Tart cherry juice may induce sleep in insomniacs

Published Date : Apr 29, 2014

In a recent study undertaken by researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, it was found that the consumption of cherry juice increased the sleep time in insomniac adults by almost 90 minutes. 

The seven older adults with insomnia that participated in the clinical trial (all aged average 68 years) were given 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice everyday for a duration of two weeks. This was followed by a washout period of two weeks then again by a two-week trial of another beverage (placebo). 

The research was carried out in a controlled setting where sleep efficiency was studied based on factors such as sleep onset and duration and by the virtue of polysomnography. The participants also answered questionnaires related to sleep, anxiety, fatigue and depression. Additionally, blood work was also conducted on each participant. 

The researchers found out that the participants who consumed cherry juice twice a day were able to sleep more than the ones who consumed placebo. The average increase in sleep was found out to be around 83 minutes and it was noted that the sleep was also more efficient.  

The researchers are considering the red polyphenolic pigments in tart cherry juice, called the proanthocyanidins, as having a share in the sleep inducing effects of the beverage. These natural compounds are especially present in prolific quantities in tart cherries of the Montmorency variety.