Researchers from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge found that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks helped increase sleep time by nearly 90 minutes among older adults with insomnia.
They presented the results at the annual meeting of the American Society of Nutrition held this week in conjunction with the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego, and submitted them for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. NutraIngredients-USA hasn’t yet seen the published data.
Insomnia – defined as trouble sleeping on average more than three nights per week – affects an estimated 23 to 34% of the population ages 65 and older. Though chronic sleeplessness can be an annoyance for some, long-lasting insomnia is linked to a higher prevalence of ailments from chronic pain and high blood pressure to type 2 diabetes and a decline of cognitive function (dementia) among the elderly.
For the randomized crossover clinical trial, seven older adults (average age of 68) with insomnia consumed 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice daily for two weeks, followed by a two-week washout period, then a two-week period when another beverage was consumed (placebo). The researchers studied participants’ sleep in a controlled setting, using overnight polysomnography to evaluate such factors as sleep onset and duration. Participants also completed questionnaires related to sleep, fatigue, depression and anxiety, and underwent blood work as well.
Tart cherry juice drinkers slept over an hour longer each night vs. placebo
The researchers found that those who drank the Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and at night were able to sleep more than an hour longer each night (averaging 84 minutes) compared to the placebo, and their sleep tended to be more efficient.