Drinking tart cherry juice daily could help reduce the severity of insomnia and time spent awake after going to sleep, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
A team of University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and VA Center of Canandaigua researchers conducted a pilot study on the sleep habits of 15 older adults. The adults drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice beverage in the morning and evening for 2 weeks, and a comparable matched juice drink, with no tart cherry juice, for another 2-week period. There were significant reductions in reported insomnia severity and the adults saved about 17 minutes of wake time after going to sleep, on average, when drinking cherry juice daily, compared to when they were drinking the juice drink.
The researchers suspect tart cherries’ natural benefits could be due in part to their relatively high content of melatonin—a natural antioxidant in cherries with established ability to help moderate the body’s sleep-wake cycle. Produced naturally by the body in small amounts, melatonin plays a role in inducing sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day.