Cherry Smoothie for Restful Sleep

According to Dr. Michael Breus, PhD, The Sleep Doctor cherries are great to help you rest due to the fact they have melatonin in them.  Melatonin is a sleep hormone which has been shown to reverse the signs of aging and bananans have loads of magnesium, a calming mineral. Dr. Breus does suggest soy milk and I have eliminated soy milk and substituted almond milk as it suppresses the immune system.  While the Dr. suggests soy milk is tryptophan, a sleep-inducing amino acid, it has more negatives than positives.  I have updated his recipe and added my own touches to help you have a more restful sleep. So the next time you are having sleep problems, whip some of this up and rest peacefully.

Tart Cherry and Banana Smoothie 

  • 1 cup tart cherry juice (freshly squeezed is the best)
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup almond milk or 1/2 cup of yogurt of your choice (if using yogurt, add an additional 1/2 cup fat-free milk)
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract


Combine all the ingredients in a tall blender and blend until smooth.

Valuable Research

According to Natural News, "In a pilot study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Rochester and the V.A. Center of Canandaigua tested the effects of tart cherry juice on the sleep habits of 15 older adults. The research subjects drank 8 ounces of the beverage every morning and night for two weeks. Then, after a two week "wash out" period of no juice, the study participants were switched to another juice drink containing no cherry juice.

The results? During the weeks the study participants drank the cherry juice, there were significant reductions in reported insomnia severity when compared to the weeks when they were consuming the non-cherry juice drink. What's more, drinking the tart cherry juice appeared to help people sleep through the night better, without waking up.

In a statement to the media, the researchers noted that tart cherries' natural sleep-enhancing benefits could be the result of their relatively high content of melatonin -- a natural antioxidant that has been shown in previous research to help induce sleepiness at night and wakefulness during the day.

In addition to normalizing sleep, scientists are discovering other health benefits of tart cherries and tart cherry juice, too. For example, University of Michigan research published last year in the Journal of Medicinal Food, suggests tart cherries may help to control weight and to prevent metabolic syndrome, the cluster of symptoms including high blood pressure and high cholesterol that ups the risk for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

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