Desperate for Sleep? Scientists say – Try Tart Cherry Juice

Researchers from University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester and VA Center of Canandaigua report that adults who drank eight ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning and at night reported significant reductions in the severity of insomnia.

The researchers suspect tart cherries’ benefits could be due to their relatively high content of melatonin, which helps moderate the body’s sleep-wake cycle.  Melatonin, produced naturally by the human body, plays a role in inducing sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day (shift workers often produce less melatonin – read more).  Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D, a biomedical scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center and one of the world’s leading authorities on melatonin, quoted in E Science News says, “When consumed regularly, tart cherries may help regulate the body’s natural sleep cycle and increase sleep efficiency, including decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep,” says Reiter. “And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits.”

We’ve previously written on the benefits of eating and drinking red, and this is another example of how red toned food and drinks can improve shift workers’ health.

Looking for tart cherry juice?  Try R.W. Knudson, Old Orchard, or Cheribundi (this was the brand used in the study).

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