How Tart Cherries Help with sleep cycles
Tart Cherries and sleep cycles
We all know the importance of sleep – but what you might not know is that being tired isn’t just about feeling grumpy. While a restful night can lead to a more productive day, inadequate sleep is linked to health problems like weight gain and high blood pressure. So it’s crucial to prioritise sleep.
To help them do so, many people turn to sleep aids, including melatonin pills. With tart cherries, however, they may have a natural remedy to promote sleep while also tasting good.
Researchers believe it’s the combination of melatonin and the anthocyanins in Montmorency tart cherries that might help you sleep better at night.
A pilot study at Louisiana State University discovered that tart cherry juice could lengthen sleep time by 84 minutes. In this study, 8 healthy men and women (ages 50+) who suffer from chronic insomnia were placed in either a tart cherry group or a placebo control group, with a 2-week break in between. Those in the tart cherry group drank around 8oz of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and night, 1-2 hours before bedtime, for 14 days.
When compared to the placebo, the tart cherry juice did extend sleep time by 84 minutes and increase sleep efficiency, as shown by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.
In this study, 20 men and women (ages 18-40) with no reported sleep disturbances were given either 2 servings of Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate (60mL mixed with water) or a placebo beverage for 7 days. The tart cherry consumption group slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6% increase in sleep efficiency, compared to the placebo group. Circulating blood melatonin levels were also increased.
During a pilot study of 15 elderly men and women who suffer from chronic insomnia, those who consume tart cherry showed significant improvements on the Insomnia Severity Index and woke up62 minutes earlier on average. The participants drank two 8-ounce servings of Montmorency tart cherry juice per day for 2 weeks. Compared to the placebo group, those who drank tart cherry juice reported better sleep quality across all self-reported sleep variables.