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How to Use Magnesium and Tart Cherry Juice for Sleep

If you’ve been on social media recently, there’s a good chance you’ve encountered the trending “sleepy girl mocktail,” a combination of magnesium and tart cherry juice that people claim to be a sleep remedy. Does this concoction actually help people sleep more easily, or is it too good to be true?

In this article, we’ll discuss the sleep-related benefits of both magnesium and tart cherry juice in depth, including their different forms, the recommended doses, and what to look for when purchasing these items. We’ll also explain why magnesium and tart cherry juice make you tired, along with who might benefit from this mixture. Lastly, we’ll suggest how to combine magnesium and tart cherry juice for your own sleepy girl mocktail.

What Is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a natural mineral1 found in certain foods, supplements, and medications. Some benefits of magnesium2 are heart, bone, and metabolic health, stress management, and support for more restful sleep.

Magnesium comes in different forms, which means you can increase your magnesium intake in various ways. One way to consume more magnesium is to eat certain foods, such as chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, cashews, or peanuts.1 Many different foods are rich in magnesium, so eating these foods is a safe, effective way to reap this natural mineral’s benefits.

You also may want to try a multivitamin or dietary supplement to increase your magnesium intake. The National Institute of Health (NIH)3 suggests supplements that include magnesium aspartate, magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, or magnesium chloride. Also, the Cleveland Clinic4 explains that the best magnesium supplement for better sleep is either magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate.

Various medications include levels of magnesium, such as laxatives and medications to relieve heartburn and indigestion.2 If you already take medication that includes magnesium, ensure that you are aware of this before consuming more magnesium in other forms.  

We recommend consulting your healthcare provider before taking any new supplements, including magnesium.

Recommended Magnesium Doses

The recommended daily dose of magnesium ultimately depends on both your age and gender. We’ll detail the suggestions from the National Institutes of Health but encourage you to also contact your healthcare provider on the appropriate dosage for you.

Recommended doses for both males and females1:

  • 0-6 months old – 30 mg
  • 7-12 months old – 75 mg
  • 1-3 years old – 80 mg
  • 4-8 years old – 130 mg
  • 9-13 years old – 240 mg

Medical professionals recommend that males above the age of 13 consume a maximum of around 400 mg of magnesium daily, and females older than 13 years old should consume no more than 360 mg of magnesium daily.1 

It is also important to note that these suggested doses are different for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


What Is Tart Cherry Juice?

Tart cherry juice is a juice made of Montmorency cherries. You can find tart cherry juice in a grocery store or online.

Montmorency cherries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects5, which is helpful in the recovery of athletes and those who participate in intensive exercise. 

Not only that, but research suggests that tart cherry juice could improve cognition and memory6. In this study, older adults with dementia consumed tart cherry juice daily for twelve weeks, and the results demonstrated increased verbal fluency, along with better short and long-term memory.

Montmorency cherries also produce high levels of melatonin7, which helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycle, making it easier for us to fall and stay asleep. According to a 2023 systematic review8 of tart cherries and sleep, there is evidence to support that these cherries help improve sleep efficiency and total sleep time. 

Recommended Tart Cherry Juice Doses for Sleep

There is not a standard recommended dose of tart cherry juice for sleep. However, a 2018 study9 and a 2022 study10, demonstrate that around 240 milliliters (one cup) of tart cherry juice is sufficient. 


Why Does Magnesium and Tart Cherry Juice Make You Sleepy?

As mentioned above, magnesium helps facilitate more restful sleep. The reason for this is that this mineral regulates neurotransmitters that relax the nervous system, which can help people feel more calm when it’s time to sleep.2 

A study on 46 elderly participants11 over the course of eight weeks found that taking a magnesium supplement increased their amount of sleep, efficiency of sleep, and levels of melatonin. In addition, people who took the magnesium supplement showed fewer early morning wakings and fewer issues falling asleep.11 

In the case of tart cherry juice, this beverage contains Montmorency cherries, which have high levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin.7 A 2023 review of the data surrounding tart cherries and sleep reveals that these are a promising solution for improving sleep efficiency and total sleep time.8 

While it is not necessary to combine magnesium and tart cherry juice, some people may choose to combine the two in the hopes of getting even stronger results in their sleep improvement. 

Who May Benefit from Magnesium and Tart Cherry Juice for Sleep?

The people who might benefit from magnesium and tart cherry juice are those who struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep. While magnesium can help relax you for more restful sleep, the tart cherries can provide melatonin to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.2, 7 

Who Should Avoid Magnesium and Tart Cherry Juice for Sleep?

You should avoid taking magnesium supplements if you take bisphosphonates, certain antibiotics, diuretics, and proton pump inhibitor medications.1 Be sure to consult your doctor before taking a magnesium supplement, especially if you are pregnant or taking other medications.

If you are taking blood thinners, anti-inflammatory drugs, or antibiotics, you should avoid drinking tart cherry juice12 because the interaction can lead to negative side effects. Additionally, if you have diabetes, tart cherry juice may have a poor impact on your blood sugar level.12


How to Combine Magnesium and Tart Cherry Juice

The basic recipe for a sleepy girl mocktail13 includes:

  • 1/2 cup pure tart cherry juice
  • 1 tablespoon of magnesium powder
  • A prebiotic soda or sparkling water.

All you have to do is stir these ingredients together and you’re all set. Be sure to only drink this close to your bedtime when you’re in for the night.


Additional Tips for Better Sleep

Additional sleep hygiene tips could help strengthen the effects of tart cherry juice and magnesium and enhance your sleep even more.

  • Make your bedroom conducive to sleep – A cool, dark, and quiet bedroom is the ideal sleep environment. If your bedroom isn’t already like this, you can use items like blackout curtains, earplugs, and white noise machines more sleep-friendly space. 
  • Form a consistent nighttime routine – If you do the same activities before you go to sleep each night, your body will begin to associate those activities with bedtime, which will hopefully help you sleep better. Some examples of ways to wind down before bed include reading, yoga, meditation, drinking herbal tea, or listening to calming music. 
  • Avoid screens before bedtime – Another helpful tip is to avoid blue light screens before you go to sleep. This includes devices like smartphones and laptops. Blue light14 tricks the body’s circadian rhythm into thinking it’s daytime, which can make it harder for you to feel tired. Instead of scrolling on your phone or watching TV, try one of our above suggestions like yoga or reading.  
  • Avoid caffeine before bedtime – Did you know that drinking caffeine even up to six hours15 before your bedtime could disrupt your sleep? Therefore, try to limit your coffee to just the morning and avoid having it too late in the afternoon.

Learn more: 11 Tips to Improve Sleep Quality


Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take magnesium with tart cherry juice?

Yes, you can take magnesium with tart cherry juice. Cleveland Clinic shares a recipe that includes a 1/2 cup of tart cherry juice and 1 tablespoon of magnesium powder, and then you’d combine those two with a fizzy beverage like prebiotic soda or sparkling water.13

How long does it take to fall asleep after drinking magnesium and tart cherry juice?

The time it takes to fall asleep after drinking magnesium and tart cherry juice will vary from person to person, but we suggest you drink your sleepy girl mocktail about an hour before you go to sleep so your body can process it.

What are the negative effects of magnesium and tart cherry juice?

Some negative effects of tart cherry juice are nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, according to Poison Control16. Additionally, you should not drink this juice if you have a cherry allergy.16 Magnesium has the potential to induce side effects17 such as dizziness, diarrhea, drowsiness, blurred or double vision, irregular urination, and trouble breathing.

Emma Cronan

Emma Cronan

Writer

About Author

Emma is an Editorial Intern for Sleep Advisor. She collaborates with the editor and staff writers to come up with article ideas, create article outlines, and write for the website.

Combination Sleeper

References:

  1. “Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals”. National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Last modified June 2, 2022.  
  2. “The Surprising Health Benefits of Magnesium”. University Hospitals. 2022.
  3. “Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Consumers”. National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Last modified March 22, 2021.  
  4. “Does Magnesium Help You Sleep?”. Cleveland Clinic. 2021.
  5. Bowtell, Joanna L., et al. “Montmorency cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise”. National Library of Medicine. 2011.
  6. Kent, Katherine., et al. “Consumption of anthocyanin-rich cherry juice for 12 weeks improves memory and cognition in older adults with mild-to-moderate dementia”. National Library of Medicine. 2017. 
  7. Howatson, Glyn., et al. “Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality”. National Library of Medicine. 2012. 
  8. Stretton, Brandon., et al. “Too Sour to be True? Tart Cherries (Prunus cerasus) and Sleep: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”. Current Sleep Medicine Reports. 2023.
  9. Losso, Jack N., et al. “Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms”.  National Library of Medicine. 2018. 
  10. Hillman, Angela R., et al. “Montmorency tart cherry supplementation does not impact sleep, body composition, cellular health, or blood pressure in healthy adults”. National Library of Medicine. 2022.
  11. Abbasi, Behnood., et al. “The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial”. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. 2012.
  12. Legner, Luke. “Tart cherry juice benefits: Do they live up to the hype?”. OSF Healthcare. Webpage accessed January 6, 2024.
  13. “Sleepy Girl Mocktail: What’s in It and Does It Really Make You Sleep Better?”. Cleveland Clinic. 2023.
  14. Wahl, Siegfried., et al. “The inner clock—Blue light sets the human rhythm”. Journal of Biophotonics. 2019.
  15. Drake PhD, Christopher. “Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed”. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. 2013. 
  16. Johnson-Arbor, Kelly. “Should You Use Tart Cherry Juice For Sleep?”. Poison Control National Capital Poison Center. Webpage accessed January 6, 2024. 
  17. “Magnesium Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route)”. Mayo Clinic. Last modified January 1, 2024.