Cherries aren’t just delicious, they are also wonderfully nutritious. Having been already hailed as a natural way to reduce the risks of gout and arthritis, a natural painkiller and useful in combating heart disease, research has now uncovered that cherries may also hold the answer to a restful night’s sleep. Of course, to some, it may sound absurd that something as simple as cherries could help you to get a great night’s sleep and, as such, we decided to take a look in a little more depth!
The Problem With Getting A Great Night’s Sleep
Insomnia, lack of adequate sleep and the inability in our busy lives to get to and stay asleep is not just causing thousands of people to feel grumpy, irritable and unable to concentrate; sleep deprivation and sleep problems are linked to a myriad of health issues, including weight gain. The fact is, a lack of sleep can have a detrimental effect on the way in which a person’s body functions, slowing down metabolism and contributing to high blood pressure. Consequently, thousands of us at any one time are searching for an answer as to how to get a better night’s sleep. Worryingly, many people turn to medications which, meant as short term solutions, can lead to problems in the longer term.
Insomnia is a condition which affects up to a third of the UK population, with a further 30% of UK citizens being described as ‘severally sleep deprived’ and consequently at a far higher risk of experiencing mental health problems, according to information provided by the NHS website. Hence, sleeping pills are taken by millions of people in the UK. In recent years though, sleeping pills have also been linked to an increase in dementia and most recently cancer, as reported by The Express website. Hence, recent research suggesting that the humble cherry might provide an alternative to pharmaceutical solutions is welcome news.
How Can Cherries Help?
Specifically, tart cherries have been recognised as one of the only natural sources of melatonin, a hormone largely responsible for maintaining the body’s sleep-wake cycle through regulating our internal body clocks. Melatonin, which is one of the main active ingredients in many sleeping pills, may not though be most effective when taken alone. Research now suggests it is the specific and unique combination of naturally occurring melatonin and anthocyanins in tart cherries that hold the answer to why individuals in a recent study who drank tart cherry juice twice a day for a two week period experienced an increase in sleep duration. On average, those who drank cherry juice slept for 90 minutes longer than those who did not. Those who drank two servings of tart cherry juice for only one week also benefitted, sleeping on average 40 minutes longer than those who drank no cherry juice at all or were given a placebo juice during the experiment.
Further details about the study into cherries and sleep can be viewed via the NCBI website.
How To Increase Your Sleep Duration & Quality
Introduce tart cherry juice into your diet. Cherry juice is the simplest way to ensure you benefit from the goodness of tart cherries. Drinking sixteen ounces of tart cherry juice each day in two eight-ounce servings, is advisable. Drinking less may not produce much of a noticeable difference and drinking more is not recommended as cherry juice naturally contains sugars which contribute towards your daily recommended allowance.
Rule out the causes of insomnia. Common causes of insomnia include noise pollution, blinds or curtains which inadequately block out light, your pre-bedtime routine and the quality and age of your mattress and bedding.
Use season appropriate bedding. We would always advise swapping your bedding during the summer months. Hence, here at Sleepy People, we’ve conveniently arranged our duvet collection according to the seasons, as experts who recognise the importance bedding can play in getting a good night’s sleep.
To discover further ways to create the ideal sleeping environment, the experts at the Sleep Education website (a sleep health information resource provided by the American Association of Sleep Medicine) currently feature a fantastic article titled, Sleep Tips For the Summer as well as our recent article on the same topic which can be seen here.