Tart Cherry Sleep Gummies

Sleepytime gummies with tart cherry and honey and salt for deeper sleep

As a mom, I’m all for recipes that simplify and save time. That’s why our dinner rotation includes simple one-pan dishes like beef and cabbage stir fry and Pakistani Kima and why I pre-make coconut oil pulling chews to do oil pulling every morning so that I don’t have to open multiple containers each day (ever tried to open a 5-gallon bucket of coconut oil? You’ll need Crossfit to prepare for it).

That’s why when my kids ask for things at night that I know help them sleep like tart cherry juice, gelatin in tea or honey and salt, I’m happy to give it to them, but I wanted a simplified option…

All My Sleep Remedies in One…

I figured out a way to combine some of my favorite recipes and their favorite healthy treats: Tart Cherry Sleep Gummies.

These combine their chewable gummy vitamins with the honey and salt remedy I use and tart cherry juice for a simple night-time snack that helps them sleep and that I can pre-make to save time.

I store these in a glass container in the fridge for up to two weeks and give each child one each night. I made them in this silicon mold for single serving size, but they could also be made in a coconut oil greased glass pan and cut into squares.

I didn’t add the salt to the recipe, but you could. I just sprinkled the final product with a mixture of salt and coconut sugar before giving to them.

Sleepytime gummies with tart cherry and honey and salt for deeper sleep

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Tart Cherry Sleep Gummies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups tart cherry juice (available here or at some local grocers)
  • 1/2 cup gelatin powder (need to be collagen protein or/ gelatin powder depending on the brand)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • Salt to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Vitamin C powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, slowly mix the gelatin powder into the juice.
  2. Add the honey.
  3. Turn on low heat and stir as it begins to warm.
  4. Stir for 2-3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and gelatin has dissolved.
  5. Remove from heat and add Vitamin C if using.
  6. Pour into silicon molds or a glass baking dish that has been greased with coconut oil.
  7. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to harden and remove from molds.
  8. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (they never last that long at our house.

Why It Works

  • As this post mentioned, honey and salt together are great for balancing cortisol levels and blood sugar at night. Even alone, these two are great for improving sleep.
  • That same post explains the beneficial substances in Tart Cherry juice (not the same as regular cherry juice) that make it good for improving sleep quality and length
  • Gelatin is rich in amino acids proline and glycine that help relaxation and sleep.

Do you have any natural remedies or secrets to help your kids sleep? Share below!

These tart cherry sleep gummies combine all of the natural sleep remedies I use: honey and salt, tart cherry juice and gelatin, into one delicious gummy.

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Reader Comments

  1. hi Katie

    These look great. I’m just concerned about the honey (and the coconut sugar you mentioned at the end). If I remember correctly in your post about sugar you said that you don’t think added sugar is okay in any amount. Just wondering how often you and your family consume added sugar?? We’ve been off added sugars for about 6 weeks but I’m debating if I should start to incorporate back honey, pure maple syrup etc. but only very occasionally.

    • This is about the most we’d ever consume at once and it is because it helps with cortisol and melatonin levels.

  2. How many is suggested before bedtime? How long before?

    • also wondering the same thing.. she posted that she gives one per night but then says they don’t last 2 weeks in her fridge….. was curious the same thing.

      • 1-2 about 30 minutes before bed seems to work best. And as for using them up, I have six kids so they get used up quickly in our home.

        • How big should I make them so the dose is the same?

  3. I so appreciate you and all your
    Great advice and recipes thank you!!

  4. How many nights do you have to take it before it kicks in?

  5. Hi Katie, I have the red label ‘Great Lakes’ brand of gelatin, would this work in this recipe? I’m unsure of what gelatin goes in different recipes as they all seem to be slightly different and have different instructions also….thanks, Lea 🙂

  6. My midwife has been trying to get me to take OTC sleep medicines to help me sleep better. I’m really against this though. I’m 34 weeks and absolutely exhausted. Would these be safe to use? If they are safe, I’d love to try them.

  7. Would the Great Lakes Gelatin also work with this recipe?

      • Which color can, orange or green?

  8. This sounds like a great recipe!
    For sleep for the kids, I combine Lavender Essential oil, and Wild Orange with coconut Oil and rub it on their backs and the bottoms of their feet. It makes for nice bonding time before bed.

  9. These sound great. I just heard that honey should not be heated ever…have you heard of such a thing?

    • My understanding is that RAW honey has beneficial, natural vitamins and living enzymes that will die if honey is heated over 70 degF (pasteurized). If it is heated, you lose those particular benefits, but it does not harm the honey, nor can the honey harm you.

      …As a side note, make sure you are buying natural, raw, local honey from your farmer and/or health food store. The honey you find in grocery stores is made by feeding the bees high-fructose cornsyrup (HFC). The manufactures get away with calling it a ‘natural product’ because it’s processed by the bees. I found this out when looking into CCD (colony collapse disorder) where bee hives suddenly die for no reason… probably because they are being fed HFC! …and feeding on crops covered with pesticide!

    • Will do thanks for your response!

    • I would just heat juice and gelatin, remove and add honey, for the beneficial factors from the honey.

      • I would think the benefits of Vitamin C would be neutralized or oxidized if you stir it into something hot right?

  10. Hi Katie! I am excited to try this. Do you recommend this VitalProteins brand instead of the Great Lakes brand for everything or only for this recipe? I am about to buy gelatin powder for the first time. Thank you!

    • They are both good brands. For this recipe, make sure to get either the orange can from Great Lakes or the Collagen Protein from Vital Proteins (the green can or collagen peptides will not gel)

  11. Thank you for posting this recipe! I was just trying to figure out how to make a tart cherry gummy to help me get to sleep, but I bought cherry juice concentrate. Do you know how you adjust this recipe for concentrate?

  12. Thanks for the recipe! I made up a batch (with the Great Lakes gelatin) and they have been sitting in the fridge for almost 6 hours. They are still completely liquid! Any ideas??

  13. Thank you for all you do! I love your blog.

  14. Love this idea. My mom has eaten 15 sour cherries daily for as long as I can remember. She insists they reduce inflammation. I’ve never been able to eat the tart cherries, but the gummies will make it a lot easier. I love all of your ideas and love it more that everything is so easy to make. Thank you so much for all of the hard work you put into getting us all of this wonderful information.

    • They r awesome and so simple to make I add calm to mine?

  15. If I include salt in the recipes, how much would I add? Also, do you recommend other options for Vitamin C powder. That one is kind of pricey. Would any vitamin C powder work?

    • I realize this reply is a year later ago I’m not sure you’ll get it, but I make my own vitamin c powder from the peels of organic oranges. Dry them out in a low oven temp 200* and then grind them up. I use a nutribullet or mortar and pestle. Store in a jar in the fridge.

  16. Hi Katie, I have been trying to remember to give my boys natural calm before bed, but I often end up forgetting, or they complain of the “sour” taste. Do you think it would be beneficial to add a few teaspoons of Natural calm to this recipe?

    • I was wondering the same thing! 🙂 Magnesium really helps two of our kids. Can’t wait to try this recipe!!

  17. i have been wondering Acerola powder instead of Vit C. What do yall think?

  18. Hello Katie!
    Will this work for adults too??? I’m on 3 days of practically no sleep 🙁

  19. We are 4 weeks in to cleaning up our diet and lifestyle. Most of this is new to me. We made the probiotic marshmallows yesterday and LOVED them. So excited to try these! I do have a vitamin question though. What do you think about adding vitamin D instead of C? Do you know of any downfalls of that? Thanks!

    • How did you make the probiotic marshmallows?

  20. I have some left over lotion bars with bees wax, shea butter, and sweet almond oil in them. I also have some vitamin e body cream from dollar general I am wanting to make a thick cream lotion can I melt and mix them with a mixer? does anyone have a simple cheap recipe? or any ideas of things I can do with my left over lotion bars?

  21. I just finished the cherry gummy mix and put a small pan into the refrigerator but can’t tell how many slices I should cut when they’re set. Your recipe says 2 weeks (that’s 14 nights) and you have 5 children…hmmm, I’ll try for lots and lots of little slices but I’m scratching my head trying to guess. Thanks. I’m sure it will come together. I need the sleep!

  22. I recall reading one of your posts that mentioned gelatin should be introduced slowly-especially to children. Our son is 2.5 now. How many ‘servings’ or pieces of a gelatin item would you recommend starting with? (We wouldn’t be loading him up with a bunch of these sleep aids haha-just in general with different flavors). This would, for now, be the only way he is having gelatin.

    • With this particular mold, I’d start with 1/4 or 1/2 of one and work up…

  23. I’m on my second batch of these, my kids like them but I can’t eat them. The texture is really thick…could I add less gelatin? I used an organic beef protien gelatin from our local food co op. The flavor is great though.

    Thanks.

    • I had the same problem. They are sooooo hard and chewy! My oldest daughter won’t eat them and my toddler is to little to handle something like this.

      • I usually use 1.5 tablespoons of gelatin for 1 cup liquid. They aren’t very firm that way but still firm enough to get out of the mold without falling apart.

    • I’ve made three batches of different gummies from your recipes. One had a great texture, the other three have all been too firm. I thought maybe it was from over mixing with the immersion blender so the last batch I made sure to verrrry slowly whisk but same result. Would more liquid help or..?

      Also interested in knowing how long before bed they should be taken.

  24. These look like they would also be great for my husband. He has one kidney and has elevated uric acid levels. Tart cherry juice is recommended to lower it. Of course, I’m always happy to try natural methods of getting all the boys to sleep at night.

    Thanks!

  25. I am assuming just 1 gummy BUT how soon before bed and how long to take till you see the effects?

  26. Hi! These sound great but my husband is a strict vegetarian so gelatin of any kind is a no-no. Can I use a substitute? And if so, what other changes will need to be for the recipe to set up properly? If anyone has any ideas, I’d love to hear them. Thanks!!!

    • Lissa,
      I’m not sure how they would hold up since I haven’t made these yet, but I just googled vegan gelatin substitute and came up with a couple of different options. I’m assuming it will be trial and error till you figure out which works best. Good luck and please share when you find a successful alternative, I have many friends who are vegan/vegetarian, so they would love this option.

    • Hi Lisa, My family is vegetarian too and I can’t use gelatin either. I found three substitutes for gelatin on this website-

      http://www.thekitchn.com/vegetarian-and-vegan-substitutes-for-gelatin-tips-from-the-kitchn-189478

      1. Agar, Agar-Agar, or Kanten
      What it’s made of: Cooked and pressed algae.
      Where it’s often used: Asian desserts and firm jellies.
      Flavor and texture: Flavorless and has a firmer, less jiggly texture than gelatin.
      How to use it: Agar needs to be heated to dissolve properly. The powdered form of agar is easiest to measure and use; bars and flakes should be dissolved in water first or can be broken down into a powder using a coffee or spice grinder. It sets in about an hour at room temperature.

      1 teaspoon gelatin = 1 teaspoon agar powder (this will set 1 cup of liquid)
      1 teaspoon agar powder = 1 tablespoon agar flakes = 1/2 agar bar

      2. Carrageenan, Carrageen, or Irish Moss
      What it’s made of: Dried seaweed; carrageen extract called carrageenan is used in some vegan Kosher gel products like Lieber’s Unflavored Jel.
      Where it’s often used: Soft jellies, puddings, mousses, soups, ice creams, and dairy products.
      Flavor and texture: Flavorless and sets things more softly than regular gelatin; melts in the mouth. Use iota carrageenan for soft gels and puddings and kappa carrageenan in harder gel products.
      How to use it: To use the carrageen in its dried seaweed form (look for whole, not powdered), rinse it well, soak it in water for about 12 hours until it swells, then boil it thoroughly with the liquid you want to set before you strain it out.

      To set 1 cup of liquid, use 1 ounce dried carrageen

      3. Vegan Jel
      What it’s made of: Faith highly recommends Unflavored Vegan Jel by Natural Desserts, which is made of vegetable gum (we’re not sure what kind), adipic acid, tapioca dextrin, calcium phosphate, and potassium citrate.
      Where it’s often used: Anywhere gelatin is used.
      Flavor and texture: As Faith wrote in her panna cotta post, Vegan Jel “sets softly, melts in the mouth, and is by far the closest thing to regular unflavored gelatin that I have found.”
      How to use it: Beat this powder into cold water until dissolved.

      1 teaspoon gelatin = 1 1/2 teaspoons Vegan Jel

      Maybe one of these alternatives would do the trick. I plan on trying the vegan jel.
      Vasu

  27. Which brand of tart cherry juice do you use for this recipe the Cheribundi or Dynamic Health?

  28. I just found you via Pinterest. I have Adrenal Fatigue and somehow haven’t come across the whole thing about honey and salt balancing cortisol. I’ll have to give these gummies a try!

  29. Is there a way to make these with a vegetarian source of gelatin? We are Muslim and cannot eat pork gelatin. Thank you!

    • The Vital Proteins brand collagen protein (the one she linked to in the recipe) is beef gelatin, not pork.

  30. My son is 19 months old and I have tried everything to help him sleep at night and nothing works. Just wondering if he is old enough to to give the gummies too. Thanks

  31. Could I use a cupcake pan to make individual molds?

  32. I looked through the comments and didn’t swe this answer, my apologies if I missed it, what size gummies and how many does this make?

    • The number of gummies it will make depends on the size of the gummies 😉

      • I looked through the comments and didn’t swe this answer, my apologies if I missed it, what size gummies and how many does this make?

        Ok. I suppose I should have asked what size you recommend making them..

  33. Love all your helpful advice…only made the lotion bars so far but they’re Fab!!

    I’ve used the green tin gelatin in my smoothies which was great, recently bought the orange tin to make these…I added some to liquid to see what it was like…it stank something awful!! Is this usual? Or did I get a bad batch?

    Thanks!!

  34. I did post a question….but seems to have disappeared.

    I asked if the Orange Gelatin Powder when mixed with water stinks? Because I’m new to using it and want to know if it is supposed to stink…or if I have a bad batch? I’ve only used the Green version before which did not really have much of a smell at all, but the Orange one really reeks!

    Thanks Dee

  35. I was wondering if there was something bad that could happen if eating too many at once? I’m making these for my son tomorrow so I want to warn him about the risk of eating too many. Thanks in advance 🙂 And thanks for the recipe, we are excited to make these!

    • Sugar jitters, extra drowsiness, and maybe the runs? Honestly, they are tasty, but a quite a bit tart. It would be hard to eat several, at least for me.

  36. Thanks so much for this valuable information! I’m guessing that just drinking the juice with honey and salt would produce the same sleep results, right?

  37. I made them and love them. You have to use both concentrate and water. If you just use concentrate it is gross and mushy. If you use water they turn out really awesome like a real gummy. I have been making them every week. This week I used the grape tree of life concentrate. It came in 8 ounces so I used that and a cup of water. I wish I could post pictures on this thing. These gummies are my new hobby. I already have 5 different moldings! My son loves them!

    • Elizabeth!

      Hoping to clarify – do you mean in this recipe you’d use 1 cup concentrate and 1 cup water? Seems pretty obvious, but I made these gummies as written last weekend and they were… awful. I’d like to try again but haven’t seen many recipe tweaks in the comments.

      Thanks for the info!

  38. All I can find is the original gelatine, with 1 tbsp packets for 2 cups of liquid, the brand is Knox, would I use 8 packets to create the 1/2 cup or trust the brand that it will set the liquid? I feel it may only set it like jello rather than firmer like a gummy but worry 8 packs will be too much. Any advice appreciated!!

    • I could only find Knox as well. I’d love to know the answer to this!

      • Did you ever end up making no these with the Knox gelatine? According to the box or this recipe? How did they turn out?

  39. Can you please help clarify something for me as I am going to order these products online: I went to the link you provided for the gelatin and two kinds come up–beef gelatin and the collagen peptides. What is the difference between these two?

    Thanks for the clarification. Love your blog!

    • The gelatin (green lid) is needed for this recipe since it gels. The collagen has the same benefits, but does not gel, so it is great to mix into drinks and foods.

  40. I know you get many many comments, but I have to add mine. Thank you! I have a friend with sleep troubles and I think I will make these for her today before I visit her.

  41. Thank you Wellness Mama for all the great advice and healthy recipes! My family has never been healthier! I have one quick question… would it be safe for my family if I used rose hip powder as an alternative to the vitamin C powder?

    • I know that Rose Hips are often used for their Vitamin C content, but I’d check with a doc or specialist to be sure it is safe for your family if you are concerned.

  42. How big do I cut the pieces if I’m using a pan? 1″x1″? Bigger or smaller? Thanks!

  43. I am going to visit my dad and make him some. I doubt he will continue to make them himself. Is there a way to freeze them or preserve them longer than 2 weeks?

  44. Thank you so much for this recipe! My son has trouble sleeping and I had been giving him melatonin. After a while, it seemed like he had to take more and more for it to work. So, when I saw your recipe, I thought I would try it. It works great! My whole family takes them now. I found that I sleep deeper when I take them, and feel rested in the morning. Thank you again. I love your blog!

  45. I just had a go at these- I had a question. I mixed the gelatin til it full “dissolved” and added the honey. I heated for 3 minutes or more, and the mixture took on more of an opaque color- not clear red. Are you supposed to heat it until the mixture is closer to how tart cherry juice looks on its own? Mine is cooling in the fridge but it has a bit of that solid looking color not like yours in the picture. The directions were unclear as to what the actual dissolution of the gelatin should look like. Since it did actually dissolve into the juice already, I wasn’t sure what a secondary dissolving would look like. Also, if I didn’t heat it enough, is it too late to reheat once it’s solidified in the fridge? Thanks!! I just had a really bad knee injury and I’m trying to supplement like this.

  46. Would these help with nap time if I have one in the morning? My 2 1/2 year old is having issues with naps lately, but nighttime is fine.

  47. Many have asked this question, and since I have read every comment trying to find the answer to the same question—- I’m going to ask it again..
    Does this recipe make 24? since that is the number in a silicone mold— this would give an idea of serving size to those who are making in a glass baking dish.
    And— what is the serving size that you recommend for toddlers, children, teens, adults?

    Thank you—have toddlers, teens and adults wanting to serve this to tonight!

    • You can make these any size you want so there’s no standard answer to how many they make. It’s also up to you how many your kids eat. If you want them to last more than a few nights let them have one. My kids have eaten 4 sometimes. Use your judgment people.

  48. Hello, will Perfect Hydrolyzed Collagen from Perfect supplements work in this recipe? Adding Collagen to our diet is new for me. Thank you for the great recipes!

  49. Looking forward to trying these tonight! How far before bed should you eat one?

  50. These were good! I didn’t use as much honey and they were still a bit too sweet for me.I might try even less next time

  51. I have been trying to get my 16-month old to drink tart cherry juice before bed for a week with no luck. Made these gummies today and he devoured them! Thanks for the recipe!