It might seem odd that I’m writing about juicing for sleep after having waxed poetic about the amazing benefits of juicing for energy. But insomnia is something that affects more people every day. With cell phones, computers, television and the frenetic nature of the world in which we live, it can be hard to shut off the brain and get some zzz’s.
Recently I’ve experienced some insomnia myself, characterized by the incessant tossing, turning and the lightest sleep that if a pin should drop, I would wake. After enduring a week in a sleep deprived haze, I decided to take action.
Now, I realize that I could have popped a number of over the counter remedies, but I like to take the natural approach before turning to pharmaceuticals. Not to mention that taking these over the counter remedies can result in dependency.
Studies have shown that the Montmorency type of tart cherry is one of the richest natural sources of melatonin.
Melatonin is the hormone that the pineal gland in the brain produces. The main function of melatonin is to regulate the sleep cycle by helping you fall asleep at night and stay awake during the day. When night falls, the body starts producing more melatonin, but levels drop gradually as your sleep environment gets lighter (sunrise).
However, the artificial light from laptops, cell phones and televisions can interfere with the natural process of light that melatonin relies so heavily on, which explains why more people suffer from insomnia today than ever before.
To help alleviate my own symptoms of insomnia, I incorporated tart cherry juice into my diet for one week by having one glass three times a day. The first two days I didn’t notice much of a difference because I was still waking up every hour. However, on day three I woke up rested, although I didn’t necessarily feel as though I slept any better than the first three nights.
But with that said, night three was the breakthrough, because from that day forward I began sleeping exceptionally well and waking up in the morning feeling rested.
In the nature of full disclosure, I would advise anyone who has experience prolonged insomnia to see a doctor, as insomnia can sometimes be an indicator of something more serious. But for mild insomnia, tart cherry juice is a fantastic option. As cherries are ever so small, a substantial amount of them is needed to make enough juice to drink, but lucky for us cherries are in season!