I Tried Dirty Lemon’s Sleep Drink For a Week and Here’s What Happened

Image: Dirty Lemon

In theory, being a morning person sounds like it’s my jam. My dream schedule would begin before 6 a.m., when I’d brew up a fresh batch of French-press coffee, eat a healthy breakfast, and spend an hour answering important emails and catching up on headlines — all before my one-year-old son wakes up.

In my fantasy world, I’d hit the haystack some time before 10 p.m. (after my seven-step nighttime skincare ritual, of course), allowing 8 full hours before it’s rise and shine time. But then there’s reality: I reluctantly pull myself away from my laptop around 11 p.m., force myself to double-cleanse (or swipe a few makeup wipes across my face), and head to bed sometime around midnight.

Needless to say, even before having a baby I’ve never kept a great sleep schedule. Past attempts to get on track have included taking melatonin tablets, 5-HTP supplements, and, ahem, some alternative “herbal remedies” (if you catch my drift), but I’ve never managed to stick to a solid routine. Now that my little one is finally (mostly) sleeping through the night, I figured it’s a good time to try to slumber right.

Naturally, I discovered Dirty Lemon late one night after scrolling through Instagram. The brand makes a range of does-your-body-good beverages, from its Detox drinks that don’t require starving to its collagen-infused Skin+Hair water. It recently released Sleep ($65 for six bottles), a line of sips designed to help you snooze better — drinking your way to drowsiness without booze or (ahem) “plant-based” alternatives? Now that sounds like my jam.

Curious? I documented what it’s like to try the brand’s Sleep drink for six straight days. Read all about my experience below, then learn more about how to order it on Dirty Lemon’s website.

Day One

Surprise! I thought I’d be drinking some kind of lemonade, but Dirty Lemon’s Sleep drink has a floral flavor. The beverage is indeed made with lemon juice, but it’s also got Bulgarian Rose Otto Hydrosol (pure rose water) and a “propriety sleep blend” that includes chamomile and passionflower (both known for being mild natural sedatives) took me by surprise. I’m normally not a fan of flower-infused drinks but this one was subtle enough to keep me sipping.

On a scale of 1 to 10, my sleepiness level was about a 7. I drank the bottle around 11 p.m. and proceeded to do an Instagram Story for about 30 minutes, because procrastinating on sleep and taking pics of my bedtime book and Dirty Lemon bottle seemed like a great idea at the time.

Here’s where it got weird: about half-an-hour later, I slipped into a strange half-awake/half-asleep state that’s apparently called hypnagogia. It’s not freaky at all and it happened to me once in a while; I actually welcomed the feeling because it usually means I’m about to drift deeply into ZZZZZ Land. (Which is exactly what happened not long soon after.) Day one down, five more to go!

Day Two

First off, let me say that my dream the night before was triiiiippy. Maybe it’s because I was actually able to get the REM stage for once and my body and brain aren’t yet used to getting nearly 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep?

In any case, my sleepiness level on the second night was around 8 out of 10 and I was actually looking forward to the rose-y drink. I finished guzzling it down around 10 p.m. and was probably asleep within the hour.

Day Three

Technically it was day four, but I skipped the drink the previous night because I was so exhausted for once that I didn’t need the extra help. (I thank my all-day cleaning session for that.) In any case, I guzzled down the bottle around 11 p.m. and shut my eyes sometime after midnight. On a roll!

Day Four and Five

Sleep game goin’ strong (except for at 4 a.m. both nights when my little one woke up and had to be rocked back to sleep). I was fast asleep before 11 p.m. and I credit Dirty Lemon for encouraging me to actually abide by a pre-bedtime ritual and even get my full skincare routine in, too.

Day Six

I was sad that my little sleep experiment was coming to an end, especially after I was making progress on breaking my longtime night owl schedule. Alas, I wish I could say I’m fast asleep every night by 10 p.m. and waking up refreshed and productive, but this writer is a creature of habit who finds that her creative juices tend to flow after hours.

Nevertheless, if my budget could stomach $65 per week for better sleep, I’d be a daily Dirty Lemon drinker — so maybe their Energy drink will be the subject of my next drinking experiment?