Sleeping dominates many a mother’s group discussion.
Is your baby sleeping through the night? (no), sleep training? (no again), when will they move out of your bed (I moved mine when I weaned them – around 2.5-3).
What time do your kids go to bed? (7-8).
When do they wake up? (until now at 5:30-6 every.single.day.)
Then a couple weeks ago I was in the grocery store with only one child (as opposed to 3 – when I do it with 3 I’m not reading labels or looking at anything except for exactly what is on my list). I saw this tart cherry juice on the shelf, checked quickly for other juices in it (the cheaper version had apple juice – you want 100% tart cherry), and then I gave about 2 ounces to my kids.
They wanted to know what ‘tart’ meant, I explained it was kind of sour. They didn’t think so, and they’ve been thrilled to have it daily since then, other than the times that we’ve run out.
How did it work?
It worked great- The kids who had been consistently up with the sun no matter what time they had gone to bed (even after watching fireworks for the 4th!) have been sleeping til 7 or so. They’re also sleeping deeper.
I love mornings, I’m a morning person and I’m most productive then. But I had given up getting up before the kids a couple years ago since no matter how early I got up, they woke up when they heard me get out of bed, no matter how quiet I tried to be. When they have the cherry juice I”m able to sneak downstairs and work, cook, clean, do laundry, and they still stay asleep until 6:30 or 7, so they’re able to get the rest they need to learn and play all day long.
Real placebo controlled studies
I love it when there are placebo controlled studies for things that I try, and there are for this. See the study here, showing the increase in sleep quality associated with taking tart cherry juice.
What we buy
I’ve bought the juice pictured above, and I just added this tart cherry juice concentrate to my Amazon subscribe and save order to keep on hand. My kids are thrilled because we rarely buy juice. I’ve added a little to smoothies as well.
How we use it
I just give my kids a couple ounces in the morning or afternoon – for us we seem to see the benefits regardless of the time they drink it.
And a recipe
I like to make this into gummies, they’re super easy to make, and the gelatin is good for their skin and gut :) See my Superhero Gummie Recipe here.
Learn more in the above webinar about getting kids to sleep. Skip to 4:00 to start right at the sleep tips and skip our history. Click here to get the checklist.
Does it work for grown ups as well??
The study was done on grown ups, I don’t notice much of a difference with me, but I also have a coffee habit, and I don’t usually have trouble falling/staying asleep :)
Do you think this would work if I made the juice into gummies; using only grassfed gelatin? We rarely give my son treats, but it would be nice to give him something that is also healthful for him. Thanks.
Yes, I did that! I’m not sure that they were getting the full 2 oz from gummies, though, but I think it helped.
My healthcae practitioner recommended tart cherry juice for me and my daughter as well. I couldn’t handle the sugar bomb effect (14 g. sugar in 2 Tbsp), so he suggested I could try taking as little as 1/2 a Tbsp and taking a spoonful of coconut oil at the same time to blunt the sugar spike.
I love the idea of using it in gummies! Thanks, Michelle.
Great idea! Yes, juice is super sugar heavy!
Thank you so much for sharing this information. Here is my testimony:
I was having a hard time sleeping. I had tried different things like taking melatonin and even magnesium which I take every night and does induce relaxation and sleepiness. My problem is I would sleep 3-4 hours and wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. And then toss and turn for an hour finally giving up and staying up for a couple of hours on the computer before going back to bed.
I read your post Tuesday night. The next day I ran to the health food store. They didn’t have the concentrate, only cherry juice. They had a 100% organic juice blend. I bought it. I took about 1 oz at 7:30pm. That night I went to bed at 10pm. I slept all night without waking up at all. The next day I got up at 8am. I felt rested and wonderful.
On Thursday night, I took the same amount and stayed up until midnight. So when my DH woke me up at 5:30pm I was still groggy. I couldn’t really wake up until 9am.
Last night, I took it at 7:30pm again. WEnt to bed at 9pm (I gave a TBS to all my kids 11-4 y.o. I have a night owl, she fights to go to bed. They were all sleeping, lights out, at 9:30pm, according to my husband. I was already asleep.) Woke up at 11pm to use the restroom and went to back to bed, fell asleep and woke up at 6am feeling awesome.
I am soooo happy! Thank you so much for sharing this. I had been praying and asking the Lord how to fall asleep and stay asleep naturally. Here is the solution. :)
Do you think tart cherry juice capsules would work in place of the juice?
I think they would, Jenni :)
We use it to make homemade finger jello and the kids love it! Works great for my kids, too!
I just wanted to mention everyone should be careful of that organic just tart cherry juice concentrate that you buy on Amazon…it has a whopping 45 g of sugar in only 2 Tablespoons worth! So if you’re drinking a couple of ounces every night you’re overdoing the sugar. The Just Tart Cherry Juice by Knudsen is organic and only has 25 g of sugar for 8 full ounces. So if you only take a couple ounces you’re only getting a fraction (approx 6.25 g) of sugars. That’s an extremely significant difference!
Oh yes, I should note that! If you’re taking the concentrate, you don’t need much at all!
Thank you! My son is an early riser. I didn’t have cherry juice, so I gave him a few (6 or 7) dried, unsulfured, so sugar added dried cherries. I thought, what the heck! He only woke once at night, and work up at 6:20 versus 5:30. Night 2, same thing, woke only once and then for the day at 6:40. Third night, I bought juice and I think he thought it was poison (ha!), so I gave him dried cherries instead. He slept THROUGH THE NIGHT, and was awake, HAPPY, at 6:30. I’m in heaven.
When you give the cherry juice to your kids do you give it straight up or do you mix the concentrate with water?
I give them the juice pictured straight, I mix the concentrate with water and give them 2 oz of the equivalent :)
Cara, I’m on GAPS intro and wonder if you have been able to find any information on the kind of sugars in the juice. My family is having trouble with reacting to fruits but I’d love to sleep better.
I wouldn’t introduce this until after you’ve introduced the cooked apples without problem. We got stuck on fruit/sugar in GAPS too :/
I had always thought it was black cherry juice that helped, and now I see you’re talking about tart cherry juice. Do you know if there is a difference, where raising melatonin levels is concerned?
I too am wondering about this. Please help us?
I have a six yr. old that has difficulty getting to sleep. BUT, she has to get up at 6:30 am on weekdays for school. I don’t want her sleeping later. I just want her to get to sleep earlier at night, but then be able to wake easier in the morning….Would this help or hinder that?
It should help that :) My kids have been waking up happy every morning with this, not groggy at all.
Oooh, I am going to try this soon for both daughter & me. Thanks!!
How much would you recommend for a 17 month old, a 3 year old, and myself? I bought the brand you recommended but don’t want to give too much or not enough.Thanks
I’m not really sure- I think for the little guys I’d do one ounce or so. I don’t think giving too much would be a problem other than financially (this isn’t cheap!)
Great article! My arthritis is completely gone as long as I drink about 1/4 cup of this Just Tart Cherry juice every morning before I eat or drink anything else. It took 3 weeks to start working. If I go for more than 3 days without drinking it my arthritis in my hands comes right back (my hands swell up, hurt and feel as big as baseball mitts).
I sip the juice slowly.
I’m so glad it’s working for you Mary!
Hi.. I have an 8 month old that doesn’t sleep through the night. He wakes up up to 4 times a night ever since he was born. I am wondering if it’s safe to give him the concentrate juice mixed with water? I am desperate! Or do you have any other remedy for an infant?
I think it’s okay to give to an infant, but I also think that it’s fairly normal for an 8-month-old to not sleep through the night – I have one about that age that nurses 2-3 times a night, up to four if he’s had a busy day.
The Knudsen Just Tart Cherry is on sale at our local Whole Foods this week! (Maybe elsewhere too?) I have only tried this for one night so far, but I slept SO well. I have both a hard time falling asleep and I wake at around 3 am and toss and turn. I have both arthritis and autoimmune disease that causes headaches; good sleep is so critical to my making it through the day. Thank you so much, Cara. I really think this is going to make a huge difference in my life.
My Son Recently Turned 1! Yay :) I Was Wonder How Much I Should Give HIm? I Don’t Necessarily Want Him To Sleep Threw The Night BUT His Sleep Habits are Horrible! He Sleeps Maybe 1-2 Hours Wakes To Nurse Then Around 6Am He Wakes Ever 30Min-1Hours Til 8:30. It’s Rough And A Few Hour Stretch Wouldn’t Hurt My feelings
Happy Birthday! :) I don’t think that this necessarily correlates with how well they sleep vs how much they take. My kids have had an entire glass before (4-5 oz) and I don’t notice any difference between that and when they just have 1-2 oz.
Have you had any side effects from this? I got some yesterday and gave my kids, (2, 4, 5) 2oz each. the 2 year old slept poorly and has had diarrhea all day and the 4 year old has diarrhea as well. Nothing else different yesterday that I know of! Maybe I’ll give them 1oz. today. We are on Full Gaps and they rarely get juice.
Juice sometimes does loosen kids up. When my daughter was on low carb GAPS she couldn’t have had this, but she’s done fine with it so far.
You mentioned two different options. The R.W. Knudsen’s tart cherry juice and the concentrate you buy on Amazon. Do you either of these the same? Or do you have to mix the concentrated one with something else?
I just bought red tart cherry juice today from trader joes. It’s 100% tart cherry juice and was about half the cost! I hope it works the same :)
I realize this is an old post but I haven’t seen it until now. Just got it in my email and was so pleasantly surprised. My 2 year old son has been drinking apple juice for a while (I know…), and after a pretty tough few months of colds, flus, and the like, I decided apple juice is the culprit. Looking for a healthier alternative, I purchased a bottle of cherry juice concentrate happy that it was natural, organic, and less of a junk. I was happy that I can dilute it with lots of water which he surely needs to wash out his system. I had no idea what an amazing thing I bought! My son became a new person almost instantly! No colds, sniffles, flus, viruses, or anything since he started! Wonderful nights! Happy and so content! Better appetite! I kept on thinking if it makes sense for all these wonderful changes to have come about from some random juice, but apparently, after reading this post and realizing what a golden treasure I have, it’s the cherry juice!
This is such a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing. Yay for the healing power of food.
How much did you give him? How did you get him to take it?
I can’t get tart cherry juice locally, but I can get dried tart cherries, unfortunately sweetened with apple juice. Do you think those would be helpful? Could they somehow be used to make juice or maybe a puree to use in gummies? I’d love to try this.
You can just take the tart cherries on their own :) The sweetener isn’t a problem unless you’re avoiding carbs for keto, etc.
Thanks for the tip. I forgot to mention my family is all on GAPS, and I’m not sure if apple juice is legal as an additive. I’d really like to try tart cherries with raw honey and salt, as I’ve read that they all help with sleep.
Yes, apple juice is okay on GAPS, just not sugar or maple syrup
Great, thanks! I’m excited to try it! :)