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Tart cherries may help relieve muscle pain, arthritis pain and the pain of gout better than anti-inflammatory drugs, but here’s a potential new use that might be worthwhile if you need help sleeping.
Researchers at Britain’s Northumbria University found that adults who drank two daily glasses of tart cherry juice slept up to six percent more efficiently (less non-sleep time in bed, and about an additional 39 minutes of sleep) than usual.
This was a small study – only 20 volunteers participated. They all drank two servings of tart cherry juice concentrate diluted in a half pint of water or a non-cherry fruit drink for seven consecutive days at a time, one glass when they woke up and the second when they went to bed.
Researchers who tracked the participants’ sleep habits found that after drinking the cherry juice they slept longer and napped less during the day than they did when they drank the non-cherry fruit drink. They attributed the sleep improvements seen with tart cherry juice to the small amounts of melatonin it contains.