Beat Insomnia with Tart Cherry Juice

Sleep-deprived readers, have no fear! New research suggests tart cherry juice can improve both the quality and duration of sleep.

One symptom of mild altitude sickness is disrupted sleep. So when I experienced insomnia after moving to Boulder, Colo., I wasn’t too terribly surprised. I would wake up at 3 a.m., throat parched as a result of the high and dry climate, desperately reaching for water.

But despite having now adjusted to the 5430 ft elevation, I still periodically morph into a creature of the night—baking, cleaning, reading, or (the worst) staring at my ceiling for hours on end, willing myself to succumb to sleep, into the wee hours of the morning.

After a recent excruciating night where I was awake until 4 a.m., resulting in a personality not unlike a zombie the following day, I decided to take things into my own hands. I was close to ecstatic when I read a recent study examining a possible sleep aid I wouldn’t mind becoming addicted to.

New research links consuming tart cherry juice (not sweetened cherry cocktail, mind you) to improved quality and duration of sleep. In a study conducted by scientists at UK-based Northumbria University, 20 participants drank 30 mL of either tart cherry juice or placebo juice for a week, keeping a daily sleep diary of their snoozing patterns. Subjects also wore sensors monitoring sleep cycles and had their urine tested for the sleep hormone melatonin.

The results were quite impressive.

People who had the juice reported napping less during the day, sleeping longer and better at night, and had significantly more melatonin levels than the placebo group. It appears concentrated tart cherry juice, especially from Montmorency cherries, stimulates melatonin.

So, sleep-deprived readers, give tart cherry juice a try... the worst that can happen is you receive a megadose of heart-healthy phytochemicals.

If you want to incorporate tart cherries into other parts of your day, this Cherry Almond Smoothie is awesome! 

Writen by Jenna Blumenfeld, for, found here.

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