New Study Suggests Tart Cherry Juice Could Help Older Adults Battle Insomnia

A new pilot study published in American Journal of Therapeutics found that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice helped extend the sleep time in older adults who struggled with insomnia by one hour and 24 minutes.

“Insomnia is quite common among older adults and it can lead to a range of health issues if left untreated,” said lead researcher Jack Losso, professor in the School of Nutrition and Food Sciences at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in Baton Rouge who has conducted previous studies on tart cherry juice and sleep, in a statement. “However, many people are hesitant to resort to medications to help them sleep. That’s why natural sleep remedies are increasingly of interest and in demand.”

The study was small – only eight healthy male and female participants were involved. The participants were all 50 years or older, had chronic insomnia and had a regular bedtime of between 9 pm and midnight.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

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In the placebo study, participants were randomly selected to either drink eight ounces of Montmorency tart cherry juice or a tart cherry-like drink in the morning and at night (about one to two hours before bedtime) for two weeks.

After the initial two weeks, subjects were tested in a variety of ways, including having their blood drawn and completing additional questionnaires. After an additional two-week “washout” period, the participants then switched drinks for additional 14 days.

The results of the pilot study found reduced plasma levels of kynurenine, which is associated with sleep disturbances. There were also increased levels of tryptophan, known for inducing sleepiness (post-Thanksgiving turkey coma, anyone?).

Researchers said the data collected from the study, “adds to the growing body of previous research showing similar results pointing to the potential effects of Montmorency tart cherry juice on sleep quantity and quality.”

Montmorency tart cherry juice is widely available in the US. You can even purchase it online at retailers like Amazon or Walmart.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

Featured image: CHUYKO SERGEY/Shutterstock

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.
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