Get better sleep with cherries?

Jul 21, 2008 at 3:39 p.m. ET

Cherries have long been known as a fruit high in antioxidants. But did you know that these plump red orbs also contain melatonin, nature's sleep-regulating hormone that is produced in your brain? Tart cherry juice may just be your answer to those restless long nights when shut-eye eludes you. Read on to find out how this sweet tart fruit can improve your health and your slumber.

Cherry Juice

Cherries are a natural remedy

Cherries are rich in antioxidants and have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Several studies have indicated that cherries assist in muscle repair, are good for the skin, and even lower cholesterol. Keep in mind, antioxidants are also key in combating cancer.

And given that cherries can reduce inflammation, they may also be beneficial in treating inflammatory-related health conditions, such as Alzheimer's, asthma, autoimmune disorders and heart disease (read The Anti-inflammatory Diet for more information).

Cherries are good for shut-eye

In addition to the phytonutrients in cherries, they also contain a naturally occurring amount of melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep-regulating hormone that is produced in the brain's pineal gland.

Melatonin production and release is stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light. Your melatonin levels should be low during the day and gradually increase as night falls. If you happen to be burning the candle at both ends, your melatonin levels could be sub-optimal, resulting in insomnia or jagged sleep. It makes sense, then, that by getting more melatonin, you could improve your sleep.

Cherry juice can regulate sleep

Eating cherries is always a good choice, particularly in the summer, when they are in season. Conveniently, frozen cherries can suffice when the summer harvest has disappeared. And you can also sip yourself to a good night's sleep with cherry juice.

The Journal of Sleep and Sleep Disorders Research recently published a study indicating that tart cherry juice can improve sleep and reduce insomnia. The study, conducted at the University of Rochester, found that CherryPharm, an all-natural tart cherry juice, improved sleep patterns by helping participants get to sleep faster and rest easier throughout the night.

"This clinical trial suggests that CherryPharm, a natural juice, improves sleep in individuals with insomnia. Given the side-effects of some prescription medications, it is encouraging to have a natural product as an alternative," states Dr. Wilfred Pigeon of the University of Rochester Medical Center and principal investigator on the study.

CherryPharm is a safe prescription for better sleep

Melatonin supplements are available over the counter, but research has shown that they are not standardized and many contain excess amounts of hormone. You can also try prescription drugs for insomnia, but you could experience negative side-effects.

Why not try a natural remedy? Only a small dose of naturally occurring melatonin is found in CherryPharm, and it is clinically proven to aid in getting quality sleep. Drinking one eight-ounce bottle of CherryPharm is equivalent to eating 50 fresh ripe cherries.

No, CherryPharm is not a miracle cure, but by drinking it every day, you boost your antioxidant intake, reduce inflammation in your body, and better ensure that you will enjoy a good night's sleep. As opposed to unstandardized supplements or prescription drugs, CherryPharm is a safe and natural option if you are looking for quality shut-eye and a way to quench your thirst with a refreshing drink of cherry juice.

Recently made available at Wegmans Food Markets in New Jersey, CherryPharm is also available for purchase online in 24-bottle cases for $48 or in eight-bottle packs for $20. Visit for more information.

Looking for more ways to incorporate cherries into your diet? In addition to drinking CherryPharm, tossing them in your salads or swirling them into ice cream, try these recipes featuring cherries:

Pear and Cherry Crumble

Cherry Apple Pie

Dark Cherry Salsa

Dried Cherry Muffins 

Slow Cooker Curry Pork Roast with Cherry Orange Sauce