It’s no secret that America is having problems getting to sleep. WIth over 60% of adult Americans reporting some kind of sleep deficiency, we are always on the lookout for a new and effective way to get the good sleep that we all desperately crave. Tired of books, pills, and expensive therapies, it sometimes feels like there isn’t any relief for the insomniacs of the world. A new study from the American Journal of Therapeutics finds that there is one drink that could help you sleep better: cherry juice.
Cherry Juice vs Alcohol
But before we get to that, let’s address the real elephant in the room: drinking to get to sleep. It’s been in the conventional wisdom for a long time that alcohol is a great sleep aid, but recent studies have shown that not to be true. While it is true that alcohol can get you to sleep early, the effects of it usually wear off after three or four hours, leaving the drinker in a worse spot than they were before. This has to do with how the body processes sugar in alcoholic drinks, and the way in which our liver processes alcohol. As we sleep, our body slows some of these processes, leading the way for indigestion, diabetes, and yes, insomnia.
Cherry juice works in a different way. First, it’s important to delineate the type of cherry juice we are talking about. This should be tart cherry juice, with minimal sweeteners. While it can take a little while to get used to the taste, it’s important for your body’s metabolism that we minimize the sugar intake. It’s the same reason as avoiding alcohol, we are looking to avoid sugar for better sleep. As for why cherry juice works better than other liquids? The study says that it has to do with how your body produces melatonin, the hormone most associated with a good night’s sleep.
““Tart Montmorency cherries have been reported to contain high levels of phytochemicals including melatonin, a molecule critical in regulating the sleep-wake cycle in humans,” the study says. “This data suggests that consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.”
Better, More Restful Sleep
It’s not just a placebo, either. The study found that on average, both men and women who drank cherry juice before bed slept an average of 84 minutes longer than those who didn’t, and the sleep that they found was often described as “more restful” and “higher quality” than their counterparts.
While it may not solve all your sleep problems, it’s nice to know that this inexpensive, reliable, and – most importantly – natural cure is a way to battle insomnia. It doesn’t hurt that it tastes great too. So next time you feel yourself tossing and turning with no end in sight, head over to the refrigerator for a quick glass of cherry juice. You may be nodding off in no time at all.