LANSING, Mich., March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With the shift to Daylight Savings Time, Americans may need to prepare for sleep disruptions – as studies show that this transition increases night-time restlessness and compromises sleep.1 For a country already plagued by sleep disorders2 and the use of sleep aids higher than ever before3, the March time change should serve as a wake-up call. Sleep experts suggest we consider natural ways to re-set the body's internal clock to improve sleep patterns.
"With so many Americans lacking quality sleep, now is the time to reconsider some new sleep solutions," said Dr. Carol Ash, Director of Sleep Medicine for Meridian Health in New Jersey. "Simple steps, like adding tart cherries to your daily diet, may help you to be a better, more efficient sleeper."
Tart cherries are one of the few natural sources of melatonin, a compound with sleep-regulating properties. These ruby-red fruits are quickly gaining recognition as a natural sleep aid alternative. That's because studies have shown that tart cherry juice may:
- Help improve the quality and duration of sleep
- Reduce the severity of insomnia
- Increase overall sleep efficiency
In one study, adults who drank two daily glasses of tart cherry juice slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6 percent increase in sleep efficiency.4 Researchers also found that drinking tart cherry juice daily helped reduce the severity of insomnia and time spent awake after going to sleep.5
Researchers attribute the sleep benefits to the melatonin and phytonutrient content of tart cherries, which are especially abundant in anthocyanins. Each serving of tart cherry juice concentrate used in the studies is estimated to contain the equivalent of 90 to 100 tart cherries.
Many Reasons To Try Tart
The same compounds that give tart cherries their unique sweet-tart flavor profile and bright red color – anthocyanins – are also an indicator for a myriad health benefits. In addition to evidence supporting the benefits of tart cherry juice as a natural sleep aid alternative, research indicates that tart cherries may:
- Help promote heart health
- Reduce inflammation related to arthritis
- Ease exercise-related muscle pain
Tart cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms (including juice concentrate), and readily accessible on the shelves at a variety of retailers across the country and online. For more ways to Go Red Before Bed, and to learn more about the many health benefits of tart cherries, visit www.choosecherries.com.
About Cherry Marketing Institute
The Cherry Marketing Institute is an organization funded by North American tart cherry growers and processors. CMI's mission is to increase the demand for tart cherries through promotion, market expansion, product development and research. For a comprehensive overview of the body of research supporting tart cherries' health-promoting properties and for cherry recipes and menu ideas, visit www.choosecherries.com.
1 Lahti TA, Leppamaki S, Lonnqvist J, Partonen T. Transitions into and out of daylight saving time compromise sleep and the rest-activity cycles. BMC Physiology. 2008;8:3.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/features/dssleep.
3 Bertisch SM, Herzig SJ, Winkelman JW, Buettner C. National use of prescription medications for insomnia: NHANES 1999-2010. SLEEP 2014;37):343-349.
4 Howatson G, Bell PG, Tallent J, Middleton B, McHugh MP, Ellis J. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. European Journal of Nutrition. 2012;51:909-916.
5 Pigeon WR, Carr M, Gorman C, Perlis ML. Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: A pilot study. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2010;13:579-583.
SOURCE Cherry Marketing Institute