We Know About Sleepy Girl Mocktails. Introducing… Sleepy Girl Bread?

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tart cherry juice

Many of us have seen the sneaky recipes where parents hide green vegetables in their toddlers’ snacks. What if we could sneak our tart cherries into a delicious zesty bread? If you’re not convinced, take a look at the ingredients in a delicious recipe created by Gina Matsoukas of Running to the Kitchen

  • 10 ounces boiling water
  • 1 bag earl grey tea
  • 250 grams dried tart cherries, also called Montmorency cherries, roughly dropped
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs

You can find the full recipe here. (1)

To me, this sounds delicious and I will be trying it out. But can eating this bread improve your sleep like the viral sleepy girl mocktail? 

Benefits of Tart Cherries for Sleep 

Tart cherries contain melatonin, the hormone involved in sleep that we all know and love, and tryptophan, an amino acid that is used to make serotonin and melatonin. (2

A few studies have found that tart cherry juice, in particular, can help to improve sleep quality. One study found that older adults with insomnia experienced moderate sleep benefits from the juice. (3) Another found that tart cherry juice increased total sleep time and sleep efficiency, as well as reduced inflammation, in older adults. (4)

As reported in Well + Good, this bread does contain some sleep promoting ingredients. (5) However, it’s important to note that tart cherry juice is highly concentrated with tart cherries.

A Breakdown of Tart Cherry Bread

With that in mind, let’s dive into this recipe and do some math. The bread calls for 250 grams of dried tart cherries, which is equivalent to about two cups. The studies mentioned above had participants consume around 8 fluid ounces, or one cup, of tart cherry juice — and one study used 100 grams of tart cherries to make the dosage used. 

When looking at tart cherry juice for sale online, we noticed that many of the tart cherry juice bottles contained 60 to 100 cherries per 8 ounce serving. That’s a long winded way of saying, you’d have to eat a lot of bread to get the same amount (no, we don’t recommend trying that out).

The 2010 study referenced above also noted in the discussion section, “The cherry juice used in this study was a proprietary blend (CherryPharm, Inc.) made from fresh tart cherries so that findings may not generalize to cherry juice made from concentrate or to eating 1–2 servings of tart cherries per day (as participants ingested the equivalent of approximately 100 cherries per day).” (3)

The other problem with this “sleepy girl bread” is it contains a few ingredients that might not be so great for your sleep. While black tea does contain l-theanine, a sleep promoting amino acid, (5) earl grey tea contains caffeine, which we all know is not the best bedtime ingredient. 

It’s best to avoid sugar and caffeine close to bedtime, as they can affect sleep quality. And, remember that supplements and quick “sleep hacks” aren’t a replacement for good sleep hygiene.

So, if we had to put this sleepy girl bread and the beloved sleepy girl mocktail head to head, we’d probably pick the tart cherry juice containing drink as the clear winner. But, that’s not to say that this mouth-watering recipe isn’t worth a try.

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  1. Matsoukas , Gina. “Tart Cherry Tea Bread.” Running to the Kitchen. March 9, 2017.
  2. A.D.A.M Medical Encyclopedia. “Tryptophan.” February 4, 2022. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002332.htm
  3. Pigeon WR, Carr M, Gorman C, Perlis ML. “Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study.” June 13, 2019. J Med Food. (3):579-83. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0096. PMID: 20438325
  4. Losso JN, Finley JW, Karki N, Liu AG, Prudente A, Tipton R, Yu Y, Greenway FL. “Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms.” April 25, 2018. Am J Ther. (2):e194-e201. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000584.
  5. Yazawa, Maki. “This Tart Cherry Bread Is the Sleepy Bedtime Snack Your Nighttime Routine Needs.” Well + Good. March 18, 2024. https://www.wellandgood.com/tart-cherry-bread-recipe/

Brianna Auray

Brianna is a Data Analyst at Sleepopolis. Her goal is to collect, analyze, and interpret data on sleep health and share new insights with our audience. When she's not researching sleep topics, Brianna enjoys working out, traveling, and hiking.

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