Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality

Glyn Howatson, Phillip Bell, Jamie Tallent, Benita Middleton, Malachy McHugh, Jason Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


Tart Montmorency cherries have been reported to contain high levels of phytochemicals including melatonin, a molecule critical in regulating the sleep-wake cycle in humans. The aim of our investigation was to ascertain whether ingestion of a tart cherry juice concentrate would increase the urinary melatonin levels in healthy adults and improve sleep quality. In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 20 volunteers consumed either a placebo or tart cherry juice concentrate for 7 days. Measures of sleep quality recorded by actigraphy and subjective sleep questionnaires were completed. Sequential urine samples over 48 h were collected and urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin(major metabolite of melatonin) determined; cosinor analysis was used to determine melatonin circadian rhythm(mesor, acrophase and amplitude). In addition, total urinary melatonin content was determined over the sampled period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909-916
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


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