People who suffer insomnia clamor for any health breakthroughs in the field of sleeping soundly. Well, here is some good news. Researchers have found that a type of fruit juice could help improve sleep. Look no further than tart cherry.
The study was recently published in the “European Journal of Nutrition.” An international team of researchers found that when adults drank two glasses of tart cherry juice a day, it led to these benefits:
- Sleeping 39 minutes longer, on average
- Up to a six-percent increase in overall sleep efficiency (less non-sleep time in bed),
This was found when tart cherry juice was compared to a non-cherry fruit cocktail.
In the study, 20 healthy adults drank two servings of tart cherry juice concentrate (which was 30 milliliters of 100%-pure Montmorency juice concentrate, diluted in a half pint of water) or a non-cherry juice for seven straight days. They drank one serving when they woke up in the morning, and another just before bed.
The researchers tracked participants’ sleep habits. After the participants drank the cherry juice, the researchers found significant improvements in sleep behaviors. The most notable improvement was in the areas of longer sleep time, less daytime napping, and increased overall sleep efficiency. That last term represents the ratio of time spent in bed to time spent sleeping.
So we arrive as we always do to the question of “why?” Quite often in medical studies there is no certain answer, but of course there are many hypotheses. Here, the researchers attribute the sleep benefits of tart cherry juice to the melatonin content. This natural hormone in the body is critical for regulating the sleep-wake cycle (along with its opposite, serotonin).
Each serving of the tart cherry juice concentrate was estimated to contain the equivalent of 90 to 100 tart cherries. This provides a significant boost of melatonin in the juice.
This isn’t the first time tart cherries have come up in the sleep aid discussion. Older studies have supported the link as well, which may have far-reaching benefits considering about one-third of all U.S. adults suffer from sleep disturbances affecting their health.
The market for over-the-counter sleep aids stands at more than $84.0 million in the United States alone. Many are trying to find cost-effective ways to help manage their sleep issues. Here is one potentially great — and tasty — method.
Here is another study, on how tart cherries could protect your heart: The Tasty Fruit That Could Protect Your Heart