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Does Tart Cherry Juice Help You Sleep?

If you are looking for a natural way to improve your sleep quality, you may have heard of tart cherry juice as a potential remedy. But does it really work? And how much should you drink to get the benefits? In this blog post, we will explore the science behind tart cherry juice and sleep and answer some frequently asked questions.

What is Tart Cherry Juice?

Tart cherry juice is made from a type of cherry called Montmorency, which has a sour taste and a bright red color. Tart cherries are rich in antioxidants, such as anthocyanins and flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. They also contain vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients that support overall health.

How Does Tart Cherry Juice Affect Sleep?

One of the main reasons why tart cherry juice may help with sleep is that it contains natural compounds that influence the production and regulation of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, and its levels rise and fall according to the light-dark cycle. Tart cherries contain melatonin itself, as well as tryptophan, an amino acid that is a precursor of melatonin. By drinking tart cherry juice, you may increase the amount of melatonin available in your body, and thus enhance your sleep quality.

Another possible mechanism by which tart cherry juice may improve sleep is by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, which are known to disrupt sleep and cause insomnia. Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which may lower the levels of inflammatory cytokines and free radicals that interfere with sleep. Tart cherries may also modulate the activity of the immune system, which can affect sleep.

What Does the Research Say?

Several studies have investigated the effects of tart cherry juice on sleep in humans, and most of them have reported positive results. For example, a randomized controlled trial published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that drinking 30 ml of tart cherry juice concentrate mixed with 200 ml of water twice a day for seven days improved the sleep quality and duration of healthy adults, compared to a placebo drink. The tart cherry juice group had higher levels of melatonin, longer total sleep time, and less sleep disturbances than the placebo group.

Another randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Therapeutics examined the effects of tart cherry juice on insomnia in older adults. The participants drank 240 ml of tart cherry juice or a control drink twice a day for two weeks. The results showed that the tart cherry juice group had significantly higher sleep efficiency, which is the ratio of time spent asleep to time spent in bed, and less daytime napping than the control group.

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Medicinal Food pooled the data from 10 studies that evaluated the effects of tart cherry juice on sleep. The analysis found that tart cherry juice increased the total sleep time by 84 minutes and improved the sleep quality by 5.8 points on a 0-21 scale, compared to the control groups. The authors concluded that tart cherry juice is a safe and effective intervention for improving sleep quality and quantity.


How Much Tart Cherry Juice Should I Drink for Sleep?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as different studies have used different doses and concentrations of tart cherry juice. However, based on the available evidence, a reasonable recommendation is to drink about 240 ml of tart cherry juice, or 30 ml of tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with water, twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening. This amount may provide enough melatonin and tryptophan to boost your sleep, as well as enough antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds to protect your health.

When Should I Drink Tart Cherry Juice for Sleep?

The timing of tart cherry juice consumption may also affect its sleep benefits. Some studies have suggested that drinking tart cherry juice in the evening, about one to two hours before bedtime, may be more effective than drinking it in the morning, as it may increase the melatonin levels during the night and promote sleep onset and maintenance. However, other studies have found that drinking tart cherry juice in the morning and evening, or throughout the day, may also improve sleep quality and duration. Therefore, the best time to drink tart cherry juice for sleep may depend on your individual preferences and circadian rhythm.

Are There Any Side Effects of Tart Cherry Juice?

Tart cherry juice is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, with no serious adverse effects reported in the studies. However, some people may experience mild side effects, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, or allergic reactions, especially if they drink too much tart cherry juice or are sensitive to cherries. Tart cherry juice may also interact with some medications, such as blood thinners, anticoagulants, or sedatives, and affect their effectiveness or increase their side effects. Therefore, it is advisable to consult your doctor before drinking tart cherry juice for sleep, especially if you have any medical conditions or take any medications.

What Are Some Other Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice?

Besides improving sleep, tart cherry juice may also offer other health benefits, such as:

  • Reducing muscle soreness and enhancing recovery after exercise
  • Lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels and preventing cardiovascular diseases
  • Alleviating pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, gout, or fibromyalgia
  • Protecting the brain from oxidative damage and preventing cognitive decline and dementia
  • Supporting the immune system and fighting infections and inflammation


Tart cherry juice is a natural and delicious drink that may help you sleep better and longer. It contains melatonin, tryptophan, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds that can regulate your sleep-wake cycle, reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, and improve your overall health. To get the most out of tart cherry juice for sleep, you may want to drink about 240 ml of it twice a day, preferably in the morning and evening, and avoid drinking too much or too close to bedtime. You may also want to check with your doctor before drinking tart cherry juice for sleep, especially if you have any medical conditions or take any medications. Sweet dreams!

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