Drinking two glasses of tart cherry juice daily can help you get a better night's sleep, a new study has suggested.
An international team of researchers found that when adults had two daily glasses of tart cherry juice, they slept 39 minutes longer, on average, and had up to 6 percent increase in overall sleep efficiency (significantly less non-sleep time in bed), compared to when they drank a non-cherry, fruit cocktail.
In a study conducted at Northumbria University, 20 healthy adults drank two servings of tart cherry juice concentrate (30mL of 100 percent pure Montmorency juice concentrate per serving, diluted in a half pint of water; provided by Cherry Active, Sunbury, UK) or a non-cherry fruit drink for seven consecutive days at a time - one serving when they woke up, and another before bed.
The researchers tracked participant's sleep habits, and after drinking the cherry juice, they found significant improvements in sleep behaviours, most notably longer sleep time, less daytime napping and increased overall sleep efficiency compared to when they drank the non-cherry juice drink.
The researchers attribute the sleep benefits to the melatonin content of the red Super Fruit - a powerful antioxidant critical for sleep-wake cycle regulation. Each serving of the tart cherry juice concentrate was estimated to contain the equivalent of 90 - 100 tart cherries, providing a significant level of melatonin in the juice and ultimately in the bodies of the participants.
While more research is necessary before medical professionals turn to cherries as a sole treatment for sleep disorders, the scientists conclude that tart cherry juice concentrate could be a viable 'adjunct intervention for disturbed sleep across a number of scenarios'.
The study has been published in the European Journal of Nutrition.