Tart Cherry Juice: Does It Stop Insomnia?

A cluster of cherries that produce tart cherry juice are photographed.

Photo by Simon Berger: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cherry-fruits-966416/

Restless nights are never fun. Many advertised medications claim to help you sleep, but is there a more natural solution? Tart cherry juice could help you sleep better at night. The sour Montmorency cherries contain a high number of antioxidants that research findings suggest give people multiple benefits, including sleeping well. Speak with your healthcare provider before adding any new food or drink to your diet, including tart cherry juice. Some juice brands may contain high amounts of added sugar, so those with diabetes may want to refrain from drinking the juice. Tart cherry capsule supplements are an alternative. Your healthcare provider should confirm if the supplement is right for you. Tart cherry juice may also negatively impact certain medications, so if you are on medication, then consulting your doctor is always the safest option before drinking the juice.

How Does Tart Cherry Juice Help You Sleep Better?

The Montmorency cherries contain significant amounts of tryptophan and melatonin. Tryptophan is one of the essential amino acids needed to make proteins. Our bodies do not make tryptophan, so we need to consume food and drink that naturally contains it. Melatonin is a hormone that our brains produce to help our bodies prepare for sleep. Tryptophan assists the body in producing melatonin. Since tart cherry juice naturally contains these elements, we can see how this substance can aid sleep.

Research indicates that the ruby-colored drink does help people battling insomnia. Pigeon, Carr, Gorman, and Perlis studied older adults with insomnia in 2010. The scientists examined adults over a six-week span where individuals either drank tart cherry juice or a placebo drink for two weeks, followed by a washout period of two weeks and then underwent two additional weeks of consuming the drink that they did not have previously. The participants documented their sleep onset, wake after sleep onset, total sleep time, and sleep efficiency in a journal. Findings suggested that consuming sour cherry juice positively associated with all tested qualities for better sleep. In 2018, other researchers conducted a similar study with the same juice, placebo, and two-week washout strategy. The scientists discovered that tart cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency.

How much should you drink? The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements states that drinking up to 16 ounces per day does not cause any safety concerns. You may want to start with a smaller amount as you become accustomed to the taste.

What other benefits does tart cherry juice have?

The healthy cherry drink also combats inflammation in your body and boosts your immune system. Perhaps after exercise or weightlifting, you battle muscle soreness. Drinking tart cherry juice can ease the discomfort. This juice also houses significant amounts of essential nutrients: magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.

If you find this article insightful, please read about peaches’ health benefits.

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About Joey Hinojosa

Joey Hinojosa graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and a master's degree in mass communications. He began working at Empower Brokerage in early 2022 and enjoys being creative in his writing, photography, videography, and other projects.

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