By Francesca Rice, for Country Living
Anyone who has struggled to sleep will tell you nothing is more debilitating than being unable to get those much-needed 40 winks.
So, those of us who are prone to insomnia or have difficulties drifting off might be intrigued to hear that a new study may have found an unexpected solution to help you sleep for longer each night: drinking cherry juice.
Tart Montmorency cherry juice, to be precise.
Yep, according to a pilot study by researchers at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center in the US, drinking a small amount of tart cherry juice every day can help increase how long you sleep by almost an hour and a half per night.
The team concluded this after asking older volunteers with insomnia to drink either eight ounces (240ml) of Montmorency cherry juice or a placebo both in the morning and then again one-to-two hours before bed for two weeks, before switching over and repeating the trial for a further 14 days.
And, interestingly enough, those who had drunk the Montmorency cherry juice slept for an average of 84 minutes longer.
Blood tests also showed they had lower levels of the amino acid kynurenine, which has been linked to disturbed sleep.
"Insomnia is quite common among older adults and it can lead to a range of health issues if left untreated,' wrote lead researcher Jack Losso in the American Journal of Therapeutics.
"However, many people are hesitant to resort to medications to help them sleep. That's why natural sleep remedies are increasingly of interest and in demand."
While the study was small and further research is needed, we might just consider downing some cherry juice next time we're struggling to sleep.
If this article has got you interested in the benefits of Montmorency cherries why not try our CherryActive concentrate, which made from 100% premium quality Montmorency cherries.