Insomnia which is so very common as you age can really affect the health and wellbeing of those who become less able to sleep a full night. In fact insomnia is linked to many diseases such as type 2 diabetes, chronic pain and high blood pressure to name a few.  And although sleeping pills are advisable for younger insomniacs for older people these pills severely increase their risk of falling.

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But good news! A new study out of the Louisiana State University showed that drinking tart cherry juice in the morning and evening helped people sleep better at night. The participants were asked to drink Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks. By the end of the study volunteers were citing an increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes.

In a quest to understand why the tart cherry juice benefits people in this way some conclusion they came to were these:

  • Montmorency tart cherries are a natural source of melatonin
  • The ruby red pigments in tart cherry juice, known as proanthocyanidins, also play a role.
  • Tart cherry juice helped to increase the availability of and somewhat prohibits the degradation of tryptophan, an essential amino acid and a precursor to serotonin that helps with sleep.

The researchers concluded, it's the unique combination of melatonin and tryptophan in Montmorency tart cherries that is likely contributing to the sleep benefits and that drinking a glass of tart cherry juice in the morning and the evening may be a better and a safer way to treat insomnia.

These finding were presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition, which is being held in conjunction with the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego