Can Drinking Tart Cherry Juice Before Bed Really Help You Sleep Better?


There’s no shortage of soothing sleep habits, and you’ve probably already tried them: Taking a warm shower, turning on some white noise, and keeping your phone out of bed can all help you snooze a little better, for example. There’s also plenty of chatter about “sleep-promoting” foods (think Thanksgiving turkey), but the science behind this concept is a bit slimmer. 

Yet many people on TikTok claim that tart cherry juice is helping them fall asleep. In one viral video, which has more than 197,000 likes and stirred up lots of reactions, user @missalanablack talked about her struggles with sleep. She saw another user post a video about drinking tart cherry juice before bed, so she gave it a try. “Why didn’t I know about cherry juice earlier?” she said in the video. “I have taken so many supplements to help me go to sleep, help me stay asleep…all I needed was some cherry juice?” She noted that she was “done” 15 minutes after having a cup of the juice, adding, “I didn’t wake up once through the night.” TikTok user @hymtherapper also decided to test the tart cherry juice tip in an older video, but he drank it in the middle of the day. In the video—in which he was clearly surprised by the tartness of the juice—he said he felt drowsy 15 minutes after drinking a cup of it. “I’m just now waking up,” he shared in a follow-up clip that noted he slept for six hours. “I’m just letting you all know right now, the juice worked. The juice worked.

Of course, any health claims on TikTok should be taken with a grain of salt, but people seem to swear by this stuff. So SELF asked experts whether you should try sipping on some tart cherry juice for better sleep—here’s what you should know if you’ve been tossing and turning.

Small studies suggest tart cherry juice may help with sleep, but the research is super limited.

There are some studies that point to the potential sleep-related perks of tart cherry juice, but they’re not recent and had small participant pools—and many of them have been industry-funded. 

In one 2012 study, for example, researchers had 20 adults drink tart cherry juice concentrate or a placebo before they ate dinner for a week. They discovered that people who drank the tart cherry juice had elevated levels of melatonin in their urine compared to the placebo group. (Melatonin is a hormone your brain naturally produces in response to darkness, and it helps control the timing of your sleep-wake cycle.)

A 2018 pilot study of eight older people with insomnia concluded that drinking tart cherry juice in the morning and again before going to bed for two weeks increased sleep time by 84 minutes, on average. The researchers noted that tart cherry juice may be “partially responsible” for easing insomnia.

“The studies are small, but they did see that tart cherry juice helped [sleep] with a mild to moderate benefit,” Kelly Waters, MD, a sleep medicine specialist with Corewell Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan, tells SELF.


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