Whether you toss and turn all night long or are a coast-to-coast traveler, sweet cherries may be your ticket to a better night’s sleep! That’s because melatonin helps regulate the body’s internal clock.
Melatonin is a hormone found in plants, including sweet cherries. It acts as a powerful antioxidant and is produced naturally by the pineal gland in the brain.
The most important job of melatonin is regulating our individual sleep cycles. A person’s body clock controls how much melatonin the body makes. Melatonin levels rise mid- to late evening, remain high throughout the night, and then drop in the morning hours (signaling you to wake up).
A study by Russel Reiter of the University of Texas Health Science Center found that cherries contain a significant amount of melatonin, and that eating cherries each day can aid in a good night’s sleep.
Melatonin may also help fight jet lag, which is often experienced when traveling overseas or coast to coast. Studies suggest that melatonin works best when consumed one hour prior to desired sleep, and then three or more evenings after arriving in the new time zone.
Get more of the Skinny on Cherry Nutrition on our blog.