It feels like falling asleep (or staying asleep) is something that everyone struggles with at some point or another. That also means that everyone is searching for any trick or "hack" that can guarantee you a good night's rest. Here's one that's circulating TikTok recently: People claim to drink some tart cherry juice right before bed, which helps them fall asleep faster. One creator, Alana (@missalanablack), recently shared that it's transformed her sleep schedule.
"Why didn't I know about cherry juice earlier? I have taken so many supplements to help me go to sleep, stay asleep...all I needed was some cherry juice? I saw a video on here that said, 'Drink one cup and you'll be out.' Fifteen minutes in and I was out. I didn't wake up once through the night. So, if you haven't tried it and you're having trouble sleeping, baby, get you some tart cherry juice. It works."
Currently, Alana's video has 1.7M views, 196.5K likes, and a comment section full of thanks.
Also, for your own sake, I also found this terrifying warning:
I spoke with Alana, a 25-year-old content creator based in Maryland, who said that she'd always struggled with falling asleep. She explained, "I find it super difficult to fall asleep unless I am extremely exhausted." Alana also said that she'd tried plenty of other products that claimed to assist with sleep — including melatonin gummies and sleep spray — but none were successful until she tried drinking tart cherry juice before bed. She said, "Since the day I tried it, I haven’t gone without it! It works extremely well for me, and I really believe this will be a part of my routine forever."
Alana said that before, a typical night's sleep began around 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. But when going over her nightly routine with tart cherry juice, she explained, "I will drink it around 8:30 p.m. after finishing my night routine and I will sleep within 15–30 minutes."
This hack seemed too good to be true, so I went to verify with Dr. Shelby Harris, Director of Sleep Health at Sleepopolis and a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in behavioral sleep medicine and board certified by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Dr. Harris explained that tart cherry juice contains a greater amount of melatonin, the body's hormone that controls sleep, which means that it can be beneficial if you're struggling to fall asleep. However, she also advised that you shouldn't put all your faith in the hack, and said, "The melatonin in tart cherry juice may help some get better sleep if you have the occasional bad night here and there, but it’s most likely not going to be the cure for chronic insomnia that a lot of people make it out to be."
If you're willing to try this trick, Dr. Shelby said that if you're going to see effects, you don't have to overdo it. She said, "I wouldn’t recommend drinking more than one glass, or 8 ounces, of tart cherry juice before bed, or mixing concentrate with 8 ounces of water." She also warned against overdoing it, and said, "If you don’t notice any improvements after one glass, drinking more probably won’t give you any additional benefits."
Ultimately, Dr. Shelby said that the real key to a good night's sleep is consistency. She explained, "Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is important to maintain your circadian rhythm and help you get better quality rest at night. Try to keep as consistent a bed/wake time as possible, and don’t extend your wake time more than 90 minutes if necessary."
Dr. Shelby also recommended limiting your screen time before bed, and said, "Try to wind down 30 to 60 minutes before bed, ideally without screens. Blue light exposure from cellphones, computers, tablets, and TVs can interfere with your circadian rhythm, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep and worsen your sleep quality."