LONDON, November 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
According to Northumbria University drinking Montmorency cherry juice increases levels of melatonin in the body - the hormone that regulates sleep
Tart Montmorency cherries, found in award-winning CherryActive Concentrate, have been reported to contain high levels of phytochemical including melatonin, a molecule critical in regulating the sleep-wake cycle (1). The findings, which are published this week in the online edition of the European Journal of Nutrition, reveal that people who have consumed cherry juice not only sleep for longer, but they also have improved quality of sleep, or 'sleep efficiency'.
CherryActive is a 100% natural cherry supplement made with carefully-selected Montmorency cherries, using special techniques to optimize their health-promoting nutrients (2). One third of the UK population suffers from insomnia, a prolonged and usually abnormal inability to obtain adequate, uninterrupted sleep (3).
In the study, led by Dr Glyn Howatson, 20 healthy volunteers drank a 30ml serving of CherryActive tart cherry juice (1) twice a day for seven days. Each 30ml serving was estimated to contain the equivalent of approximately 90-100 tart cherries. Urine samples were collected from all participants before and during the investigation to determine levels of melatonin, a naturally occurring compound that heavily influences the human sleep-wake cycle.
During the study the participants wore an actigraphy watch sensor ,which monitored their sleep and wake cycles and kept a daily diary on their sleeping patterns.
The researchers found that when participants drank cherry juice for a week there was a significant increase in their urinary melatonin (15-16%) than the control condition and placebo drink samples.
The actigraphy measurements of participants who consumed the cherry juice saw an increase of around 15 minutes to the time spent in bed, 25 minutes in their total sleep time and a 5-6% increase in their 'sleep efficiency', a global measure of sleep quality.
Those consuming CherryActive reported less daytime napping time compared to their normal sleeping habits before the study and the napping times of the placebo group.
These data suggest that consumption of CherryActive Concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women. It might also be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.
Dr Jason Ellis, director of the Centre for Sleep Research, said: "What makes these findings exciting is that the melatonin contained in tart cherry juice is sufficient to elicit a healthy sleep response. These results provide us with more evidence surrounding the relationship between how we sleep and what we consume."
CherryActive® Concentrate contains the juice of around 3,000 Montmorency cherries in a single 946ml bottle, with no added sugar, sweeteners, preservatives, flavourings or colourings. A single 30ml serving contributes to one of your 5-A-Day and can be diluted in water or added to a sports recovery drink, smoothie or natural yoghurt.
** The participants in the study were 10 men and 10 women, aged 18-40.
Each 30ml serving of CherryActive concentrate contained the equivalent of approximately 90-100 tart cherries and was diluted with approximately 200ml of water.
The placebo juice was a commercially available mixed fruit cordial containing less that 5 per cent fruit.
Participants in the placebo group also diluted their juice concentrate with 200ml of water.
Stockist: Holland & Barrett, http://www.cherryactive.co.uk, and independent health food and sports nutrition stores
Price: CherryActive Concentrate 473ml -£14.49, 946ml - £26.95
- Effect of tart cherry juice on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality- Howatson G, et al Eur J Nutr. 2011 Oct 30 (Epub ahead of print)
- BBC Home - Science: The Human Body & Mind - A hard's night sleep http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/sleep/articles/sleepdisorders.shtml