The Here To Slay Collection​

Although no season truly requires an overhaul of your wardrobe, it can't be denied that this summer season has us all more excited than usual. Along with the return of bottomless brunches and tropical girls' trips, the need for style to be fun and personalized is arguably more noticeable post-lockdown. After a year of athleisure and loungewear, it's unsurprising that our feeds are saturated with looks worthy of the streets of Paris.

What's also not surprising, but equally as satisfying, is seeing the amount of black-owned looks curated via various TikTok trends, from style icons to celebrities. Black-owned clothing brands seemed to boom last summer, and while the listicles have stopped and fewer brands are standing behind the black squares posted on Instagram, Black-owned brands are still of the utmost importance. Equality, at all levels and across all industries, is something that needs to be done more often. It's a dance we have to keep participating in and perfecting as we go.

From ready-to-wear premium clothing to ethically sourced African garments, this collection is curated to stock your entire wardrobe in woman-owned, Black-owned clothing. Each product is quintessential for the season, whether you're looking for a trend-worthy piece for the summer holidays or an investment piece to effortlessly elevate your professional wardrobe.

Itohan High-Rise Thong Orange

Cut from a premium printed polyamide fabric, the Itohan swimsuit bottoms are high-waisted and thong-shaped for a little cheeky excitement.

Kai Collective

Vacation Me Please Bikini Set

The Vacation Me Please bikini set by Curvy Fox is a sweet suit perfect for any vacation you have planned. The tie-front top allows for the perfect fit for any body shape while the inclusive sizing means anyone can be pretty in pink.

Curvy Fox

Adore Me Ruched White Skirt Set

We love melanin dripped in white! This all-white set is sexy and feminine, and perfect for any summer day party.

Rich Addiction

New York Chain Necklace

The New York Chain necklace is a go-to piece for minimalist and effortless summer styling. Handcrafted and available in a variety of platings, this simple chain is the piece that'll keep giving for years to come.

Sammi Maria Jewelry

Venom Ear Jackets

Say hello to the newest (and sexiest!) earrings in your collection. The Venom Ear Jackets are the perfect cherry on top of your steamy summer nights.

Sucre Couture

Kelli Necklace

This Kelli Necklace is a simple style that you can wear day or night. It's bold, edgy, and totally reflective of its brand hometown, LA.


Gold Bamboo Hoop Earrings

Jump onto the 80's trend wave with oversized bamboo earrings like these from 1929 Galore. They are available in two sizes and perfect to dress up or down.

1929 Galore

The Nabi Ring

The Nabi Ring is a simple and understated stunner that's easily adjustable and easy to pair/layer with other rings. It's available in gold and silver.

Oma the Label

Good Eye Pendant Necklace

Keep yourself fully aligned and make a bold statement with the Good Eye Pendant Necklace. It's available in two colors and with additional chain links for your preference.

The Good Vibe Collection

Stay Wavy Bucket Hat

Bucket hats are an absolute must in 2021 when it comes to on-trend accessories. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and cop CocoxRobyn's rendition of the season's hottest accessory: the Stay Wavy bucket hat. It's lit.


Joey Suit Trousers Macadamia

Elevate your summer style with an incredible pair of suit trousers, such as the Joey Trousers from Re Ona. Constructed using the finest fabric, these trousers feature deep pockets as well as an elasticated waistband to ensure a waist-cinching fit.

Re Ona

Tatu Tube Top


Talk about a vibe, the Tatu Tube Top as well as the other offerings in the House of Ivy collection are all beautiful nods to Africa, with fabric for the products sourced from West Africa. The minimalistic designs blend everyday with easy breezy vacation looks.

House of Ivy

Josie 4.0

A standout piece in any wardrobe, these vintage Levis with grommet detail are the key to nailing any streetwear look this summer.

Samaria Leah

Toni Halter Dress

Spice up every room you walk into with the Toni Halter Dress from Citrus Husk Boutique. The multiway self-tie halter has ruched side detail and guaranteed a favorite ths season.

Citrus Husk Boutique

Ruched Mesh Dress - Merlot

A dress that understands the assignment, this merlot rouched dress is a staple for any special occasion this season.

Undra Celeste New York

Red Oval Place Skirt

It's hard to find the perfect skirt but this one from Sammy B Designs is in the running. With a hidden elastic waist and modern wave hemline, you can easily pair this with a lightweight pullover for a casual occasion, or a form-fitting bodysuit for a cute night out.

Sammy B Designs

Sage Children's Joggers

These pull-on joggers are so fashion-forward, we couldn't exclude it from our must-have list! Made with 100 percent organic cotton in the USA, who doesn't want their little one in these?

Minibrook Kids Apparel

Yarra Biker Shorts

The biker short is the perfect staple for summer because it's so easy to style. This version from Roam Loud has a longer hemline and high-waisted for a cinched in feel.

Roam Loud

ZEN-105 Aviator Sunglasses

Nothing says summer quite like a pair of classic aviator glasses, like these from Coco x Breezy. The coveted silhouette is a long-lasting trend that's well worth the investment.

Coco and Breezy

Rosé Sunglasses

See the world through Rosé-colored glasses this season. These lightweight Rosé sunnies are perfect for those days sipping Rosé with your best friends. We're just saying.

Tribal Eyes

Floyd Sunglasses

If you're in need of an easy, nostalgic vibe this summer, look no further than this cute pair of sunglasses from 3rdeyeview. Plus, the oversized square shape is a fun trend to try for summer.


FINN Sandal

This sultry strappy sandal will be your summer go-to for every event. Handmade in Italy, the FINN Sandal by Chelsea Paris comes in a variety of colors.

Chelsea Paris

Tamu Gold Sandal

Stand up and stand tall before you conquer the world in these sleek and sophisticated strappy gold sandals. The Tamu gold sandals are absolutely the standard in the shoe game hall of fame.


The Jojo Flat

A coveted leftover from 2020, a good flat will take you far this summer. This hand-dyed leather flat by Salone Monet is effortlessly chic with a timeless silhouette.

Salone Monet

Soleil Ballet Flat Lilac

Add sophistication to your outfit without sacrificing comfort with these lilac flats from Aminah Abdul Jillil.

Aminah Abdul Jillil

Adia Boot - Yellow

This show-stopping shoe is perfect for slaying any party this season. Made in Italy with applique detail, you won't regret this investment.

Tori Soudan

Flashdance Roller Skates

Rolling skating is a trend that's not going away, and the Flashdance roller skate is perfect for dipping your toe in the trend.

Moonlight Roller

Carenage Stripe Robe

You can never go wrong with investing in luxurious sleepwear. This multicolored robe by Fe Noel is perfect around the house, or paired over a casual outfit for a day out.

Fe Noel

Cloud Sock

The Cloud Sock will be one of the coziest investments you'll make this summer. Made in America, a portion of the proceeds from the lavender color are donated to food distribution in Kenya.

Brother Vellies

Tiwa Washable Silk Shorts Set - Blue

This reversible silk set is the chic alternative to traditional loungewear this summer. The buttery soft set by Ejona Label is flirty and easy to wear but with ample coverage.

Ejona Label

Jewelled Paisley Pyjama Set With Matching Headscarf

This modern three-piece set with luxury French seams and double-turned hems screams, "Black girl luxury." The LJ Signature pattern and exquisite quality exude comfort and elegance.

LJ Signature

Words by Courtney Simpson

Featured image designed by Kyra James

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12 Super Solid Reasons To Have A Quickie Every Single Day

While I was in a session with a married couple semi-recently, I asked them to share one of the best things about being in a long-term, committed relationship. Believe it or not, it was the wife who quickly provided the answer that serves as inspiration for this article: “You have a locked-in-for-life quickie partner. People don’t realize how wonderful that is!”

Ah, yes, the quickie. It’s one of those things that pretty much all sexually active people have experienced before, and yet, I’m not so sure that quickies actually get all of the props and respect that they truly deserve. I mean, I get why because, since reportedly, a little under three minutes technically counts as one, some people think that they are automatically getting slighted whenever a quickie goes down.

Yet, if you give me a little bit of your time today, my plan is to show you that quickies are, by no means, a consolation prize or something to roll your eyes about. If you choose to take in all of what I’m about to say, you could up and realize that one of the best things about your day could be making sure that you either don’t start or end one without checking a quickie off of your to-do list.

I’m dead serious, too. Check out 12 reasons why the wife was right — quickies are indeed the ultimate short-yet-potent activity.

1. Quickies Can Help You to Get Out of the RIGHT Side of the Bed

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I recently read an article that said sleep deprivation can take a real toll on romantic relationships. The method behind the madness is, when you’re not getting enough rest, it can put you in a bad mood, and that can alter how you engage with your significant other (hey, makes perfect sense to me). So, it would seem that being intentional about getting 6-8 hours of sleep would help to alleviate this problem. Okay, but what do you do on the days when you were tossing and turning all night, you had some bad dreams, and/or you’re just not in the best of moods when your alarm clock goes off (even if you don’t know why)? Have a quickie.

Dopamine, endorphins (which are neurotransmitters), oxytocin, and vasopressin (a hormone that helps with your emotional stability and with your circadian rhythms) are all natural chemicals that are released during sex, especially when you climax. Since all of these can help to put you in a better mood, that’s just one reason why a brief romp before rolling out of bed could get your day off to a great start (no matter how you initially felt when you first woke up).

2. Quickies Can Make Waking Up (and Falling Asleep) a Quicker Process

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It’s kind of wild that the same act that can wake you up is the same one that can totally knock you out. Sex does have that super innate ability, though. If you want something better than your alarm, a quickie can get you up and going pretty fast; that’s because, when sex gets your heart racing and your blood pumping, it can get your adrenaline going to — especially if you’re say, riding cowgirl instead of just lying in the missionary position (yes, the more active, the better!).

As far as sleep goes, whenever you have an orgasm from sex, your body releases the hormones oxytocin and prolactin — both of these will help you to feel happy and satisfied. If you add to that the fact that cortisol (your stress hormone) level drops after having an orgasm too…yeah, there’s no cup of warm milk that will put you to sleep faster than a quickie will, chile.

3. Quickie Sex Is More Energizing (and Enjoyable) than a Cup of Coffee

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If you always assumed that coffee gives you extra energy, the reality is…it doesn’t. What it does do is stimulate what is known as your adenosine (a system that regulates sleepiness and alertness); that’s the good news. The bad news is, just as quickly as the caffeine in coffee can give you a charge, it can also tank, leaving you to feel exhausted (which is a part of the reason why some people endlessly drink coffee throughout the day).

What’s more reliable than that? Yep — you guessed it. Since sex does everything from de-stressing you, stretching out your muscles and tendons, and increasing your heart rate — it’s an all-natural way to get your body going…without all of the side effects that can sometimes come with coffee consumption.

4. Quickies Give You the Same Health Benefits As Longer Sessions Do

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Earlier this year, Men’s Health published an article entitled, “How Long Should Sex Last, Really? Experts Say Longer Isn't Always Better.” It actually said that when it comes to penetrative sex between heterosexual couples, the average was (you ready?) 5.4 minutes — yep, basically a quickie. And here’s the thing: whether you go that short or much longer, you’re gonna basically get the same health benefits either way.

Sex is gonna lower your blood pressure. Sex is gonna boost your immunity. Sex is gonna reduce any anxiety you may be feeling. Sex is gonna make you feel better about yourself (yep, it literally helps to boost your self-esteem). Sex is gonna reduce your pain levels. Sex is gonna improve your quality of sleep. The list goes on and on.

In fact, the only health benefit that longer sex probably provides is how many calories you can potentially burn. The reason why I say that is because you need to “engage” for about 30 minutes in order for you to lose 69 calories (“69” — the irony) and your partner (if he’s a man) to lose 101 of ‘em. In every other way? Even quickie sex can do your body a whole lot of good.

5. A Quickie Can Actually Make Sex More Adventurous

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Especially as we age, it’s easier to automatically retreat to the bed when we plan on having longer sexual sessions; that’s because the bed is a comfortable place to have it. Okay, but what if you’ve been with your partner for a while, things kind of seem boring and routine, and you’re not really sure what to do about it? In walks the power of a quickie. ‘Cause let’s be real: there is some stuff that you’d probably never do for an hour that you’d be willing to try for 10 minutes.

For instance, if the thought of public sex has always intrigued you while also freaking you out, you might be down if it’s only gonna take five minutes — and the more spontaneous and creative sex is, the more it can breathe new life into any two people’s sex life!

6. Quickie Sex Significantly Reduces Stress Levels

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Stress can kill you — yes, quite literally. I make sure to say that as often as I can because it’s the truth. Heart disease. Asthma. Obesity. Depression. Accelerated aging — these are just a few things that are oftentimes directly related to stress. Since it’s been scientifically proven that sex will trigger the neurotransmitters (dopamine) that help to make you feel good as it also decreases your cortisol (your stress hormone) levels — you are helping your mind, body, and spirit out by having sex…even if they are quickies.

7. Quickies Make Prioritizing Sex Way Easier

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I’m gonna be honest — since more and more articles are coming out that sex doesn’t really “need” to be more than 7-13 minutes, I’m not sure the whole “we have no time for sex” thing flies (anymore). If you’ve got time to be on Instagram or TikTok for two hours a day, you’ve got a fraction of that time to get busy with your partner. At the end of the day, it’s all about prioritizing what’s important to you (now, if sex isn’t important, we’ll have to tackle that at another time).

However, if the issue is that one of you likes to “make love all night long” like 90s R&B songs talk about (chile) and the other is cool with sex that is less than half of a 30-minute sitcom, try to schedule “the 90s” in for once a week (or once every other week) while mutually committing to getting some quickies in a couple of times a week. If you haven’t already, I think that by the time this article is over, you’ll see all of the reasons why this can be the greatest — and most fulfilling — compromise that you and your partner have made in a really long time.

8. Having Quickies Can Take the Pressure of Sexual Performance Off

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A platform that I used to write for, once upon a time, is Marriage. I kind of chuckled when I read an article that they published earlier this year entitled, “15 Signs You’re Bad in Bed and What to Do About It” because boy…I used to deal with a couple who both believed they were the absolute bomb in bed, even though neither of them agreed. Listen, just because someone from your past may have thought you were “the ultimate” — when it comes to great sex, truly one size DOES NOT fit all. Anyway, some of the reasons that the article listed was poor communication regarding needs and expectations, not having a good emotional connection, and (basically) sucking at foreplay.

That last one? If you and your partner are currently trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t, please don’t forego sex altogether until you figure it out. HAVE. QUICKIES. It can help you both to get the physical release that you need as you work towards achieving the type of sex that you both desire. It’s a practical solution to a layered situation.

9. Quickies Bond You to Your Partner

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Every time I see a TikTok post or read someone on Twitter (it’s always gonna be Twitter to me, chile) talk about sex is nothing more than a physical release, the first two things that come to mind are one, we are not animals; we have sex for more reasons than “being in heat” or even to procreate and two, how many people actually never learned about oxytocin in high school-level science class (like really…what in the world?). To be honest, there’s one more thought: don’t you want to see yourself as more than just “casual”? I say it often: casual means things like careless, apathetic, and unintentional. Regardless of what your personal feelings about sex (and who you should have sex with) are, I hope that we all can at least get on the same page that we should see ourselves as more than just…casual.

Back to the oxytocin thing, though — science is never gonna change. There is a hormone (that I’ve already mentioned) that is released during sexual activity (shoot, even just affectionate activities) that literally makes you feel closer to your partner. Oxytocin is its name, and that’s why it has “the love hormone” moniker.

Am I saying that quickies will prevent cheating? There are layers to why people are unfaithful, so to give a blanket “yes” or “no” would be irresponsible. What I will say is something that a husband of over 30 years once said to me, “When I’m having consistent sex at home, it’s the difference between seeing an attractive woman and saying, ‘She’s pretty’ vs. not having much sex at home and thinking, ‘I wonder what she’s like.’ Full people typically aren’t hungry…unless they’re just greedy.” All of that will preach. On a billion different levels too.

10. A Quickie Is a Great Sex Compromise (for When You’re Not in the Mood)

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Relationships are all about compromise. And when you’re in a long-term committed relationship, it can’t be said enough that sex isn’t just a “perk”; it’s a responsibility (when it comes to marriage, even the Good Book cosigns on that in I Corinthians 7:5). Unfortunately because not enough people give quickies any type of real consideration, they don’t realize that it can be the ultimate “meet in the middle” move when their partner may be in the mood and they’re not totally…there (or vice versa). Yes, quickies are a solid way to “scratch the itch” without there being a need for an all-out performance.

Listen, I tell my married clients often that when it comes to being faithful to your vows, it’s pretty ridiculous to expect your partner to only be with you if you are rarely with them. After all, no one signs up for a sexless marriage. Bottom line, quickies can be a happy medium when you want to make sure that your partner is good without you having to…do the most (so to speak).

11. Quickies Can Make Sex…Later…Better

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If you want to intensify your orgasms (or your sexual experiences overall), one way to do that is by edging. The best way to explain edging is you and your partner sexually stimulate each other to the brink of climaxing, stop for 30-45 seconds, and then start all over again. Why would anyone want to send themselves through that kind of sexually-induced torture? One reason I already mentioned (it makes the quality of your orgasm better); another is it can actually help your partner to last longer (if that’s something you’re ultimately after).

To me, quickies are a next-level form of edging. The way I see it is, it’s like having an appetizer or snack to hold you over until you can enjoy the meal that you’ve been waiting for all day long. For instance, if your quickie consists of morning sex or an afternoon delight during your lunch break, just think of how much that will consume your mind and build anticipation until you and your partner can get together again (especially if you throw some sexting into the mix!). Five-minute previews now can lead to a full-on main attraction later. Amen?

12. Quickies Can Teach Both of You How to “Push the Right Buttons”

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Almost every couple, who’ve been together for over a decade, that I know personally, tells me that sex has only gotten better with time. There are a myriad of reasons why. One of them is because they have really learned each other’s bodies, which means they know what works and…what doesn’t. And when it comes to mastering a quickie, that’s the ultimate cheat code because there are going to be times when your mind wants to, your energy levels or your schedules are on the fence, and so you’ll want to “get what you need” without it taking forever.

And listen, if you let quickies teach you how to know just what to do in record time, this point alone can be a solid reason for why you’ll want to engage in one or more quickies a day — a guaranteed orgasm. DAILY? C’mon now.


Welp. On behalf of quickies, I’ve pleaded my case. If I’ve convinced even a handful of you to at least try to have one a day, I’ve done my part. Again, under seven minutes (give or take a couple of minutes) of pleasure that will give you all of what I just said? WHY NOT HAVE A QUICKIE? Damn.

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Raise A Glass To Issa Rae: Prosecco, Profit, And The Power Of Diversified Success

Issa Rae is the blueprint.

As if the multi-hyphenate media mogul couldn’t add any more credentials to her already extensive resume, the Insecure creator has now entered the spirits industry with her new Prosecco line in partnership with E. & J. Gallo Winery, Viarae.

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'Bachelorette' Charity Lawson Details Her Journey To Finding Love After Leaving A Toxic Relationship

There’s a lot of power in letting go, especially if it means removing ourselves from toxic relationships that hold us back from our higher selves. And if there’s one person that understands the beauty of surrendering to the process, it’s The Bachelorette star, Charity Lawson.

In August, millions watched as Lawson embarked on her journey to finding love as the second Black Bacheloretteon the ABC dating show. Now, the 27-year-old has taken her talents to the dance floor on season 32 of Dancing with the Stars.

The reality TV star spoke withPEOPLE during a post-show interview to discuss a previous relationship that narrowed her vision of the future, causing her to believe that the possibilities in life were limited. "I did not, I mean, I envision a future for myself, but I think my scope was very limited,” Lawson shared about her last relationship.

Having the right people in your corner who can encourage personal growth in your life is essential to feeling supported on your journey, without it, some may be left feeling confined or even stuck, like in Lawson’s case. “I think I didn't really have a full picture of what I thought could be possible for my life — which is sad to say — but it's like when you're not in a relationship that really pushes you to blossom or just even the people around you in general, friends, whoever that may be, it's like you become almost like in this box.”

Lawson revealed that she left a toxic relationship marked by infidelity, which despite her best efforts to salvage, ultimately took an emotional toll on her self-esteem. "Before that, I left a really toxic relationship," she shared. "There was a lot of infidelity and I kept overextending myself to make things work... being in the trenches so lost and not knowing how to get out, I wasn't really proud of who I was."

Luckily, Lawson has since found love and companionship in her new fiancé, Dotun Olubeko, whom she became engaged to during The Bachelorette season finale.

Now that the two are “happily engaged,” she believes that going through the difficult experiences of her past relationship was necessary for her personal growth and transformation. "It took me going through that unfortunately to become the version of who I am today," she reflects. "Sometimes you need to go through the worst things in life to get to the best place and this dance needs to show that painful journey."

“And so now that I'm where I'm at and I went through so much in a short amount of time, I am a much better person. I'm more vibrant. I really do feel like I'm exactly where I need to be," she says.

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Featured image by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images FOR ESSENCE

I Took Magnesium For 14 Days To Help With Sleep, And Here’s How It’s Going

Maybe it’s a sign of my age or just a sign of the times, but getting a good night’s rest has been a struggle. It’s not so much that I have trouble dozing off — I can do that in the middle of the day with the right cozy setup — but it’s staying asleep that’s the problem.

I’ll admit, I pop melatonin like candy some evenings just to get a head start on the long night ahead of me. At times, I’m tired enough to get myself to sleep without it, but with my anxious thoughts and wandering, the supplement-size support is needed.

Over time, I got to a place of frustration that made me want to explore alternative sleep remedies that could help put my mind at ease and keep me in a state of rest until the morning came. That’s when I discovered magnesium.

​Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium plays an essential role in the overall function of our bodies. It is an essential element involved in over 300 biochemical processes within the body and plays a crucial role in maintaining the regular function of nerves and muscles, the immune system, the heart, and bone health. Additionally, it contributes to the regulation of blood glucose levels and facilitates the production of both energy and protein.

Some studies claim that magnesium can act as a natural sleep aid in adults but only plays a supporting role in getting to sleep. Magnesium can help regulate neurotransmitters that are related to sleep, calm the nervous system, and tell our brains it’s time for rest — making it easier to fall asleep.

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My Bedtime Mocktail

In my case, I wanted to see what it would be like to whip up a bedtime mocktail with magnesium that could aid in my journey to better sleep, to which I looked no further than TikTok for inspiration.

For weeks, the viral Sleep Girl Mocktails has been trending on TikTok, with claims that it would help put an end to bedtime insomnia and restlessness before bed. The three-ingredient drink, made up of Tart Cherry Juice, powdered magnesium, and a sweet beverage of your choice to add for taste, seemed easy enough to follow.

Tart Cherry Juice is said to support quality sleep as it contains melatonin and tryptophan — which the body uses to produce melatonin. Desperate for a solution, I decided to try it out for myself.


this bedtime mocktail will have you out like a light 😴 #fyp #mocktails #magnesiumforsleep #soberliving #sobercurious #mocktailwithmagnesium #tartcherryjuice

​The Experience

I first began taking this bedtime mocktail at the start of October as a part of my Sober October journey, and I have to say, the claims hold up. About 45 minutes before bed each night, I take my mocktail ingredients, mix up my drink, and take two melatonin capsules. The flavor is reminiscent of a flat cherry soda but goes down smoothly.

About 40 minutes into having the drink, I tend to feel my body go into a relaxed state, which is hard to come by with my racing mind. My thoughts become more paced, my body is at ease, and I soon find the weight of my eyes getting heavier, signaling me to prepare for sleep.

Once I’m fully asleep, I only find myself waking up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, but when I’m back in bed, it’s right to sleep I go. In the morning, I’m not met with that usual groggy feeling. Instead, I feel rested and ready to start my day.

​Will I Keep Using it?

Absolutely. It’s nice to know that there’s a natural way to fall asleep that doesn’t leave me feeling disoriented in the morning. However, taking this bedtime mocktail is only half of what’s been helping me sleep better.

For starters, I bought an analog alarm clock to be my new way of waking up in the morning so that I didn’t feel the need to keep my phone next to me at night. Scrolling on my phone in the evenings used to be the catalyst to my insomnia, with the bright light from my screen keeping my brain wired and awake. With the alarm clock, I can now set my phone across the room and slip my mocktail without the distraction.

Also, finding a magnesium-based melatonin to take with the mocktail has worked wonders for helping me not only doze off but stay asleep.

So, if you’re someone who struggles with insomnia too, making a bedtime magnesium mocktail may just be the remedy you’ve been looking for. Be sure to consult with a doctor and, if taking magnesium, follow dosage recommendations.

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