Insomnia, or sleeplessness, plagues more people than you can imagine. And while many refrain from talking about their nighttime woes, sleeping too little can impact your overall health.
Technology, stress, energy drinks and medicines—all can interfere with your sleep. However, if you’re looking for a natural sleeping aid, have two glasses of tart cherry juice everyday. We tell you why.
How It Helps:
Researchers from Louisiana State University found that adults who drank eight ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day slept 84 minutes more, and better than the rest. The study, carried out with seven insomniac adults with an average age of 68, assessed how quickly the participants fell asleep, and how long they stayed sleeping after drinking tart cherry juice.
What is it that makes tart cherry juice so special? Cherries are a natural source of melatonin, the sleep-wake cycle hormone, and tryptophan, an essential amino acid that also gets converted to melatonin in the body. This sleep hormone works in coordination with our central nervous system to sync our biological clock, and induces sleep by causing drowsiness and lowering the body temperature.
The ruby red pigments (proanthocyanidins) present in tart cherry juice contain an enzyme that reduces inflammation and decreases the breakdown of tryptophan. This allows the hormone to stay in the blood stream for a longer time.
How To Have It:
- Drink a glass (eight ounces) of tart cherry juice twice a day, preferably once in the morning and once at night.
- Not much of a cherry fan? Load up on kiwi, as a new Chinese study says that eating two kiwi fruits an hour before bedtime can improve sleep by about 13 percent.
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1. Pigeon WR, Carr M, Gorman C, Perlis ML. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study. J Med Food. 2010 Jun;13(3):579-83. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2009.0096. PubMed PMID: 20438325; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3133468.
2. Howatson G, Bell PG, Tallent J, Middleton B, McHugh MP, Ellis J. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Dec;51(8):909-16. doi: 10.1007/s00394-011-0263-7. Epub 2011 Oct 30. PubMed PMID: 22038497.