Have you ever spent time in bed waiting to fall asleep, watching the clock, counting sheep or just tossing around over and over again? Have you actually fallen asleep only to wake up a few hours later and go through that same process all over again? I have. It stinks!
In my efforts to find something that could help me fall asleep faster, I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that the answer was in my own backyard.
I came across this great article in the European Journal of Nutrition that looked into tart cherries and their effect on sleep. The study was one week long and found that people taking tart cherry juice spent more time in bed, had more total sleep time and more sleep efficiency.
The researchers found that the increase in sleep quantity and quality happened because of the body’s ability to increase melatonin production. When they compared the two groups—people taking tart cherry juice versus the people who weren’t—the people taking tart cherry juice had higher melatonin levels.
Melatonin, remember, is the hormone that regulates our sleep. We definitely want plenty of that. Talk about impressive results!
Howatson G, Bell PG, et al. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. Eur J Nutr. 2012 Dec. 51(8):909-16.