This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
You’ve just gotten out of bed after a poor night’s sleep and you’re feeling tired, lethargic and ill equipped to start your day — again. A cup of coffee helps you to function in a minimal way, but you miss the energy, enthusiasm and mental alertness that can only come from having enough rest.
While coffee and tea can help you get through the day, no stimulant can come even close to compensating for the lack of physical and emotional refreshment a good night’s sleep brings. In searching for a solution, you reject pills and potions from the drug store because you know too much about the side effects. The good news is that a study shows drinking tart cherry juice two times a day can give you up to 90 more minutes of sleep at night. This is a significant improvement that you’ll be able to feel.
Tart Cherry Juice Is Beneficial for Insomnia
In recent years, studies show tart cherry juice can be beneficial for sleep, so researchers at Louisiana State University put it to the test. They recruited seven senior adults with insomnia and asked them to consume eight ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice twice daily over a two-week period. Afterwards the participants had two weeks without juice followed by two weeks of drinking a placebo beverage. The findings showed the tart cherry juice provided an average of 84 more minutes of sleep per night.
According to coauthor Frank L. Greenway, tart cherry juice contains the sleep-inducing amino acid tryptophan and the sleep-wake cycle hormone melatonin. Montmorency cherries are especially rich in these compounds. “Proanthocyanidins, or the ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, contain an enzyme that reduces inflammation and decreases the breakdown of tryptophan, letting it go to work longer in your body,” he says.
Read More: 6 Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice
Insomnia is common problem among seniors, as Greenway estimates up to a third of them are afflicted with the malady. He points out why using a food to relieve the condition is preferable to using a drug. “Sleeping pills in the elderly are associated with a 4-fold increase in the prevalence of falls, which, at that age, can result in fractures that require surgery,” Greenway notes.
Kiwis — an Alternative to Tart Cherry Juice?
Kiwis are another fruit to add to your insomnia-fighting arsenal. In a study at Taiwan’s Taipei Medical University, scientists recruited volunteers to eat two kiwifruit one hour before bedtime. After four weeks, their quality of sleep improved significantly.
- The amount of time it took to fall asleep decreased by 35.4 percent.
- The amount of time spent lying awake after initially falling asleep reduced by 28.9 percent.
- Sleep quality improved by 42.4 percent.
- Sleep time increased by 13.4 percent.
Since sleep is critically important for good health, it’s good to know certain foods can help.