Can Tart Cherry Juice Be Your Sleep Aid? 10 Insights from Nutrition Professionals

Sleep is essential for overall well-being, yet for many, achieving a restful night can be elusive. Amidst the myriad of remedies purported to aid in sleep, tart cherry juice has emerged as a potential solution. But does it truly hold the power to lull us into a deeper slumber? Let’s delve into the insights provided by experts in the field, exploring the science behind tart cherry juice and its purported benefits for improving sleep quality and duration.

a white bowl filled with cherries on top of a table

Melatonin and Tryptophan Aid Sleep

Tart cherry juice has been around for decades, but it has only recently gained major popularity for possibly helping us fall asleep quicker and sleep better. Does tart cherry juice really help our sleeping patterns, and if so, how? Two words: melatonin and tryptophan! Melatonin, a sleep hormone, and tryptophan, an essential amino acid, both play roles in mood and sleep, and they’re both found in tart cherry juice. More studies need to be done to really understand the efficacy behind sleep and tart cherry juice, but don’t be afraid to try this out for yourself if you’re lacking good sleep. If you’re looking to try this, reach for a no-sugar-added tart cherry juice and one with minimal ingredients. Pair it with your favorite seltzer to create a hydrating, sleep-inducing drink right before bed. Happy snoozing!

Kaysha Quiles, RDN, Registered Dietitian

Science Supports Cherry Juice for Sleep

There is some solid science backing up the idea that tart cherry juice can help one fall asleep faster. First off, tart cherries are like nature’s little melatonin dispensers. Melatonin is the hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles. Tart cherries, especially the Montmorency variety, pack a punch when it comes to melatonin content. So, when you drink tart cherry juice, you’re giving your body a natural boost of this sleep-inducing hormone. Tart cherries are also loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as anthocyanins and polyphenols. These compounds may help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body, which can interfere with sleep. Studies have shown that those who drink tart cherry juice before bed experience significant improvements in sleep duration and quality compared to a placebo. So, it’s not just a trend—there’s some real science here!

Molly Meldon, Manager, Health Coach & Nutritionist, OWL Venice

While tart cherry juice is renowned for its sleep-enhancing properties, another beverage gaining popularity for its potential health benefits is kombucha. This fermented tea boasts probiotics and antioxidants, which could contribute to overall well-being. However, when it comes to improving sleep quality, tart cherry juice remains a top contender.

Cherry Juice as a Tasty Sleep Aid

We do have some recent studies that are showing tart cherry juice may help someone sleep. Tart cherries contain tryptophan and melatonin, which help our bodies regulate sleep. The general recommendation that we have seen so far is about 8-16 oz of tart cherry juice about 1-2 hours prior to bedtime. This is certainly more delicious than a sleeping pill, too.

Jenna Stedman, Cognitive Performance Dietitian, Master Nutrition Lab

smoothie with cherryClinically Tested Cherry-Based Sleep Supplement

Tart cherry juice has been shown in several small studies to improve the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep better. In fact, I began recommending tart cherry juice to my insomnia patients in my sleep clinic in 2018, and after seeing the positive results, I ended up spending two years of research and formulation and developed my own natural sleep aid called Sip2Sleep®, using tart cherry extract (more concentrated and without sugar compared to tart cherry juice, so it’s diabetic-friendly) combined with a Japanese natural sleep aid called Venetron®. I released it at the end of 2022.

We ran our own independent clinical trial on Sip2Sleep® and found statistically significant improvements in sleep initiation, sleep duration, next-day alertness, and next-day anxiety—over 80-85% of participants noted improvements in all these areas when they took Sip2Sleep® versus not taking it. This validated the feedback I was receiving anecdotally from the initial 50 people we gave free samples to in 2022. I have many patients who take Sip2Sleep®, and they are sleeping well. It is non-habit-forming, all-natural, and without any long-term side effects like traditional prescription or OTC sleep aids.

Ruchir Patel, Founder and Medical Director, The Insomnia and Sleep Institute of Arizona

Cherries: Gut Health and Sleep Improvement

Sleep is vital for gut health, and since tart cherries have been shown in data to contain nutrients that support the best sleep, they’re a good gut and good mood food! Cherries contain melatonin and tryptophan (tryptophan helps the body make its own melatonin), which are important for regulating your sleep-wake cycle. Cherries are also full of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and boost your immune system, improving the quality of your sleep. A glass of tart cherry juice one hour before bed can be a great, natural way to help you sleep. I recommend opting for tart cherry juice without added sugar.

Dahlia Marin, Registered Dietitian, Married to Health

Tart Cherry Juice: Natural Sleep Potion

Tart cherry juice is like nature’s little sleep potion. Seriously, it’s got some pretty cool benefits when it comes to catching those Z’s. You see, tart cherries are packed with natural melatonin, which is the hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. So, sipping on some tart cherry juice before hitting the hay can definitely help you drift off faster. Plus, it’s a tasty way to unwind at the end of the day. Just make sure you’re opting for the unsweetened stuff to avoid any unnecessary sugar highs before bedtime.

James Cunningham, Senior Coach, Total Shape

Research Shows Cherry Juice Boosts Sleep

Tart cherry juice may have the ability to support sleep. This is due to the natural source of melatonin in 100% tart cherries. It also contains powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help reduce inflammation and support overall health. Research shows that consuming two 8-oz cups of tart cherry juice per day can increase melatonin levels, resulting in longer and more restful sleep.

Marcie Vaske, Licensed Nutritionist, Oswald Digestive Clinic

Tart Cherries May Improve Sleep Quality

Tart cherry juice might help with sleep. Every 100 grams of tart cherries contains around 9 milligrams of tryptophan, and we need about 250 to 425 milligrams of tryptophan daily. Some research has shown that drinking tart cherry juice every day can improve sleep quality in adults, but there’s no proof that it works for sleep problems in children.

The reason tart cherry juice could be good for sleep is because tart cherries have a lot of melatonin, which is a natural substance that helps control our sleep-wake cycle. Tart cherries also have anti-inflammatory properties that might help improve sleep quality. In some studies, people who drank tart cherry juice twice a day experienced better sleep duration and efficiency, and less severe insomnia. There’s also a study where drinking tart cherry juice led to higher levels of melatonin in the body.

Renato Fernandes, Clinical Nutritionist, Saude Pulso

Studies Suggest Cherry Juice Enhances Sleep

Promising research is emerging that tart cherry juice, particularly Montmorency tart cherry juice, can improve sleep quality and duration.

This is believed to be due to the dietary content of melatonin and the amino acid tryptophan (which can be converted into melatonin).

Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle and acts like an ‘on or off’ switch for many brain processes. When melatonin levels are high, we’re more likely to feel drowsy and drift off to sleep. When they’re low, we’ll feel more awake.

One study ( randomly assigned 20 volunteers to tart cherry juice or a placebo and found that melatonin levels were elevated in the cherry juice group. There was also an increase in total time in bed, sleep efficiency, and sleep duration. Other studies ( have also shown similar results.

However, these studies were short and had small sample sizes. So, it’s difficult to say what impact cherry juice would have on long-term sleep hygiene.

Still, the evidence we do have is promising, and consuming tart cherry juice an hour before bed is a risk-free, potentially beneficial option for improving sleep quality and duration.

Robbie Puddick RNutr, Content & SEO Lead – Registered Nutritionist, Second Nature Health

Athletes Benefit from Cherry Juice at Night

As a UESCA-certified running coach, while I am not a nutritionist, I stay informed on nutrition topics that can benefit my clients. Research suggests that tart cherry juice, which is high in melatonin and antioxidants, may help improve the quality and duration of sleep.

I advise my clients to consider incorporating tart cherry juice into their evening routine as it may help them fall asleep faster, particularly those who struggle with sleep after intense training sessions. However, I always recommend that clients consult with a registered dietitian or a healthcare provider before making significant changes to their diet or to address specific health concerns.

Joshua Bartlett, Running Coach, Your Next Run


While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of tart cherry juice on sleep, the evidence so far suggests it could be a natural and tasty way to improve sleep quality and duration. Whether it’s sipping on a glass of tart cherry juice before bed or trying a cherry-based sleep supplement, incorporating this fruit into your nighttime routine might just help you catch those Z’s more easily.

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