Tart Cherries for Sweet Sleep

Loaded with tryptophan, serotonin, melatonin, magnesium, and calcium

Tart cherries

Tart cherries

Tart cherries, like the Montmorency variety, are not only sweet. They are loaded with sleep enhancers such as tryptophan, serotonin, melatonin, magnesium, and calcium. They can be consumed as 100% juice, dried, fresh, or frozen.

A preliminary study from researchers at Louisiana State University, published in the American Journal of Therapeutics, shows tart cherries help people to sleep better besides fighting joint inflammation and heart disease.

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The 2018 study of older women with sleeping difficulties used only eight subjects, all older than 50 years and with insomnia, who would receive placebo or eight ounces of tart cherry juice at breakfast and one to two hours before going to sleep.

Sleep was evaluated by polysomnography and questionnaires. The study found that after only two weeks, the cherry-juice drinkers enjoyed almost 90 minutes more sleep at night, and sleep efficiency increased on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Separate test-tube tests showed that the phytochemical procyaninidin B-2 also inhibited inflammatory processes.

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The study concluded, “Cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency. Cherry juice procyanidin B-2 …increased tryptophan availability, reduced inflammation, and may be partially responsible for improvement in insomnia.”

ReferenceLosso JN, Finley JW, Karki N, Liu AG, Prudente A, Tipton R, Yu Y, Greenway FL. Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms. Am J Ther. 2018 Mar/Apr;25(2):e194-e201. doi: 10.1097/MJT.0000000000000584.
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