SAN ANTONIO, July 14 (UPI) -- Drinking tart cherry juice daily may help fight insomnia because it contains melatonin, which moderates the body's sleep-wake cycle, U.S. researchers suggest.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester in New York and the VA Center of Canandaigua in New York had 15 adults drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice beverage in the morning and evening for two weeks. They compared this to a comparable juice drink, with no tart cherry juice, given for another two-week period.
Those who drank the tart cherry juice saved about 17 minutes of wake time after going to sleep, on average, and reported significant reductions in insomnia severity, while those who drank the other juice drink has little change in insomnia.
"When consumed regularly, tart cherries may help regulate the body's natural sleep cycle and increase sleep efficiency, including decreasing the time it takes to fall asleep," Russel J. Reiter, a biomedical scientist at the University of Texas Health Science Center, who is an authority on melatonin, says in a statement. "And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits."
The findings are published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.