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Need A Reason to Munch on Some Cherries This Holiday Season? Sleep!

15.11.2018

Written by Annmarie Cannone, Naturopath. M. Hum Nutr, Grad Dip Naturopathy, B. App Sci (Naturopathic Studies)

Meet the author: Annmarie is a highly qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist having graduated from the University of Western Sydney with both undergraduate and post graduate degrees and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition.

As we approach the end of the year, we all start looking forward to some down time and for some, this means, planning for a trip away. Overseas trips always mean new adventures and experiences however, quite often, we’re struck down with the dreaded feeling of jet lag, for at least a couple of days in the new destination and once we return home.

The world is divided into 24 time zones and once we travel outside of our time zone, there is a chance that jet lag will set in. The greater the time difference, the more severe jet lag can become.

Jet lag is basically a symptom of when our sleep patterns become disrupted due to our internal body clock (circadian rhythm) being out of whack. Our circadian rhythm is what governs our sleep wake cycle and it can take several days for it to adapt to the new time zone. It is dictated by daylight and nightfall and our bodies eventually get into a regular rhythm.

If you’ve been lucky enough to travel outside of Australia, you have most probably experienced some degree of jet lag. It is that dreaded sensation of brain fog, lack of concentration, being wired and wide awake at 11pm and absolutely exhausted at 9am.

There are multiple things that can be integrated into your travel regime to reduce the severity of jet lag however, research has indicated that surprisingly, cherries, can aid in reducing the impact of jet lag.

Cherries not only contain a large amount of Vitamin C, but also have been found to contain melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain, and it is this hormone that influences our circadian rhythm. Adequate amounts of melatonin is crucial for the prevention of jet lag and why not consume it in its natural state? A handful of cherries per day, 1-2 hours prior to going to sleep can aid in the regulation of our circadian rhythm.  Dried cherries have been found to have a higher concentration of melatonin as opposed to fresh.