Wednesday Bubble: Cherry juice and sleep. Yup, sleep!

Posted by on Nov 23, 2011 in menopause, sleep disturbance | 0 comments

I have to admit; when I first saw the headline I was a wee bit skeptical:

“Cherry juice gives a good nights’ sleep.’

Yeah, so does a knock on the head or an Ambien. But when I delved deeper, I found myself thinking, “wow,” who knew?!

Cherry juice, namely cherries of the Montmorency variety (aka a tart or sour cherry) have been found to significantly increase melatonin levels (a hormone that regulates sleep, among other functions) in the body, hence promoting sleep. In fact, researchers from Northumbria University in the North of England report that men and women who drank at roughly an ounce of tart cherry juice diluted with water twice a day for a week actually increased the time spent asleep by 25 minutes and experienced up to a 6% improvement in sleep quality. They also reported less time spent napping during the day than their peers who drank diluted fruit juice. And, when researchers delved deeper into cherry juice qualities, they found that it actually boosted melatonin levels by as much as 16%.

What’s most interesting about this study, at least from where I sit, is that the researchers say that they were originally interested in how tart or sour cherries would help muscles recovery from strenuous exercise because sleep plays an important role in the recovery process. However, this side finding means that cherry juice “has the potential to be applied as a natural intevention not only to athletes but to other populations with insomnia.”

Mind you, this study only examined the potential of tart cherry juice in 20 people up to age 40. Me? I would like to see if it works in postmenopausal women who experience major sleep disruptions due to hormone fluctuations. But if anything, I concur that the study definitely provides us with “more evidence surrounding the relationship between how we sleep and what we consume.”

Just a bit of cherry fodder for a Wednesday.

p.s. Not sure if the cherry pie at your Thanksgiving table can supplement that turkey zzzs but it certainly can’t hurt!










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