• Health

Why cherries help you sleep

A good night’s sleep is essential for happy, healthy, and productive people.

Since freelancers often maintain irregular schedules that can lead to irregular sleeping patterns, we gave you some information on how to find your circadian rhythm and tips to help you maintain proper sleep hygiene. So no doubt in the last week or so, all of you plagued with sleep and routine problems are magically fixed! You’re welcome freelancers.

If you are a sleep overachiever interested in further beefing up your sleep arsenal, look no further than the cherry.

Cherries are one of the only foods that contain melatonin, which is a hormone that helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle. Other foods include walnuts, orange bell peppers, and tomatoes. While our bodies naturally produce melatonin, sometimes it needs to be supplemented when our circadian rhythms are not biologically synchronized with the environmental (light-dark) cycle.

While melatonin supplement pills have been promoted as a sleep aid, foods such as cherries may be a better natural alternative for boosting the body's supply of melatonin. "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," says Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D, a biomedical scientist and one of the world's leading authorities on melatonin. "Because cherries are so rich in other antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, you get other important health benefits."

Although cherry season is winding down (yes, this means that you should go and buy all of the cherries and keep them in your freezer for the ten months cherries are not in abundance), you can also drink tart cherry juice.

A glass of tart cherry juice in the morning and one in the evening will do your body right for a good night of sleep. If you choose to eat your cherries, sleep experts recommend a serving (1 cup) an hour or so before bed.

You know what they (and by “they” I mean “I”) say: two glasses of cherry juice a day helps you sleep the night away!

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