Cherries. Fresh sweet cherries. Delicious cherries on old oak table.

Tart Cherry Juice Proven to be an Effective Sleep Aid.

A study was published in the European Journal of Medicine at the end of October 2011, and showed that tart cherry juice can improve the quality of your sleep, your sleep duration, and help reduce the need for daytime napping.  The research team found that adults who drank two 1 ounce servings of tart cherry juice per day experienced a demonstrable increase in sleep efficiency as well as a 39 minute increase in average sleep duration.

The study involved 20 participants who were followed for a total of 7 days.  Each day all participants were given a drink twice a day, the first when they woke up and the second before bed.  Some participants received a drink comprised of 1 ounce of tart cherry juice and 1 pint of water while others received a non-cherry fruit drink.  The research team tracked the sleep habits of all participants over the course of the study to see if there was any change.  Additionally, routine urinalysis was used to measure the amount of melatonin present for each participant and monitored for changes.

The team found that those participants who received the tart cherry juice napped less, slept longer, and spent more of their time in bed asleep.  The participants who received the placebo drink had no change in their sleep habits.

Additionally, the tart cherry juice group showed increased levels of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, indicating that drinking this juice boosts the body’s melatonin levels which may explain how tart cherry juice is an effective sleep aid.  When the two groups switched places, the placebo group received the tart cherry juice and vice versa, the results were the same.

Tart cherry juice seems unlikely to cause dizziness or grogginess, however, because the dose of melatonin is quite low. We are not aware of other side effects from cherries. We all want a natural way to fall asleep so try this one tonight. You may have hit upon the best sleep aid for you.

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