Are you part of the 40 percent of Americans adults who toss and turn for hours every night? While an occasional sleepless night shouldn’t worry you, missing out on zzz’s long term is more problematic. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to vehicle crashes, occupational errors, and a reduced quality of life. Not only that, but suffering from insomnia puts you at riskof developing chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and even cancer.
While psychological factors definitely contribute to the problem, in many cases diet and exercise can go a long way in helping you get a good night’s sleep. As you probably know, a diet high in fat, caffeine and other stimulants can significantly harm your chances of getting the rest you need. That’s because they mess with our ability to properly regulate our sleep cycle.
Cherries are not only nature’s candy, they’re a great snack to eat if you suffer from insomnia. Packed with naturally occurring melatonin these sweet summer fruits add to our endogenous melatonin production and help us fall asleep. They also contain carotenoids and anthocyanins, which are phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic effects on our bodies. Cherries are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, iron, copper and fiber which all contribute to maintaining a healthy weight and ward off heart disease. Once the cherry season is over, don’t fret; cherry juice and dried cherries have been found to have the same sleep-promoting beneficial effect as fresh cherries.
Try cherries in healthy recipes like this Cacao Cherry Smoothie, these One-Bowl Cherry Chocolate Muffins, or these 3-Ingredient Cherry Pistachio Bars.