It is no secret, if you are a regular reader, that I focus on the topic of sleep quite a bit (like here and here and here to be exact). Yes, a tiny bit obsessed I am as I struggle with getting quality sleep a lot of the time and it is a very critical component of living the healthy life. Thus, anytime I hear of a study on it or any tips people want to share, I pretty much screech to a halt, whip my head around and lean in.
During one of those “leaning in” episodes, I learned of some new information that may help fellow insomniacs about a favorite fruit – cherries – and their possible impact on our sleep. But, before I even get to that, did you know that cherries (fresh or frozen) already have a lot of other great health benefits, too?
5 REASONS TO HIT THE CHERRY BOWL
Reaching for a handful of cherries to improve your health is a smart move. And, here is why I say that:
1. Cherries are small but mighty brain disease fighters.
Like I said – a smart idea to dig in the cherry bowl as research points to cherries as reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s disease.
2. They are a dieter’s dream.
They are low in calories with only 77 calories in one whole cup with two grams of fiber (not bad) and loads of vitamin C.
3. They chase inflammation.
And, that is certainly a very good thing. Many doctors prescribe cherry juice for joint inflammation from gout and arthritis. Moreover, this article says eating cherries often can reduce markers for many other chronic inflammatory diseases.
4. Gym rats rejoice.
Cherries may reduce muscle soreness after a workout, and they can prevent greater muscle damage in the long run. It’s those anti-inflammatory properties in cherries that probably have something to do with making that post-workout period more bearable.
5. The red hue is good for your heart.
Those anthocyanins, which give cherries their deep red color, create a positive force for our heart health, lists this article on the research on that.
HOW CHERRIES CAN HELP YOU SLEEP
Impressive as that may all be, let’s get back to the information on cherries and sleep I discovered recently as well as a challenge for you to try as well . . .
The quality of our sleep plays a significant role on our mood, our immune system, our energy level, our memory, our brain health, our blood pressure, our weight-loss efforts, the aging process and so, so much more. There is a lot of research dollars being focused on this mysterious part of our lives and its effects and scientists are showing us the impact it has on our health. It is what makes this research such great news as it is a possible natural way to help us sleep without the pills.
1. Drink up to better sleep.
A new study found that for older adults with insomnia that drink Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks saw increased sleep time by nearly 90 minutes. That is significant! Thus, sipping on tart cherry juice may help improve both the quality and duration of your sleep, reduce the severity of any insomnia that you may be suffering from and increase overall sleep efficiency.
2. The cherry duo may do the trick.
Tart cherries are a natural sources of melatonin, responsible for the regulation of the body’s internal clock as well as our sleep-wake cycle. Researchers believe it’s the double-whammy combination of melatonin and the anthocyanins in tart cherries that might help us get our best rest at night.
TWO-WEEK CHERRY SLEEP CHALLENGE
Let’s put those cherries to the test, shall we? Fellow insomniacs or for those who just want to improve their sleep and their health, please take the cherry sleep challenge with me. Here are the simple steps to do just that:
- Sip and enjoy two 8-ounce servings of tart cherry juice daily for the next two weeks and make sure one serving is in the evening.
- Log your results and tweet me (use #cherriesforsleep), email me or come back and comment here on this post and let us know how and if the cherry juice is helping you sleep better.
- Follow me on Twitter here as I will be talking about my results over the next few weeks there and I would love to retweet your results, too.
Montmorency tart cherry juice (found at most grocery stores) is on the pricey side, I know, but if you think about it, so are those sleep aides and doctor visits for all the ailments you will need help with from lack of good sleep. I say invest in yourself and your health and see if this can help! And, remember all the other great health benefits cherries contain. It may help you in other areas of your health as well.
So, are you in? Let’s see together if our nights of tossing and turning and watching the clock tick by are long gone. I can’t wait to hear how it goes for you!
photo credit link: cherry bowl