Ismat Tahseen, TNN Oct 25, 2012
Research says tart cherry juice can aid the sleepcycle and increase shut-eye time
Forget the hot chocolate, chamomile tea and other ‘relaxation’ beverages. If you have had a problem sleeping, you might take heed of this…word has it that tart cherry juice is the new mantra for those seeking a better night’s sleep!
What the study says:
A research conducted by Britain’s Northumbria University, saw healthy adults who drank two servings of tart cherry juice concentrate or a non-cherry fruit drink for seven consecutive days, one serving each in the morning and at bedtime. Researchers tracked the participant’s sleep habits and after drinking the cherry juice, they found significant improvements in sleep behaviour, most notably longer sleep time, less daytime napping and increased overall sleep efficiency. They attribute the sleep benefits to the melatonin content of the red super fruit – a powerful antioxidant critical for sleep-wake cycle regulation, according to a university statement. Each serving of the tart cherry juice concentrate was estimated to contain the equivalent of 90-100 tart cherries, providing a significant level of melatonin in the juice and ultimately in the bodies of the participants.
Though sleep patterns are built into our DNA and often are governed by external factors likestress and work behaviours, they can also largely be helped with aids, believe experts. Says dietician Priya Karkera, “An increasing number of people suffer from insomnia today and while there are several remedies for this, food and drink has shown to have a profound effect on how effectively one sleeps. As Indians we tend to have warm milk at night, but tart cherry juice is also good as the melatonin in it helps induce sound sleep. It’s recommended to have a glass of cherry juice (from natural fruit) or then warm milk half an hour before sleeping. Plain buttermilk (thin version) from fresh curd is an option for diabetics,” she says.
So, the next time you can’t sleep well, don’t reach for the pills, try something natural instead!
– Having a late night meal, especially spicy food
– Doing a heavy workout close to bedtime
– Playing computer games or watching violent films before tuning in
– Caffeine, as it can keep you awake for long