Drinking tart cherry juice can help increase the amount of time one sleeps at night, according to a 2014 study. Drinking two glasses a day is recommended for maximum effect.
Cherry juice is a natural source of the amino acid tryptophan and the sleep cycle hormone melatonin. The red pigments in cherry juice, called proanthocyanidins, carry enzymes that reduce inflammation and prolong the breakdown of the tryptophan. This allows the tryptophan to work in the body for longer periods.
In a study performed at Louisana State University in 2014, seven adults with insomnia drank 8 ounces of Montmorency cherry juice twice daily for two weeks. The following two weeks, they drank no juice; the third two weeks, they were given a placebo. Compared to the placebo, the tart cherry juice resulted in an average of 84 more minutes of sleep per night.