drink. And we have fewer concerns regarding the blood sugar, even in people who may have had gestational diabetes,” says Crowe. “For people who have Type 1 diabetes, they may need to seek their own doctor's opinion regarding the use of this beverage.” Crowe adds that a mocktail before bed when you’re breastfeeding is also a great choice if you miss an alcoholic nightcap — a mocktail is a safer choice to have while breastfeeding.

When should you drink this so you’re not up peeing at midnight?

Look, the constant bathroom trips overnight when your baby has a foot in your bladder are no fun. So, when it comes to a mocktail you’re supposed to drink right before bed, what’s a pregnant gal to do?

“Middle-of-the-night bathroom trips absolutely disrupt sleep, so we wouldn’t want someone to do something to attempt better sleep and then end up with two extra trips to the bathroom at night,” says Crowe. “What I usually recommend to my patients — and this is just not scientifically based, but this is just a recommendation that I’ve seen help people over the years — is that they lie down about an hour before they go to bed and they put their feet up. Fluid that may have accumulated in their body during the day can start to mobilize before they go to bed, and they can go to the restroom immediately before bed and hopefully skip one of those bathroom trips in the middle of the night.”

So, if you’re interested in hopping on this trend, go right ahead. And if you have any questions or concerns about whether this drink is safe for you personally, check with your OB before you partake.


Dr. Hayley Miller, M.D., OB-GYN at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and maternal-fetal medicine fellow at Stanford Medicine

Dr. Susan Crowe, M.D., OB-GYN at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health and clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology and maternal fetal medicine at Stanford Medicine