Advertisement
Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

Sleep Well

with Michael Breus, PhD, ABSM

This blog has now been retired. We appreciate all of the insights that Dr. Breus has provided to the WebMD community.

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Hide

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Attention, Insomniacs: Drink Cherry Juice for Better ZZZs

cherry juice

John Foxx

There are lots of drinks that are marketed to do something healthy for you. Drink orange juice if you’ve got a cold. Cranberry juice to keep your urinary tract healthy. Pomegranate juice for a dose of age-defying antioxidants. Milk with calcium to build strong bones.  And that doesn’t include the multitude of vitamin waters, drink mixes and others.

But what about a daily drink to help you sleep? Something made from fruit? And something other than the mythological “night cap” that entails sleep-disrupting alcohol?

Tart cherry juice might be the answer, according to a new study by a team from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester, and VA Center of Canandaigua.

The researchers looked at the sleep habits of 15 older adults who drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice in the morning and evening for two weeks. Then they drank a comparable matched drink with no tart cherry juice for another two-week period. The results? A significant reduction in reported insomnia severity during the weeks when they drank the cherry juice. The adults saved about 17 minutes of wake time after going to sleep, on average, when drinking cherry juice daily compared to when they were drinking the other non-cherry beverage.

So what’s the magic in cherry juice? Cherries contain melatonin, a natural antioxidant with a well-documented history of helping to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Produced naturally by the body in small amounts, melatonin plays a role in inducing sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day. Though melatonin is marketed as a supplement to help people fall asleep, I’m not a big advocate of going this route without a doctor’s supervision. But getting natural melatonin from whole foods like cherries is clearly another story. Our body is likely to use that very natural ingredient from a fruit in a much different way than it would via a pill.

After all, we need solutions for better sleep:

  • More than 40 million adults and another 20 million experience occasional sleep disruptions, putting their health and well-being at risk.
  • Americans spend more than $84 million on over-the-counter sleep aids each year.

If a glass or two of tart cherry juice (assuming you enjoy the flavor) does in fact help reduce insomnia, then this study is good news for insomnia sufferers. Drink up!

Sweet Dreams,

Michael J. Breus, PhD
The Sleep Doctor™
www.thesleepdoctor.com

Would you try drinking cherry juice to fight insomnia? Tell us what you think on the Sleep Disorders Community.

Posted by: Michael Breus, PhD, ABSM at 10:21 am

Comments

Leave a comment

Subscribe & Stay Informed

Sleep Well

Stop tossing and turning. Get the latest diet and exercise tips, treatments and research about better sleep from WebMD.

Archives

WebMD Health News