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How Tart Cherry Juice Promote Better Sleep

Everyone knows the importance of sleep. A good night’s sleep can lead to an energetic, more productive day while inadequate sleep has been linked to various health problems such as high blood pressure and weight gain. Hence, it is vital to prioritize sleep.

Many people resort to sleep aids such as Ambien (aka Zolpidem) pills just to sleep better or beat insomnia. However, there are natural remedies to help you overcome insomnia that are safe, effective and healthy. One of the most popular and well-studied natural supplement for sleep is tart cherry.

tart Cherry

How Tart Cherry Promote Better Sleep?

Melatonin

More and more studies revealed that consumption of cherry juice can help beat insomnia and promote better sleep by boosting the body’s melatonin level. Melatonin is a hormone that plays an important role in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm, or the sleep-wake cycle. This vital sleep hormone is only secreted in the dark or at night.

A research proved melatonin as an effective supplement for treating jet lag by promoting sleep[1]. Nonetheless, melatonin is still categorized as a dietary supplement and people have different opinions and experiences on its efficacy for treating sleep disorders.

On one hand, certain foods contain naturally-occurring melatonin and may be a better alternative to artificially made melatonin, and the most notable is the tart cherry.

A study on Montmorency tart cherry has found that adults who took two servings of cherry juice concentrate every day for 1 week sleep an average of 40 minutes longer, with up to 6 percent increase in sleep quality and efficiency, as compared to those who took another beverage[2].

Yet another recent study has found that Montmorency tart cherry juice can help older adults experiencing insomnia by promoting better sleep. Participants suffering from insomnia, ages 50 and above, reported an extended sleep time by more than 80 minutes after consumption of the cherry juice for 14 days[3].

Tryptophan

Tart cherries are not only bursting with melatonin, they also contain considerable amounts of tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin, a type of brain chemical. A study examined a type of cherry juice and its influence on sleep. Researchers found that the cherry juice has improved the actual nocturnal rest with correlating increases in tryptophan, serotonin and melatonin levels too[4].

Although melatonin regulates the sleep-wake rhythm, serotonin appears to play a major role in inducing sleep by enhancing mood and lessening sleep latency, hence reducing insomnia. 

In addition, tart cherries are rich in Proanthocyanidins, the ruby red pigments in tart cherry. They contain a type of enzyme that reduces inflammation and the breakdown of tryptophan, allowing it to work longer.

Summary

Tart cherries contain significant levels of natural melatonin and consuming it regularly has been proven to boost the level of hormone in your body. It is also rich in inflammation-fighting antioxidants and tryptophan that supports relaxation, rest, positive mood and sleep. 

If you are struggling with insomnia, tart cherries can be a natural way to manage your sleep issues without resorting to conventional sleep supplements.

References

[1] Herxheimer A, Petrie KJ. (2002). Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of jet lag. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12076414

[2] Howatson G et.al. (December 2012). Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22038497/

[3] Losso, Jack N. PhD, et.al. (March 2017). Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms. Retrieved from http://journals.lww.com/americantherapeutics/Abstract/publishahead/Pilot_Study_of_the_Tart_Cherry_Juice_for_the.98718.aspx

[4] Garrido M, et.al. (2013). A Jerte valley cherry product provides beneficial effects on sleep quality. Influence on aging. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23732552


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