Since I started college I have had a pretty bad track record with sleep. Not because I stay up late or anything (I am the FURTHEST thing from a night owl!), but because I either can’t fall asleep or can’t stay asleep. I think it is a combination of stress, being on the computer until it is time for bed, and the fact that my mind doesn’t stop thinking. After being told countless times that I look super tired, my mother (props to Kris) told me to try something she had heard might help: Tart Cherry Juice.
I had heard of tart cherry juice from my Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition class and how it can help with inflammation and be a source of pain relief and a recovery aid as a result. However, I was a little skeptical about how it would help me sleep. So, naturally, I did a little research.
When it starts to get dark out and your eyes begin to sense the darkness a signal is sent to your brain that in turn secretes a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is what regulates your internal clock and controls your sleep cycle. Now, while your body naturally secretes melatonin there are lots of things that can disrupt the hormone. Light for instance, can disrupt it. For me, I am pretty positive the light is from my iPad I use in bed… oops…
While you can get melatonin supplements, Tart Cherry Juice is a natural melatonin power house!!! It is recommended that those who have sleep issues should drink a serving of the juice around dinner time to help increase your body’s melatonin levels.
My mother picked some Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate up from Foods For Living in East Lansing on our little excursion this past weekend. I tried a little bit of it and it tastes pretty darn good. (I am not much of a juice drinker, I think a lot of times it tastes too sweet, but this was scrumptious)
I will let you all know if it helps at all! Has anyone ever tried this for a sleep aid before? Are there any other good remedies I should try? I would be SO grateful for any input!