Insomnia Relief May Be Found In Tart Cherry Juice
Insomnia affects 23% to 34% of Americans over the age of 65 and people who suffer from insomnia often have to resort to prescription sleep aids in order to get a good night’s sleep. However, a more natural solution may be available. A new study has found that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice was associated with approximately 90 minutes more sleep per night for insomniacs.
Participants in the study included seven adults with an average age of 68 who suffered from insomnia. They drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks. That was followed by a two week washout period and then two more weeks where they consumed a placebo.
In order to evaluate the participants’ sleep cycles, the researchers observed their sleep in a controlled setting. They also administered questionnaires related to sleep, fatigue, depression, and anxiety and performed blood work.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that drinking tart cherry juice in the morning and at night was associated with an average 84 more minutes of sleep when compared with the placebo. The participants also had more efficient sleep when drinking the tart cherry juice.
Montmorency tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates the sleep cycle. The researchers believe that the sleep-aiding effects seen here were due to melatonin content and to tart cherry juice’s ability to increase the availability of tryptophan.
Researchers from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge conducted the study. It was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition, which was held in conjunction with the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego on April 26-30, 2014.
Previous studies have found connections between tart cherries and reducing inflammation, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and diabetes.
The best way to consume tart cherries is in a juice but be sure the tart cherry extract you consume is tested for potency and hasn’t been watered down.