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Nature's Own Melatonin: Cherries

Updated on February 17, 2013
Dark ripe cherries
Dark ripe cherries | Source

The Natural Way to Get Melatonin

Melatonin is often called the "sleep hormone" and the "hormone of darkness." As a result, doctors have been writing prescriptions for melatonin for people who have a hard time falling asleep at night. Unfortunately, like with other synthetic drugs, there are side effects, such as nightmares, sleepwalking, confusion, changes in blood pressure, headaches and abdominal pain. The prescription drug can also affect how other medications you are taking will work. Could nature be telling us to look to what's natural for healing and not a synthetic which does not belong in our bodies?

About Cherries:

This is the beauty of cherries. In fact, nutritional research shows that tart raw cherries are one of the only foods that happens to be naturally highest in melatonin. Trace amounts may be found in other fruits, vegetables, grain and meat.

But First, What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone naturally occurring in humans, animals, plants and microbes. It is involved in regulating our sleeping and waking patterns. Melatonin is also an antioxidant and the highest levels of melatonin are secreted into the blood at bedtime.

How Can Cherries Help?.

Fresh organic cherries, when in season, are a great evening snack before bed. Another choice if you want to try cherries when fresh ones are not available is to drink 8 ounces of cherry juice. This however, would make me get up in the middle of the night to race to the bathroom with my cat nipping my heels - it's all fun and games for her.

What About Nutrtional Benefits:

Cherries are high in Vitamin C and provide minerals such as potassium. Cherries also provide beta carotene, fiber and have a high water content that is good for hydration - an ideal summer snack. Additionally, cherries are high in plant sterols. These sterols help lower "bad" (LDL) cholesterol. According to WebMd, preliminary research indicates that people with gout can reduce their risk in half by eating 20 cherries per day.

The Wisdom of Our Elders:

Like many of our parents, grandparents and elders, food was eaten for it's nutritional value to keep us well and much more. Eating cherries for sleep makes me think of those summer nights in the late 50s when we children just could not settle down. My mother would give us some cherries and next thing you know...zzzzzz!

Other times of the year when we were indoors because of the weather, early darkness and were trying never to fall asleep, my father would make a big deal out of bringing home peanuts. He'd roast them and we'd flock around and then munch. Next thing you know...zzzzzz! Peanuts are a dense protein and is also recommended as a sleep aid. (See link below for the healthy benefits of nuts as well as peanuts).

Enjoy!

For more nutritional snacks see the links below:

Will You Try Cherries as a Sleep Aid?

How Will You Take Your Cherries?

See results

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    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Haha josephins - yes, give the kids some! And peanuts work also. Enjoy your cherries!

    • profile image

      josephine 4 years ago

      I love cherries, not sure if they put me to sleep because I normally past out after the kids go to sleep, but will try some and hopefully I will go to sleep before the kids do....or maybe I will give them some also....

      Thanks for the info...

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So glad you found the information beneficial RTalloni! Thanks for writing!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      This news is new to me. Thanks for a look at more of cherry's benefits! Adding to my ways with food board.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Isn't it wonderful Thelma Alberts to discover (what our mothers knew) all the wonderful benefits of food. I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub. And thanks so much for the votes and sharing this on FB. Yay!

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany

      Wow! I did not know about melatonin in cherries. I love cherries and peanuts. This hub is full of information. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful. SHARING in FB and here.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much RunAbstract. I was just reading about edible landscapes and one of the suggestions was cherry shrubs. Can't you just imagine picking cherries fresh from the yard?

    • RunAbstract profile image

      RunAbstract 5 years ago from USA

      Great information! I have always loved cherries but never realized their wonderful sleep help properties! I will pass this info on to all the people I know who have trouble falling asleep. And think of the cranky kids whose mothers will be thrilled to know this!

      Really a great Hub!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So glad the information is useful - thanks for the wonderful comments - yay!

    • cameciob profile image

      cameciob 5 years ago

      Lot of new information for me. Cherries and sleep... I would recommend that to my daughter or any mom that has kids that don't go to bed when they are supposed to.

    • bingskee profile image

      bingskee 5 years ago from Quezon City, Philippines

      this is very informative. unfortunately, cherries is not available around. thee are only parts of the country where this is grown. i can only have them from the grocery store.

    • Thundermama profile image

      Catherine Taylor 5 years ago from Canada

      This is great information. I have a daughter with ADD who takes a melatonin supplement every night. We are going to give cherries a try! Voted Up and useful.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're very welcome creativelycc. I want to eliminate as many toxins as possible from my life. We can do this this.

      It is great to know Melis Ann that we can share information like this and make choices. Thanks for sharing!

    • Melis Ann profile image

      Melis Ann 5 years ago from Mom On A Health Hunt

      Great information about melatonin in cherries. It is so interesting to learn about the intricate details of our foods! SHARED!

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 5 years ago from Maine

      Wow, I didn't realize that cherries were high in melatonin. Good to know. It's nice learning about natural aids instead of another synthetic drug. Thank you very much!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks Jobs Etc. So great to know all we need is provided by nature.

      This is new to me too cashmere. I've always eaten cherries just for the sheer pleasure. I guess when they arrived on this earth we weren't driving.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 5 years ago from India

      This sleep effect of cherries was one I was not aware of. Next time I eat a bunch I will make sure I'm not driving after that :)

    • profile image

      Jobs Etc 5 years ago

      I learned a lot about cherries; enjoyed reading your article.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks Ciel Clark - I'm so glad you found the hub interesting. And thanks for the votes!

    • Ciel Clark profile image

      Ciel Clark 5 years ago from USA

      Bk, very interesting! I love fresh cherries, and get the concentrated cherry juice in the winter, but didn't realize they have so many benefits. Cool hub! Useful and voted up.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So glad you liked the information annaw! Right now all I can find is frozen - I just could not wait but now I will. Love cherries. And nothing like fresh one. I'm glad to follow you and keep up!

    • annaw profile image

      annaw 5 years ago from North Texas

      Great Hub, thanks for writing and sharing it with the rest of us.I have heard snippets about the benefits of cherries, and you have confirmed what I heard and provided additional information. I love cherries, but find the ones in jars to be too sweet for my taste. I will definitely try the frozen ones.

      Thanks for the follow as well, I am always pleased to have a new follower.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I just bought some frozen black cherries Jackie Lynnley - how good they are. So true about about juices - often they are just drinks and not 100% juice at all.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      We buy frozen black cherries and it is about as close as we can get. Where is cherry juice? We can't find it. When you read the label of what is claimed to be cherry juice it isn't! Not even frozen cherry juice. Guess we could make our own but gasoline prices would look good compared to that, lol. Very informative hub though and I know much of what you say. Cherries really are fantastic for us.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So true damajoyi - we also get to enjoy all the health benefits of eating cherries. Beats a sleeping pill.

      Ah cherrycrime26 - perfect name for a cherry lover. Isn't it amazing how many of us have insomnia? I'm sure we are just doing waaay too much. I've been well and hope you have been too. I'll be thinking of you when cherries are finally in season.

    • cherrycrime26 profile image

      January Moon 5 years ago from NY, Now Living in Atlanta Ga

      As a insomniac this article was very helpful, I've always had a thing for cherries BK, gotta get some now, how have you been?

    • damajoyi profile image

      damajoyi 5 years ago

      Awesome insight on Cherries. Cherry is full of great health benefits. That may also explain the sleepiness that occurs after drinking wine, not just from drunkenness. Hahah.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome hoteltravel. I was in a pharmacy the other day and they were selling cherry juice just for this purpose - but it was $17.00! So I went in search of frozen cherries - none at all. So I will go with peanuts and live for cherry season.

      Thanks for the votes!

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 5 years ago from Thailand

      This is useful info, as I am not getting good sleep at night. My doctor asked me to eat bananas as they are high in potassium and will be helpful. Cherries sound a sweet way of overcoming the sleep problem, but being a seasonal fruit, it is not always easy to get. Peanuts are easy to buy and tasty to eat. Will definitely try them out. Thanks for sharing. Voted up and useful.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I'm so glad I got a 'wow' here - thanks for commenting LauraGT!

    • LauraGT profile image

      LauraGT 5 years ago from MA

      Wow, what a great tip! I love cherries, and hate insomnia, so it's the perfect combo!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Insomnia seems to be even more common than we thought TheListLady. I too wait for cherry season - now more than ever! Yay!

      Nature's way is the best way CCW - Yay!

    • CountryCityWoman profile image

      CountryCityWoman 5 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      Well, as soon as cherries are in season I am going to try this. I'm always looking for nature's way. Thanks a million for this information!

    • TheListLady profile image

      TheListLady 5 years ago from New York City

      I can't believe after all these years I still have insomnia - and now with daylight's savings time it is even worse. This is something I will do as soon as I can find the cherries - love cherries! Love your hubs. Thanks a million!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I'm learning so much as I do research Keri Summers. Seems nature does have a solution to everything that ails us after all. And thanks for the votes!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Glad you found the information useful Donald1960 and thanks for the vote!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much for the lovely compliment DeBorrah K. Ogans. Enjoy!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I will check out your hub drbj. Yes, it seems like nature has all the answers. Seems medicine is just copying and unleashing a toxic version.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      As I was doing research PW281 - I read that doctors often prescribe 3mg - and that may be the cause of so many of the side effects - it's just too much. Ah yes, the 50s - it's thinking back to all those days and the healthy things my parents did that is inspiring so many of my hubs. Thanks for those votes too.

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Love cherries too VioletSun and cannot wait until they are in season. I imagine the 10,000 things we have to do and think about are reason enough to stay away at night - it always took me an hour at least and I think my brain just got tired. So glad you can sleep well now.

    • Donald1960 profile image

      Donald 5 years ago from United States

      Plenty of useful information about cherries. Voted up.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 5 years ago

      Bk Creative, Great informative hub! I LUV cherries & peanuts! As always you are so creative! Must try them for a late night snack! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      So the melatonin in cherries can help you sleep at night? Who knew? Not me. And I do like cherries. And peanuts, too.

      I'm with you on the benefits of chocolate, also. In fact, wrote a hub about that very subject: "Chocolate Benefits, Facts and Fun."

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 5 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Very informative and helpful hub!I love cherries, and when in season I often eat them before going to bed. Too bad I didn't know about cherries when I struggled with insomnia for over 20 years, yikes. I now sleep like a baby. :)

    • profile image

      PWalker281 5 years ago

      Never knew this about cherries, BKC. I take a 1-mg tab of melatonin that I get at my local Vitamin Shoppe or health food store at night as a sleep aid. No side effects, other than a bit of drowsiness in the morning if I take 2 mgs. But it doesn't last long. I typically eat grapes in the evening, but now I'm going to consider cherries.

      Your 50s childhood sounds a bit like mine :-) Those were the days (sigh). Voted up and useful.

    • Keri Summers profile image

      Keri Summers 5 years ago from West of England

      I never knew this about cherries! I've been on melatonin previously and don't have the same problems now, but had a really open-minded doctor, so I'm sure he would have approved of cherries. Up, useful, interesting.