If you’ve been drinking chamomile tea to cure your insomnia, you might want to put it aside. New findings published at the Experimental Biology meeting in 2014 found that if you drink tart cherry juice twice per day you can start sleeping an hour and a half more at night.
Scientists from the Louisiana State University made a study where the participants were 7 older adults who suffered from insomnia. They gave them 8oz of tart cherry juice twice per day for 14 days, which was followed by another 14 days with no juice and then 14 more days of placebo beverage. In comparison to the placebo beverage, the tart cherry juice consumption made the participants sleep around 90 more minutes every night.
The reason for this is because cherry juice is rich in melatonin whose main job is to regulate sleep cycles as well as the amino acid tryptophan. Proanthocyanidins which are the red pigments in the cherry juice have an enzyme that can reduce inflammation and reduce tryptophan breakdown, thus enabling it to work for prolonged periods of time in the body. One type of cherry that has significantly high amounts of these compounds is Montmorency.
It is estimated the around 33% of adults in the US aged over 65 suffer from insomnia, that can be defined as a condition where you have difficulty falling asleep for more than 3 consecutive nights in one week. That’s why it is believed that tart cherry juice is a healthy and safe alternative to improving the quality of your sleep to taking sleeping medications, which can have numerous side effects. Sleeping meds can be particularly dangerous for older results since it’s been discovered that their consumption is associated with a four-time increase in reported falls, which given the age can lead to multiple fractures that would surgical interventions.
If you aren’t exactly a fan of the cherry juice you can switch it up with kiwi. A study showed that eating 2 kiwi fruits one hour before going to bed increased sleeping time by 14 percent and decreased waking up in the middle of the night by 30 percent after eating kiwi for 4 weeks. Another option is adding seaweed in the dinner. It is a vegetable growing in the ocean and is filled with omega-3 fatty acids. One study showed that it helped kids get one extra hour of sleep.