A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition suggested tart cherry juice is an effective natural sleep aid and insomnia remedy.
An international team of researchers at Northumbria University gave healthy adults two glasses of tart cherry juice every day for several consecutive days, first thing in the morning and right before bed time, and found they slept an average of 39 minutes longer with up to 6 percent less non-sleep behavior while in bed, but their sleep did not improve when they drank a non-cherry fruit drink instead, according to the published findings.
Previous research supported anecdotal reports that drinking cherry juice enhanced sleep, and the team attributed the benefits of "going red" to significant amounts of melatonin in the fruit, a key molecule in the human body's regulation of sleep-awake cycles.
The researchers also noted that anthocyanins, the pigments that give cherries their bright crimson blush, are powerful antioxidants, compounds widely thought to prevent and reverse free radical damage throughout the body, according to WebMD.
Sleep disturbances affect the health, wellbeing and productivity of nearly one third of Americans who spend more than $84 million on over-the-counter sleep remedies every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Sleep Research Lab in Ontario, Canada.
This new study has provided more evidence that cherry juice concentrate could be a viable, cost-effective adjunct treatment, the researchers concluded.