Tart Cherry Juice Benefits and Effects On Sleep

Written by Chinmay Shankar

Last Updated June 13, 2024

What we eat can impact our sleep. For example, eating a big meal right before bed can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. But did you know that there are certain superfoods that can actually help you sleep better? One of those superfoods is tart cherries.

how to incorporate tart cherries into your diet for better sleep

Tart cherries are basically sweet, sour, and tangy little cherries which are charming in colors while juicy and delicious in every bite. These are found around the year in dried or frozen form. You can simply make a mix of Tart Cherries and drink a glass full of ‘em.

a glassful of cherry extracts along with cherries on the table for sleep

These little fruits are packed with nutrients like Phytochemicals, Anti-Oxidants. Melatonin, and Fiber.  Eating them on a regular basis can help reduce muscle pain and inflammation. These little red pearls of nature can also be helpful in your fight against cancer and heart disease. And the most important of all, they can help you get quality sleep. So if you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, try incorporating some tart cherries into your diet.

latex mattress

You just might be surprised at how they turn your sleep deprivation into a nighttime sleep worth cherishing.

In addition to melatonin, tart cherries can also help you feel fuller longer and prevent those middle-of-the-night cravings. They're a good source of antioxidants, which can help reduce allergic reactions and improve your immune response to them.

So how many tart cherries should you eat to get the oft-mentioned and much-coveted sleep-promoting benefits? Is tart juice good for your body? How can eating cherries help you relax? Is there something you should be concerned about when consuming tart cherries? What are other alternatives? You'll get answers to these and many questions in this blog. So read on to find how good eating habits make for good sleeping habits with a little bit of these magical, wonderful cherries on the sides.

Is it good to eat tart cherries before bed?

Eating tart cherries is a great way to improve your sleep quality. They're stuffed with nutrients that promote better sleep, and they're also delicious. So if you're struggling to get a good night's sleep, try incorporating some tart cherries into your diet. You just might be surprised at how much they help with sleep.

a young woman eating a cherry and sitting on the bed

In fact, one study found that people who ate a handful of tart cherries before bed fell asleep faster and slept more soundly than those who didn't eat the fruit. And how do these little cherries do what they do? By increasing the bioavailability of tryptophan and the production of melatonin in our bodies, they boost sleep like a miracle worker would do. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that signals the body to release serotonin, further relaxing it and preparing you to sleep. Better than sleeping pills any night.

How long does tart cherry juice take to work for sleep?

Tart cherry juice may take a few days to work for sleep. One study found that people who drank tart cherry juice for 7 days slept an average of 38 minutes longer per night than those who didn't drink the juice.

If you're looking to improve your sleep, eating tart cherries or drinking tart cherry juice may be worth a try. It is like a sleep smoothie, but you need to take it at least 20-30 minutes before your sleep.

close-up of a stem glass with cherries in it

Remember that it is high in sugar content and calories (almost 160 calories per cup), so make sure to keep yourself and your family members aware if anyone around is diabetic or has a history of diabetes. Always take advice from your doctor before you go for alternative remedies for your sleep problems. But one thing that is assuredly good about tart cherries juice is you can alter the quantity and concentration basis your needs.

How much melatonin is in tart cherries?

Almost all cherries contain melatonin, but Montmorency tart cherries contain about 13 nanograms of melatonin per gram. That is about .013 mg of natural melatonin. This seems insignificant, so to get a good amount of this hormone, you need to eat a lot of cherries.

a handful of cherries for sleep

How many cherries do I need to eat to sleep?

There is no set amount of cherries you need to eat to induce sleep. One study found that people who ate a handful of tart cherries before bed fell asleep faster and slept more soundly than those who didn't eat the fruit.  In fact, two cups of tart cherry juice is better than a traditional melatonin supplement.

So when you get on a flight or on a long journey, just keep a handful with you, and you won’t go sleepless in Seattle or, for that matter, any place you travel to.

What food makes you fall asleep fast?

There are many different foods that can help you fall asleep fast. Some of these include:

Tart cherries- Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Studies have shown that drinking tart cherry juice or eating tart cherries can help improve sleep quality.

cherries on rustic wooden background

Almonds- Almonds contain magnesium, which is a mineral that plays a role in relaxation and sleep.

almonds in a bowl on a black background

Honey- Honey has been used as a natural sleep aid for centuries. It contains glucose, which can help to raise blood sugar levels and promote drowsiness.

a small bowl with honey

Chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is a popular herbal tea that has long been used as a natural sleep aid. Chamomile contains compounds that can promote relaxation and help you fall asleep.

a cup of chamomile tea with a spoon on the side.

Lavender. Lavender is a plant that has a calming and relaxing scent. It has been used for centuries to help promote sleep.

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If you are looking for a natural way to improve your sleep quality, consider adding some of these foods to your diet. Tart cherries, almonds, honey, chamomile tea, and lavender can all help you fall asleep fast and get a good night’s rest.

What are the benefits of tart cherries?

At first, you would think that tart cherries are known only for being the natural source of melatonin, and they help you sleep better. But tart cherries are worth more than that.  Studies have found that powerful antioxidants of tart cherries, especially Montmorency ones that are grown in the US and Canada, can help with heart health, inflammation, and muscle recovery.

a dish of fresh salad with strawberries and kiwi

If you are a fitness freak, then you can also include these little ones in your diet. Don’t go on their sizes. One full glass of tart cherry juice can help your muscles recover post-exercise, can decrease muscle damage and strength loss, and reduce oxidative stress on your body. And yes, it helps when the food you consume is really delightful in appearance and taste.

Simply munch on dried cherries within or after your fitness regime, or if you are short on time, then 20-ounce tart cherry juice will do the magic.

What are the side effects of tart cherry juice?

Tart cherry juice is safe for most people. However, some people may experience side effects such as headaches, nausea, or diarrhea.

Tart cherry juice has high sorbitol content, which can cause abdominal discomfort. Sorbitol is a kind of natural sugar, and ingesting a bit too much of it is difficult for the human body to digest. People with irritable bowel syndrome should take care when consuming it.

fresh cherry and fresh juice on the wooden table

Also, since tart cherries are full of sugar, more than a glass of it can increase extra calories in your body. 16 ounces of juice can bring upon 318 calories. Keep on adding that, and you will have to struggle with an extra pound of weight in a couple of weeks' time.

The bottom line idea is to consume it in moderation.

How long does it take for the tart cherry extract to work?

The tart cherry extract should start working within a few hours. You may notice that you sleep better and feel more rested after taking the tart cherry extract.

But the long-term effect on your body starts showing in 6-8 weeks when it starts healing your body from the inside. In many studies, the extract of 60 cherries twice a day has helped chronic patients with insomnia relax and reduce their anxiety.

happy couple sleeping in bed at home

The European Journal of Nutrition has also maintained that juices extracted from Montmorency cherries can increase melatonin levels significantly in the body and have shown notable benefits for people who found it difficult to sleep due to various factors.

How many tart cherries should you have daily?

cherries in sunlight

The recommended amount of tart cherry juice is 2-8 ounces (60-240 ml) per day. And for tart cherries in dried or frozen form is 10-30 cherries per day. However, you may need to drink more or less depending on your individual needs.

Try a small amount at the start and slowly increase as your body becomes comfortable with the intake of this miracle fruit. Don’t forget to consult your doctor if you have any concerns.

natural and organic pillows

Tart Cherries are no doubt superfoods when it comes to sleep, they help with reduction in muscle pain and fighting immunogenic reactions and inflammations. From a handful of cherries to a glassful of cherry juice, they work like magic pills for your sleep.

But you should also keep in mind that they are high in sugar content and calories. And not just tart cherries, you can try other superfoods mentioned above in this blog. Also remember tart cherries are not one bullet for all your sleep and sleep-related problems.

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There are more aspects to a night of good sleep. Having healthy food and supplements is just one of the many facets of a good lifestyle. A good sleep needs your commitment to regular physical activity, less reliance on electronics, and tuning your body more towards natural remedies. So chew on every good bit of life to get the most coveted good sleep that you deserve.

Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.