Tart Cherries & Sleep

We all know the importance of sleep – but what you might not know is that being tired isn’t just about feeling grumpy. While a restful night can lead to a more productive day, inadequate sleep is linked to health problems like weight gain and high blood pressure. So it’s crucial to prioritise sleep.

To help them do so, many people turn to sleep aids, including melatonin pills. With tart cherries, however, they may have a natural remedy to promote sleep while also tasting good.

Researchers believe it’s the combination of melatonin and the anthocyanins in Montmorency tart cherries that might help you sleep better at night.

Let’s look at some studies!

1 – Sleep time and efficiency study

A pilot study conducted at Louisiana State University found that tart cherry juice extended sleep time by 84 minutes. In this placebo-controlled, crossover study, 8 healthy men and women (ages 50+) with chronic insomnia were randomized to a tart cherry group or a placebo control group, separated by a 2-week washout period. Those in the tart cherry group drank about 8oz of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and night, 1-2 hours before bedtime, for 14 days.

When compared to the placebo, the tart cherry juice was found to extend sleep time by 84 minutes and increase sleep efficiency on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.

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Tart Cherry Juice

“Cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency. Cherry juice procyanidin B-2 inhibited IDO, increased tryptophan availability, reduced inflammation, and may be partially responsible for improvement in insomnia.” – Louisiana State University

Tart cherries and sleep

2 – Sleep quality and duration study

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover designed study, 20 men and women (ages 18-40) with no reported sleep disturbances drank either 2 servings of Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate (60mL mixed with water) or a placebo beverage for 7 days.

The tart cherry consumption group slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to a 6% increase in sleep efficiency, compared to the placebo group. Circulating blood melatonin levels were also increased.

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3 – Insomnia study

In a pilot study of 15 men and women (ages 65 and older) with chronic insomnia, tart cherry consumption resulted in significant improvements in the Insomnia Severity Index and a 62-minute improvement in waking after sleep onset.

The participants drank two 8-ounce servings of Montmorency tart cherry juice a day for 2 weeks. Compared to the placebo drink, the tart cherry juice was associated with significant improvements on all self-reported sleep variables.

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Tart cherries and insomnia

How can I incorporate tart cherries into my diet?

We recommend drinking two 8-ounce servings of tart juice daily. Enjoy a glass in the morning with breakfast and incorporate another in your evening routine.

Alternatively enjoy a handful of dried Montmorency tart cherries as a bedtime snack. You might find that your long nights of tossing and turning or counting sheep are over.

You can also try our fantastic range of delicious tart cherry recipes. Add a pop of colour, a nutrient punch and a hint of sweet-tart flavor to overnight oats, grain bowls, salads, side dishes, trail mixes and much more.

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Choose Cherries UK

So where do Montmorency Tart Cherries come from?

Tart or sour cherries (Prunus cerasus) are an American fruit, grown primarily in seven U.S. states: Michigan, Utah, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania and New York. The U.S. variety is called Montmorency.

While the name may come from a valley in France, Montmorency tart cherries are strictly grown in the U.S. So when you buy Montmorency tart cherries, you’re supporting American family farms, all the way from the UK.

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Tart Cherries

What other health benefits do tart cherries offer?

Studies on these ruby red superfruits have also included research on gout, exercise recovery, sleep, heart health and gut health. Take a look at the many reasons to eat more Montmorency tart cherries.


For decades, people with arthritis have consumed Montmorency tart cherry juice for the relief of their symptoms.


Recent studies have shown that the consumption of Montmorency tart cherries helps reduce the risk of gout attacks.

Gut Health

Emerging research suggests Montmorency tart cherries may play a role in gut health and offer digestive health benefits.

Heart Health

Preliminary studies have explored Montmorency tart cherries and the effect on blood pressure and blood lipids.

Recovery & Training

Montmorency tart cherry juice is rapidly gaining a following among elite athletes and exercisers as a recovery drink.


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