Sleep Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice

Two weeks ago, I attended a wellness retreat. We had a fabulous speaker, a scientist specializing in nutrition, muscle, performance, and recovery, who talked to us about food and supplements. One of my takeaways was the benefits of tart cherry juice on sleep. I have had difficulty sleeping lately and will try anything for a better night's sleep. Tart cherries contain melatonin and tryptophan, an essential amino acid that produces serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and sleep, while melatonin is the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle. Both of these promote relaxation. Below are the key benefits of tart cherry for sleep:

1. Natural Source of Melatonin

Tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin helps signal to the body that it is time to sleep, facilitating a smoother transition into restful sleep. Consuming tart cherry juice or supplements can increase melatonin levels, potentially improving sleep duration and quality.

2. Rich in Antioxidants

Tart cherries are high in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins and flavonoids. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which are often linked to sleep disturbances. By mitigating these issues, tart cherries may contribute to better overall sleep health.

3. Supports Sleep Duration and Quality

Several studies have suggested that tart cherry juice can enhance sleep duration and quality. For instance, research indicates that drinking tart cherry juice can lead to significant increases in sleep time and sleep efficiency in both adults and older adults with insomnia. This suggests that tart cherry could be a beneficial natural remedy for those struggling with sleep disorders.

4. Improves Sleep Efficiency

Sleep efficiency is a measure of how much time spent in bed is actually spent sleeping. Higher sleep efficiency indicates a more restful and uninterrupted sleep. Tart cherry juice has been shown to improve sleep efficiency, helping individuals achieve a more consolidated and restorative sleep.

5. Reduces Insomnia Symptoms

For individuals with insomnia, tart cherry juice can be particularly beneficial. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, and tart cherries' melatonin content, along with their anti-inflammatory properties, can help alleviate these symptoms, leading to improved sleep patterns.

6. Non-Habit Forming

Unlike some sleep aids and medications, tart cherry products are natural and non-habit forming. This makes them a safer long-term option for those looking to improve their sleep without the risk of dependency or adverse side effects associated with pharmaceutical sleep aids.


Individuals can consume tart cherry in various forms, such as juice, concentrate, or supplements. A standard recommendation is to drink tart cherry juice twice daily, once in the morning and once before bed, to see improvements in sleep patterns. You can drink it as a shot or fill 2 tbsp of juice with 8oz or sparkling water.  The water will dilute the juice, and you will consume less sugar, which is better for your overall health.  Try it, you may like it!