Tired of jet lag? Trouble
sleeping on the road? Try stocking your carry-on bag with dried
cherries. According to ChooseCherries.com, an organization
sponsored by the Cherry Marketing Institute, eating a handful of
cherries may help keep travelers bright-eyed and well-rested.
Recent studies have revealed that
cherries -- particularly tart varieties -- are high in melatonin,
which helps stabilize a person’s sleep-wake cycle, inducing
sleepiness by night and wakefulness by day. Sold dried, frozen or
as juice, tart cherries top the charts for best natural source of
melatonin, beating out bananas, corn and oats.
Dr. Russel J. Reiter, a nutrition
researcher at the University of Texas, says people with high levels
of melatonin typically go to sleep quicker after they lie down and
maintain better sleep throughout the night. As he puts it,
“Melatonin opens the sleep gate and permits you to enter.”
For best results, melatonin should be
ingested 30 to 45 minutes before bed each evening.