Pilot Study: Tart Cherry May Help Insomniacs


Pigeon WR et al., “Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study,” Journal of Medicinal Food, vol. 13, no. 2 (June 2010): 579-583.

Daily consumption of tart cherry juice may help reduce the severity of insomnia as well as time spent awake after going to sleep. Researchers performed a pilot study on 15 older adults. Subjects drank 8 oz of CheriBundi tart cherry juice every morning and night, daily, for two weeks. For another two weeks, subjects consumed a different juice drink with no tart cherry juice.

Using tools such as daily sleep diaries and disease diagnoses according to the Insomnia Severity Index, researchers determined that compared to placebo, tart cherry juice produced significant reductions in insomnia severity (minutes awake after the onset of sleep).

The researchers stated that these mechanisms could be due to the high content of melatonin present in cherries as a natural antioxidant.

“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,” commented Russel J. Reiter, PhD, in a Cherry Marketing Institute press release. “And, because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits.”

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