A new research study shows that drinking tart cherry juice twice a day may help a person sleep almost 90 minutes more a night, the Oakland Press reports.

In an article in Prevention, researchers from Louisiana State University had seven older adults with insomnia drink eight ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks, followed by two weeks of no juice, and then two more weeks of drinking a placebo beverage. Compared to the placebo, while drinking the cherry juice the subjects enjoyed an average of 84 more minutes of sleep time each night.

Tart cherries are a natural source of the sleep-wake cycle hormone melatonin and amino acid tryptophan, says study coauthor Frank L. Greenway, director of the outpatient research clinic at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at LSU.

Tart cherry juice also has been shown to benefit the joints and ease the pain of arthritis. According to WebMD: “Cherries get their crimson color from natural plant chemicals called anthocyanins. Several studies have shown that fresh cherries and tart cherry juice may curb inflammation. A few studies have also linked fresh cherries to fewer flare-ups of gout.”

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