Famed for their specific sour flavor, Montmorency cherries (AKA tart cherries) boast an impressive nutrient and antioxidant profile.
As a result, Montmorency cherry benefits include faster muscle recovery, reduced inflammation, and yes – sleep improvement.
In fact, tart cherries are one of the favorite foods amongst people with insomnia. Here in this article, we’ll find out why.
How Montmorency Cherries Help You Sleep
Tart cherries contain l-tryptophan and melatonin, two essential elements for a good night’s sleep.
See, tryptophan is an amino acid. Besides being a building block for proteins, tryptophan is also essential for the production of serotonin, which is a precursor to melatonin.
Melatonin, in turn, is a hormone that regulates the sleep-waking cycle. During the day, your body prefers to produce serotonin to stay awake. In the evening, serotonin converts to melatonin, which tells you it’s time to go to sleep.
Since they contain both l-tryptophan and melatonin, tart cherries not have the perfect combo of ingredients that will help you sleep.
The Science – How Tart Cherries Benefit Sleep
Studies show that people who drink tart cherry juice have higher levels of melatonin. This, in turn, improves both the duration and quality of their sleep. (1)
One research, in particular, shows quite stunning results. Participants who suffered from insomnia drank either tart cherry juice or a placebo juice for two weeks straight.
The group of people who drank tart cherry juice increased their sleep time by 85 minutes on average. (2)
By contrast, the placebo group experienced no difference in sleep.
Antioxidants Also Improve Sleep
Melatonin and tryptophan aren’t the only compounds in tart cherries that promote sleep.
Montmorency cherries also contain anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are a powerful group of antioxidants which not only protect the brain from oxidative stress, they also promote the production of melatonin.
Tart Cherry vs Melatonin and Valerian Supplements
People with insomnia like to try various methods to fall asleep.
Some go to massages, aromatherapies, or if they really struggle with falling asleep – they opt for pharmaceutical drugs.
Other choose more natural solutions such as herbal supplements. These include valerian and melatonin.
In fact, valerian and melatonin are the two most popular supplements for treating insomnia.
However, Montmorency Cherries could overtake their throne.
According to research, tart cherry juice is even more effective at improving sleep than valerian and melatonin. (3)
And the best of all, you don’t need to take tart cherries in a supplement form, unlike valerian or melatonin. You can eat them raw or drink tart cherry juice to experience their awesome sleep benefits.