Drinking tart cherry juice daily could help in curing insomnia, suggests a new research.
To reach the conclusion, a team of University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester and VA Center of Canandaigua researchers conducted a pilot study on the sleep habits of 15 older adults.
The adults drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice beverage (CheriBundi www.cheribundi.com) in the morning and evening for 2 weeks, and a comparable matched juice drink, with no tart cherry juice, for another 2 week period.
There were significant reductions in reported insomnia severity and the adults saved about 17 minutes of wake time after going to sleep, on average, when drinking cherry juice daily, compared to when they were drinking the juice drink.
The researchers suspect tart cherries' natural benefits could be due in part to their relatively high content of melatonin - a natural antioxidant in cherries with established ability to help moderate the body's sleep-wake cycle.
Produced naturally by the body in small amounts, melatonin plays a role in inducing sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day.
Russel J. Reiter, a biomedical scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center and one of the world's leading authorities on melatonin, says while melatonin supplement pills have been heavily promoted as a sleep aid, foods such as cherries - available year-round as dried, frozen and juice - may be a better alternative for boosting the body's own supply of melatonin.
"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. And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits," Reiter said.
The study has been published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.