cherries, tart cherry juice

If you, like so many people, suffer from insomnia, you may be feeling frustrated. The disadvantages of relying on sleeping pills, either prescription or over-the-counter, are becoming clearer. At the same time, the toll that sleep deprivation takes on health has also gotten a lot of attention. This is a terrible dilemma. One reader solved it with a cup of tart cherry juice at bedtime.

Q. I don’t remember now if I read this here or elsewhere but I recently learned that drinking tart cherry juice at bedtime ensures a sound night’s sleep. It works for me and for the friends I have told about it.

Tart Cherry Juice at Bedtime:

A. Thank you for sharing your success story. It is quite possible that you read about cherry juice for insomnia in The People’s Pharmacy. We have been writing about the benefits of cherry juice for years.

The most recent research, published in the American Journal of Therapeutics (online March 27, 2017), concluded that “Cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency.” Ingredients in Montmorency tart cherry juice reduce inflammation and increase tryptophan levels in the body. That may contribute to its sleep-promoting activity.

You can learn more about cherry juice and other non-drug approaches for overcoming insomnia in our online digital Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. Access to this online resource may be purchased at

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  1. Vannie

    I’ve been reading all about the health benefits of drinking unsweetened tart cherry juice. I keep running into the same frustrating info that is in your article, namely the following: “Ingredients in Montmorency tart cherry juice…” I have looked in just about every retail grocery in my city, and have NEVER seen a label saying the juice is specifically from Montmorency cherries. Should I assume that all tart cherries are Montmorency cherries? If not, this presents a dillemma: does only that type of cherry yield the benefits that have been touted in all the articles? And beside that, what is the meaning of the word Montmorency? Is it referring to the location where it is grown? The particular species of cherry?

    If anyone can provide an authoritative answer on this, I’d greatly appreciate it.

  2. Diane
    Columbus In 47201

    I’ve been taking tart cherry juice everyday for2 weeks..Question…Do you have to drink everyday to have it work properly or just when you feel that you needit for inflammation or a better night’s sleep?

  3. MFK

    I have had good results with Organic Tart Cherry Concentrate, which I dilute with water and sweeten a bit with organic maple syrup. Anti-inflammatory and really helps with arthritis pain…may also help with sleep…have not paid enough attention, but I will.

  4. Cindy

    As a result of this PP I bought some Tart Cherry Ultra Capsules. I do as directed, taking 3 before bedtime. The past 5 days have not yielded any help towards sleep. I will keep taking them for the rest of the month. It has not given me heartburn. They were relatively expensive.

  5. Cindy M. B

    You guys should not be buying the tart cherry JUICE, though it’s readily available at most stores. Ditto for the pills! The best way to take TC is by getting the condensed liquid extract, which you can find at healthfood stores. I use a couple tablespoons in water, juice or tea most nights; it works great , and the extract lasts for quite awhile.

    I was a terrible insomniac all my life. Then a couple years ago I started getting more sleep by using a combo of melatonin, tryptophan, & homeopathics. THEN I started using tart cherry before bed and also upped the magnesium in my daily supplement regimen (both support sleep). THEN, I added a couple of “adaptogens” to the regimen also. Adaptogens are designed to fight stress and suppress the release of cortisol, the “fight-or-flight” enzyme (I think it’s an enzyme) that your body puts out during stress, and which causes dangerous fat to form around the midsection! Examples of adaptogens are Ashwaganda, Maca, Rodiola, Holy Basil… They’re all natural and, as far as I know, have no side effects!

    Anyway, after all those little tweaks, I now sleep very soundly! I’ve stopped all my sleep stuff except for an occasional melatonin, and I often don’t take melatonin because it makes it just too hard to get up in the morning! How about that? I’m so glad that my lifelong insomnia is now a distant memory.

  6. Ellen

    I tried a cup of tart cherry juice at night just before going to bed. It gave me terrible indigestion. At first the indigestion wasn’t so bad and I didn’t know what was causing it. After about 10 days as it gradually got worse, I finally figured out it was the cherry juice. Too bad, because I really want the benefits.

  7. Lori

    I was drinking tart cherry juice in the hope that it would help arthritis pain. It did zilch for sleeping for me. Still woke up at 2 or 3 and have trouble going back to sleep. Oh well….

  8. dora

    Where can one buy tart cherry pills? Are they really effective and not a waste of money?

  9. dora

    Cherry juice I saw at grocery was loaded with sugar

    • Marla

      If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby look for the 100% Tart Cherry Juice (Not From Concentrate). They have two varieties but look for the not from concentrate one. It doesn’t have any added sugars. I like it.

  10. Dora

    Like your natural approach

  11. jim

    what a joke
    I have cherry juice every night before bed to prevent gout. It really works. However,
    I toss and turn all night, unable to stay asleep.

  12. Caroll
    Fort Worth TX

    Tart Cherry Juice. . .read your article back in early spring and bought the juice through warehouse store, BUT they dropped it. Local health food stores do not carry the same brand here in my city, although I emailed them the info.

    Read recently, and do not remember where on the Internet, that a banana at bedtime promotes good sleep. As it is part of my daily food intake, I just started eating one at night.
    Seems to be working and sleeping well and long.

  13. Mary
    North Carolina

    I also heard that magnesium citrate at bedtime would help you to go to sleep.

  14. Ann C
    Illinois and Michigan

    As we have all learned of the many benefits of tart cherry juice and of tart cherries themselves, people should also keep in mind that Michigan is well known for its cherry orchards and products. Beautiful photographs of the cherry and other fruit orchards have long appeared in many publications representing Michigan agriculture.

    However, in more recent years, more and more orchards have been left to die off or have been destroyed in favor of vineyards and the production of wine. And that kind of production has been even more recently challenged by the growing of hops and the seemingly ubiquitous spread of breweries for the beers produced.

    I’m not opposed to wine and beer necessarily, but vineyards and fields of hops are ugly sights compared to cherry orchards (or peach or apple, pear, etc.) and their products are most certainly not as healthful as the fruits being displaced for alcoholic drinks production. The rise in traffic accidents and deaths are not due to eating beautiful, healthful fruits. Support for orchardists and their work, being aware of that whole world of agriculture and products is part of being an aware consumer.

  15. Carol Kroll

    Anyone who is prone to heartburn would be wise not to use tart cherry juice. I’d get no sleep at all if I used it at bedtime, and I have had really painful heartburn when I used it at all. It may well help those with cast-iron stomachs, though. :-)

    • HelenM

      Agree 100%. I have really bad problems with sleep now that I have been diagnosed with terminal cancer; however, I have had horrid heartburn from the tart cherry pills, taken during the day.

      I could never chance taking it at night. For years, I have been sleeping with a bottle of Tums (or house brand) at hand for that “lay me down and here comes the heartburn” problem. I’ll have to stick with the sleeping aids.

  16. tomcat

    Would the same benefits of the tart Montmorency juice be available in the black cherry juice that is used for gout? I take a dose of black cherry juice for gout every week.

  17. Mark
    evanston, IL

    from Mark
    Would tart cherry extract pills help sleep like the juice? I take the pills to prevent kidney stones now in the morning, but might consider taking it in the evening, but also want to avoid bathroom trips during the night.

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