Counting Sheep? Try Tart Cherry Juice Over Warm Milk or Drugs

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Drinking tart cherry juice may have a positive impact on a person’s sleep quality, according to the Cherry Marketing Institute, a Lansing-based organization representing North American growers and processors.

In various studies, the institute says adults who drank two daily glasses of tart cherry juice slept about 40 minutes longer on average, and had up to a 6 percent increase in sleep efficiency. Researchers also found that drinking tart cherry juice daily helped reduce the severity of insomnia and time spent awake after going to sleep. This can be attributed to the melatonin and phytonutrient content of tart cherries, which are especially abundant in anthocyanins.

Along with increasing sales of over-the-counter sleep aids, Dr. Carol Ash, director of sleep medicine, recommends that now is a good time for Americans to consider more natural ways to improve the quality of their sleep — even as an hour is added on Sunday due to Daylight Saving Time.

“Getting proper sleep has never been more important — inadequate sleep is considered a risk factor for obesity, heart disease, and other chronic diseases,” Ash says. “Instead of shopping for solutions in the pharmaceutical aisle, consider switching up what you eat and drink. Simple steps, like adding tart cherries to your daily diet, may help you to be a better — more efficient — sleeper.”

Research also indicates that tart cherries may promote heart health, reduce inflammation related to arthritis, and ease exercise-related muscle pain.

The Cherry Marketing Institute’s mission is to increase the demand for tart cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development, and research.

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