Will Cherry Juice Help You Sleep?

People’s Pharmacy on tart cherries as a source of melatonin; the power of soy sauce for kitchen burns; and vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Originally published September 18, 2016 at 7:00 am Seattle Times
By  Syndicated columnists

Q: Is tart cherry juice useful for insomnia? If so, what is an appropriate daily amount, presumably taken at bedtime? I’ve heard and read everything from 1 to 16 ounces!

A: One study found tart cherry juice improved sleep time and quality. The researchers gave subjects a dose of 30 ml (roughly 1 fluid ounce) of Montmorency cherry concentrate upon arising and another 30 ml of concentrate half an hour before the evening meal (European Journal of Nutrition, December 2012). This was diluted to taste in 200 ml or so of water.

Another study used a Spanish product containing 18.85 g of pitted, freeze-dried powdered cherries per dose (Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging, June 2013). This, too, was diluted in water and given twice daily at lunch and dinner.

Tart cherries are a good source of melatonin, which may explain why both studies found cherry juice helpful in promoting sleep.