The Truth About Tart Cherry Juice and Sleep
If you are looking for a natural way to alleviate struggles with sleep, it can be difficult to know fact from fiction. Google insomnia and natural remedy and you will find millions of results touting everything from warm milk to a technology free bedroom as sure fire ways to make sure you get the sleep you need to maintain your health. Natural remedies for sleep disturbances range from those that are well-researched and backed by a scientific results to the old wives tales your family has handed down from generation to generation. Sometimes, these two ends of the spectrum meet and science is able to prove what those old wives have known all along, just because a remedy has been handed down doesn’t mean it isn’t true. This is the case with tart cherry juice which was recently highlighted on the Dr. Oz Show for its ability to reduce pain, lower the risk of heart disease, and promote sleep.
Sleep is one of the cornerstones of good health and the amount of sleep we get impacts every aspect of our lives. Almost everyone struggles to get the sleep they need once in awhile, but according to the National Sleep Foundation, almost 25% of us have trouble getting the sleep we need almost every night. To address this, we are becoming increasingly reliant on sleep aids, filling more than 60 million prescriptions for sleep medication last year. It is easy to understand why so many of us are looking for alternative treatment options and natural remedies and why the tart cherry juice findings are so significant.
The new study was published in the European Journal of Medicine at the end of October and shows that tart cherry juice can improve the quality of your sleep, your sleep duration, and help reduce the need for daytime napping. The research team found that adults who drank two 1 ounce servings of tart cherry juice per day experienced a demonstrable increase in sleep efficiency as well as a 39 minute increase in average sleep duration.
The study involved 20 participants who were followed for a total of 7 days. Each day all participants were given a drink twice a day, the first when they woke up and the second before bed. Some participants received a drink comprised of 1 ounce of tart cherry juice and 1 pint of water while others received a non-cherry fruit drink. The research team tracked the sleep habits of all participants over the course of the study to see if there was any change. Additionally, routine urinalysis was used to measure the amount of melatonin present for each participant and monitored for changes.
The team found that those participants who received the tart cherry juice napped less, slept longer, and spent more of their time in bed asleep. The participants who received the placebo drink had no change in their sleep habits. Additionally, the tart cherry juice group showed increased levels of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, indicating that drinking this juice boosts the body’s melatonin levels which may explain how tart cherry juice helps with sleep. When the two groups switched places, the placebo group received the tart cherry juice and vice versa, the results were the same.