Does Tart Cherry Juice Help You Sleep?

Key Takeaways

  • A Natural Sleep Aid: Tart cherry juice is emerging as a surprising but natural contender for improving sleep. It contains melatonin, the “sleep hormone,” which may help regulate sleep-wake cycles and enhance sleep quality.
  • Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice: This sleep-enhancing elixir is not only delicious but also a source of antioxidants. It may reduce inflammation, aid muscle recovery, and promote better sleep quality, making it a valuable addition to your sleep routine.
  • Part of a Holistic Approach: While tart cherry juice offers potential sleep benefits, it’s essential to integrate it into a broader strategy for better sleep. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and managing stress are all crucial aspects of improving your sleep quality.

In the search for better sleep, we often try various methods, from special curtains to machines that make calming sounds.

But there’s a surprising new contender on the scene: tart cherry juice. This red drink might not be what you’d expect, but it’s gaining attention for its possible sleep-improving qualities.

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Tart cherry juice is getting noticed as a potential solution for better sleep.

So, get ready to learn about the connection between tart cherry juice and the sleep you’ve been wanting.

The Science Behind Tart Cherry Juice and Sleep:

Tart cherries aren’t just a delight for your taste buds; they also pack a natural sleep aid – melatonin.

Melatonin, often referred to as the “sleep hormone,” is produced by our bodies to regulate sleep-wake cycles.

What’s fascinating is that tart cherries are one of the few food sources that contain melatonin.

This natural presence of melatonin in cherries suggests a potential link between consuming tart cherry products and promoting better sleep.

Melatonin is a conductor in the orchestra of our sleep-wake rhythm.

It signals our body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for slumber.

The presence of melatonin in tart cherries may help synchronize our internal body clock, making it a potential ally for those wrestling with sleep disorders or irregular sleep patterns.

Multiple studies have shed light on the potential benefits of tart cherry juice on sleep quality.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that consuming tart cherry juice increased sleep duration and sleep efficiency in older adults.

Another study suggested that tart cherry juice might help improve sleep duration and reduce the severity of insomnia symptoms.

While more research is needed for conclusive evidence, these findings hint at the positive impact tart cherry juice could have on sleep.

Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice for Sleep

Here are the main benefits of Tart Cherry Juice for sleep:

1. Antioxidants: Nature’s Sleep Elixir:

Beyond its sweet-tart flavor, tart cherry juice is a hidden trove of antioxidants.

These compounds, like anthocyanins, possess remarkable anti-inflammatory properties.

Inflammation can disrupt sleep by causing discomfort and restlessness.

By incorporating tart cherry juice into your routine, you’re infusing your body with these natural warriors that combat inflammation, potentially leading to more peaceful nights.

2. Aiding in Muscle Recovery and Sleep:

Tart cherries have also been studied for their role in muscle recovery and sleep enhancement, particularly in athletes.

Intense workouts can leave muscles sore and fatigued, impacting sleep quality.

Another published research suggests that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice might aid in reducing muscle soreness and inflammation, which can contribute to better sleep after physical exertion.

3. A Synergistic Approach:

When combined, these benefits paint a holistic picture of how tart cherry juice can positively impact your sleep.

By providing potential relief from inflammation, promoting muscle recovery, and delivering a dose of sleep-regulating melatonin, tart cherry juice offers a multi-faceted approach to enhancing your slumber.

More Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice:

Tart cherry juice’s natural melatonin and tryptophan (the precursor to melatonin) may improve sleep quality and regulate sleep-wake cycles.

The high levels of anthocyanins in tart cherries can help reduce inflammation, potentially aiding in conditions like arthritis and muscle soreness.

Anthocyanins are a powerful antioxidant also found in blueberries and blackberries.

Tart cherry juice’s antioxidants combat oxidative stress, promoting overall cellular health and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Athletes often turn to tart cherry juice because it can alleviate post-workout muscle soreness and support faster recovery.

The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in tart cherries may contribute to improved heart health by reducing risk factors like high blood pressure.

Tart cherry juice’s anti-inflammatory properties might provide relief from joint pain and discomfort, making it a natural alternative to pain relievers.

The vitamins and antioxidants in tart cherry juice can strengthen the immune system, potentially reducing the risk of infections.

Research suggests that the antioxidants in tart cherries might have neuroprotective properties, supporting cognitive function and brain health.

Tart cherry juice’s fiber content can aid digestion and promote a healthy gut by supporting regular bowel movements.

With its low-calorie content and potential to reduce inflammation, tart cherry juice can play a role in weight management by supporting a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.

What is Tart Cherry Juice?

Tart cherry juice is a vibrant elixir extracted from the tangy and nutritious Montmorency cherries.

These cherries, also known as sour cherries, are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

What sets them apart is their natural melatonin content, a sleep-regulating hormone that contributes to the potential sleep-enhancing properties of the juice.

Tart cherry juice is renowned for its pleasantly tart flavor, making it a versatile addition to beverages, smoothies, and even culinary creations.

A Consultation With Your Health Navigator:

Embarking on a journey to better sleep often involves adjusting your daily habits, including your diet.

Before introducing tart cherry juice as a regular component of your nightly routine, seeking counsel from a healthcare professional is wise.

This advice rings especially true if you have existing health conditions or allergies.

Individuals with conditions like diabetes or specific allergies should ensure that adding tart cherry juice aligns with their medical requirements.

The Harmony of a Balanced Diet:

While tart cherry juice might hold promise as a natural sleep aid, it’s important to remember that it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

A comprehensive approach to sleep improvement includes factors like maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a comfortable sleep environment and managing stress levels.

“Plenty of people are doing things that harm their sleep quality – like drinking caffeinated beverages in the evening, so I think that replacing those with a cup of tart cherry juice is a much better decision that will positively impact your sleep,” says Shawna Robins, best-selling author of Powerful Sleep – Rest Deeply, Repair Your Brain and Restore Your Life.

Incorporating tart cherry juice can complement these efforts, but it’s essential to remember that it’s not a magical solution that can counteract poor sleep habits.

“Not all people are low on melatonin and will see a benefit from tart cherry juice,” says Robins. “So it’s important to maintain good sleep hygiene, limit caffeine after 12 pm, exercise daily and find a positive way to manage stress.”

Risks Associated With Tart Cherry Juice:

While there can be multiple benefits to consuming Tart Cherry juice, you should also look out for the potential risks. Consuming it in moderation can help you minimize these risks:

a. Sugar Content: Tart cherry juice can be relatively high in natural sugars, which might concern those watching their sugar intake, especially before bedtime.

b. Caloric Intake: The caloric content of tart cherry juice should be considered, as consuming too many calories close to bedtime could lead to discomfort or disrupt sleep.

c. Individual Variability: Not everyone may respond similarly to tart cherry juice. Factors such as metabolism, underlying health conditions, and other dietary choices can influence its effects on sleep.

d. Acidic Nature: Tart cherry juice is acidic, which might not sit well with some individuals, potentially causing digestive discomfort that could disrupt sleep.

e. Interaction with Medications: If you’re taking medications, particularly blood thinners or medications that interact with melatonin, consult a healthcare professional before adding tart cherry juice to your routine.

f. Balanced Diet: Relying solely on tart cherry juice for improved sleep might overlook other important aspects of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle contributing to sleep quality.

g. Portion Control: Moderation is key. Too much tart cherry juice might lead to excessive sugar intake or digestive discomfort.

How To Use Tart Cherry Juice To Get Better Sleep?

Here are a few ideas to incorporate Tart Cherry Juice into your daily routine:

1. Sip Your Way to Slumber:

Incorporating tart cherry juice into your nightly routine doesn’t have to be a complex endeavor.

Consider swapping out your usual evening beverage for a soothing glass of tart cherry juice.

The calming effect of this ruby-red elixir can serve as a delightful prelude to your bedtime wind-down.

2. Dreamy Culinary Collaborations:

Tart cherry juice isn’t confined to a solitary role in your sleep routine.

Get creative in the kitchen and infuse it into your culinary creations. Blend it into your morning smoothie for a burst of flavor and potential sleep benefits.

Stir it into a bowl of yogurt to transform an ordinary snack into a sleep-supporting delight.

The possibilities are as endless as your imagination, and each spoonful or sip could be another step toward a restful night.

3. A Touch of Sweet Dreams:

If you have a sweet tooth, consider using tart cherry juice as a natural sweetener.

Drizzle it over oatmeal or mix it into a warm cup of herbal tea.

By infusing your dishes with the unique taste of tart cherries, you’re not only enhancing the flavor but potentially contributing to your sleep quality as well.

4. Exploring Sleep-Inducing Mixtures:

For those who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, consider crafting your sleep-inducing concoctions.

Mix tart cherry juice with chamomile tea for a soothing evening beverage.

Create a mocktail by combining it with sparkling water and a hint of lime.

These innovative blends not only tantalize your taste buds but also introduce an element of ritual to your sleep routine.

Is Tart Cherry Juice Safe for Toddlers?

Introducing tart cherry juice to toddlers requires caution.

Due to its natural sugar content and potential impact on blood sugar levels, it’s recommended to consult a pediatrician before offering it to young children.

For those aged 1-2 years, juice intake should be limited.

However, tart cherry’s nutrient profile might offer some benefits when included in a balanced diet for older children.

When Is the Best Time to Take Tart Cherry Juice?

The timing of tart cherry juice consumption matters for potential sleep benefits.

Consuming 3 hours or earlier before bedtime aligns with its melatonin content, which can help signal the body for sleep.

This timing allows the melatonin to synchronize with your natural sleep-wake cycle, increasing the chances of more restful slumber.

“Just be sure not to consume it within 3 hours of bedtime to minimize a drop in blood sugar or the need to use the bathroom, both which will wake you up and defeat the purpose,” says Robins.

Incorporating it into your evening routine can become a soothing ritual that prepares you for a tranquil night ahead.


Does tart cherry juice really improve sleep?

There's growing evidence suggesting that tart cherry juice, with its natural melatonin content, might positively impact sleep quality.

Can tart cherry juice replace my sleep medication?

Tart cherry juice can complement sleep efforts, but consult a healthcare professional before altering medications.

Can children drink tart cherry juice for sleep?

Consult a pediatrician before giving tart cherry juice to children due to varying sleep needs and sensitivities.

Are there any side effects to drinking tart cherry juice?

It is generally safe, but excessive consumption might lead to digestive discomfort due to its natural sugars.

How long does it take to notice sleep improvements from tart cherry juice?

Some report improvements within a few days, while others might experience effects after a few weeks.

Can I mix tart cherry juice with other beverages?

Yes, you can blend it into smoothies, and teas, or use it as a natural sweetener.

Can tart cherry juice help with insomnia?

Some studies suggest potential benefits but consult a healthcare provider for comprehensive insomnia management.

Is tart cherry juice a cure-all for sleep problems?

While promising, it's just one component of a holistic sleep approach that includes lifestyle and environmental adjustments.


With its melatonin and antioxidants, tart cherry juice adds a flavorful twist to the quest for peaceful sleep.

However, improving your sleep quality involves more than one solution.

It’s like orchestrating a complex symphony, where various elements like your diet, sleep environment, and lifestyle play their unique parts.

The perfect mattress, supportive bedding, and innovative features all come together to create a flawless night’s sleep.

You also want to make sure you’re observing good sleep hygiene practices as well.

As you think about adding tart cherry juice to your routine and creating your ideal sleep space, remember that every choice you make contributes to the symphony of your sleep.

This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.

Sarah Anderson, Certified Sleep Science Coach Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson is a sleep, health, and wellness writer and product reviewer. She has written articles on changing and improving your sleep schedule, choosing the right mattress for chronic pain conditions, and finding the best pillow for you. Sarah Anderson has her Bachelor of Arts degree from Arizona State University in Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to working for Zoma, she wrote for a variety of news publications. Sarah's work has been featured on Bustle, PureWow, and other publications.

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