Sleep…oh glorious sleep. I used to take sleep for granted. Before I had kids, I always considered sleep a boring task. I have always been an early riser, waking at the crack of dawn. Sleeping in wasn’t something I ever desired (or felt I needed, even with working 12 hour shifts as a nurse).
Then I had kids…
Now, sleep is something I would easily take out a second mortgage to buy if it was sold in bulk at Costco.
We were blessed with three children who all seem to be allergic to sleep. Seriously. They each have their own sleep issues, and they are all different.
For our son with autism, we use a variety of sensory smart sleep solutions.
For our daughter who was a co-sleeping graduate that struggled to sleep on her own, we recently discovered that a weighted blanket was all it took to keep her sleeping for 12 hours.
And for our youngest, a combination of essential oils and a bedtime routine are necessary to help him fall asleep.
The one thing that seems to help everyone in the house (grown-ups included) get to sleep has been these calming bedtime gummy bears.
We love making homemade gummies. Our elderberry gummies have gotten us through many cold & flu seasons, and our go-go constipation gummies have been an amazing remedy for helping to ease constipation in our littles.
These homemade calming gummies combine all of my favorite natural remedies to send them to sleep.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice has been a tried and true remedy, passed down for generations. Maybe your Grandma swears by it? Turns out, research does too!
Several studies have looked at the benefits of tart cherry juice for sleep and have found that those who drink this specific tart type of cherry juice before bed have increased sleep time and efficiency (1, 2).
They also found that tart cherry juice contains a specific type of enzyme that increases tryptophan availability (the same amino acid that makes us tired after turkey dinner), reduces inflammation, and improves insomnia.
Tart cherry juice was also shown to increase the melatonin levels, the hormone that helps to regulate sleep-wake cycles (3).
It is very important to buy tart cherry juice, and not just regular cherry juice. I also recommend an organic tart cherry juice brand, since cherries are known to contain high levels of pesticide residue.
If you are making these for someone who doesn’t care for the taste of tart cherry juice, feel free to use half the amount recommended in the recipe and add in an equal amount of any other type of juice.
Honey for sleep?! Yes! Is there anything that honey can’t do? With 18 amino acids, vitamins and minerals, antibacterial properties, and an endless amount of beauty and health benefits…is it really any wonder that honey can help improve sleep quality too?
Honey naturally contains sugar, which slightly raises insulin levels and allows tryptophan to more readily enter our brains. Tryptophan is then converted into serotonin, and serotonin converts into melatonin as long as we are in complete darkness. It gets even better…melatonin actually stops the release of insulin, stabilizing blood sugar levels and keeping us asleep even longer.
Honey also supplies the liver with an adequate supply of liver glycogen to get us through the night while our body is fasting. This keeps the brain happy and keeps us asleep longer before we wake in search of more fuel.
Gelatin is rich in amino acids, which help to reduce inflammation, manage stress, and even help to calm the nervous system.
One of the primary amino acids in gelatin is glycine. Glycine stimulates the production of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), an important neurotransmitter in the central nervous system known that can help promote relaxation and a more restful night’s sleep.
Magnesium is a mineral that is literally involved in hundreds of physiological functions within the body, many related to muscles, bones, the brain, and the nervous system.
Unfortunately, with soil erosion, poor food quality and nutrition, and increased stress, many people are chronically low in this important mineral. One of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency can be insomnia.
Magnesium has a calming effect on the brain and nervous system, and is even considered to be a natural remedy for stress, anxiety and possibly even depression (4, 5).
Magnesium can contribute to a better night’s sleep by helping to relax muscles, reduce stress, and calm the brain by increasing levels of melatonin, decreasing cortisol, and contributing to the function of GABA within the brain (6).
There are many ways to supplement with magnesium, including epsom salt baths, magnesium oil or lotion, and magnesium powder or capsules.
This recipes calls for my favourite powdered form of magnesium that is also great for calming moods, easing constipation, and of course improving sleep!
Sea salt is totally optional but can actually have some sleep benefits too! Natural sea salt or pink Himalayan salt contains trace minerals in addition to sodium. Salt helps the body’s cells to process glucose effectively, so pairing a small amount of sodium with glucose (honey) keeps our brain and liver happy.
Some animal studies have also shown that sodium helps to lower the stress response, and may also increase oxytocin levels (a hormone that promotes calmness and relaxation) (7).
Bedtime Bears: Calming Magnesium Gummy Bears
With only 5 ingredients, these homemade gummies are easy to make, healthy, and delicious. They make the perfect bedtime snack to calm the body and mind and keep you snoozing all night long.
- 3 tbsp grass-fed gelatin powder
- 1/2 cup organic tart cherry juice *Be sure to use tart cherry juice and not regular cherry juice
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp magnesium citrate powder
- 1 pinch sea salt
Using a small saucepan (not on the stove), mix the organic tart cherry juice and magnesium citrate powder together until the powder is fully dissolved. The magnesium will foam up quite a bit. Leave the mixture for a few minutes until all of the foam has dissolved.
Add the grass fed gelatine powder to the mixture and whisk until fully dissolved.
Leave the mixture for a few minutes to allow the gelatin to begin to thicken. This is an important step and won’t work properly if you add the gelatin after heating the mixture.
Once the mixture has thickened, you can add the honey and sea salt and stir over low heat on a stovetop.
The mixture will return to a liquid state, and then you can remove from heat.
Immediately start filling your silicone gummy molds (most molds will come with a dropper to make this step easier). If you wait too long, the contents will begin to thicken and make filling the molds nearly impossible.
Once you have filled your gummy molds, move them to the refrigerator. The gummies will be done in 45 minutes and can be popped out and eaten. (If you can’t wait that long, 15 minutes in the freezer will also do the trick!)
I chose to use this brand of magnesium citrate powder and used 3 tbsp based on the amount of magnesium listed on the bottle. Please refer to your own brand of magnesium for recommended dose for adults or children. You can calculate the amount of magnesium per gummy by dividing the total amount you added to the recipe by the number of gummies you made.
Have you tried this recipe for calming bedtime gummy bears? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
21 thoughts on “Bedtime Bears: Calming Magnesium Gummies”
I would love if someone could make me some of these gummies. I been taking magnesium supplement for 2 months after experiencing bad insomnia. I actually fall asleep and sleep all night most nights. But these sound even better
They are definitely a delicious way to get your magnesium! Let me know if you try them!
How many gummies does this recipe make? Want to make sure I get enough molds.
Hi Nana, the number of gummies depends on the type of molds. Some are bigger and hold more volume than others. The type of molds I used came with multiple trays and I used five of them. Each tray held 50, so I made 250 gummy bears! Hopefully that helps! 🙂
It does and thanks, one more question please. How many gummies do you give at night, my granddaughter is 6 and has autism and apraxia and am hoping this will help with the restless sleeping at night.
Hi again Nana, the number of gummies will depend on the type of magnesium you buy and use in the recipe. The bottle will tell you the recommended dose. You can calculate the amount of magnesium per gummy by dividing the total amount you added to the recipe by the number of gummies you made. Then start off with a half-dose of magnesium (so half the number of gummies for one dose) and slowly work your way up, watching how she tolerates them.
Can’t wait to try the recipe!!!😀 So for how long are they good for? And how do you store them?
I store them in a container in the fridge and they usually don’t last longer than a couple of weeks in our house!
I tried making these tonight and I don’t know what I did wrong . They haven’t harden and are still super sticky . Any ideas ?
Hi Christine, I’m sorry that you didn’t have success with these. If they didn’t harden, it sounds like it could have been an issue with not enough gelatin or not waiting until it was thickened. I also advocate for cooling in the fridge. Maybe give it a try again and let me know if you still have any issues. I make these all the time and my kiddos love them (okay, so I do too)!
I tried making the gummies and after 24 to 48 hours in an air tight container in the fridge they are coated with a white powder. What did i do wrong?
It sounds like one of the ingredients (likely the magnesium powder) is separating. If you kept them in the fridge, it would be too soon for them to go bad. What type of magnesium did you use and was it fully dissolved before you poured the mixture into the molds?
I’m attempting these right now but the mixture isn’t returning to a liquid state on the stove. I used 1/2 cup tart cherry juice like the recipe calls for…should I add more?
Hi Sarah, it sounds like maybe you waited a bit too long and the mixture thickened entirely? It should still return to a liquid state under heat if you whisk it.
Yeah, that might have been the case. It did eventually return to a liquid state; just took awhile. Excited to try them! Making your elderberry ones next.
Do you need to use cooking spray on the silicone molds? If so, what kind do you recommend?
Hi, nope! If you use silicone, no cooking spray is needed. Enjoy!
This is the first time I have ever found a recipe online, and had it turn out perfect!!! Yay!!!
I would choose a flavor of magnesium that pairs well with cherry, or unflavored, mine is raspberry lemon, and the flavor is… off. But they are the perfect texture!
So glad that they worked out for you! 🙂
What is an appropriate “dose” of these? # of gummies per weight of a person??
It all depends on the amount of magnesium you put in them. You can calculate the amount of magnesium in each bear by dividing the total amount of magnesium you put in the recipe by the number of bears it made. Then, check out this resource to find the appropriate amount of magnesium based on age.