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Can cherry juice really cure insomnia?

Thanks to the release of a recent study, the media has been buzzing with reports that cherry juice cures insomnia. I'm going to be less sensationalist and give you the facts.

Cherry juice cures insomnia

This claim stems from a study undertaken by researchers from the University of Rochester, Veterans Affairs Center of Excellence and the University of Pennsylvania. It looked at the sleep habits of those who drank 8 ounces of tart cherry juice every morning and evening for two weeks.

Apparently, the study found that there was a significant reduction in the severity of insomnia during the weeks when the test subjects drank the cherry juice.

Cherry juice does not cure insomnia

Now for the facts:

  • The study was funded by a cherry juice manufacturer.
  • The study involved only 15 elderly adults.
  • The authors of the study pointed out that the effects of the cherry juice were so slight, those in the study continued to have significant sleep disturbance.
  • Although the cherry juice appeared to reduce insomnia severity and the number of minutes of wake time before the onset of sleep, it was no different to the placebo when measuring how long it takes to fall asleep, total sleep time or sleep efficiency.

My thoughts on cherry juice as an insomnia cure

Cherries contain relatively high amounts of melatonin - so they may have some mild effect when it comes to insomnia relief. However, you shouldn't think of them as a cure. This study was funded by a cherry juice manufacturer and involved only a tiny number of (elderly) participants.

There's nothing wrong with trying cherry juice to see if it helps relieve your insomnia - just don't go expecting miracles, and always be wary of marketing gimmicks and media hype.

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Last updated: February 9, 2014

This Article Was Written By

Martin Reed

Leave a Comment

  • A. Marina Fournier
    November 15, 2010, 9:31 pm

    Diabetics should stay away from this “cure”, of course.