(Family Features) It’s no secret: Americans are desperate for sleep. In fact, the U.S. sleep aid market is expected to grow to $44 billion by 2020, according to data from Persistence Market Research. However, achieving better sleep may be as easy as changing what you eat.

A survey commissioned by the Cherry Marketing Institute and conducted online by Harris Poll in January 2017 among more than 2,000 adults suggests that Americans may be open to alternate sleep solutions. An overwhelming 83 percent of Americans would prefer to improve their sleep through diet rather than using over-the-counter sleep aids.

One promising solution that doesn’t require a trip down the pharmaceutical aisle: Montmorency tart cherry juice, which has been scientifically studied for its ability to help improve sleep quality and duration. Montmorency tart cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.

“Melatonin plays a big role in the sleep equation,” said Dr. Michael Breus, a nationally renowned sleep expert. “Without it, our bodies aren’t triggered to regulate the sleep cycle and therefore, we can’t get the rest we need. One simple, delicious and natural way to incorporate melatonin into your sleep routine is with Montmorency tart cherry juice. Research has shown adding two glasses of Montmorency tart cherry juice to your daily routine can improve your sleep quality and duration.”

A growing body of research suggests Montmorency tart cherry juice may help with sleep-related concerns, such as:

  • Improving sleep efficiency
  • Reducing the severity of insomnia and sleep disturbances
  • Increasing sleep time

Tart cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms at retailers across the country and online. For additional information, including more recipes like this soothing bedtime tea, visit choosecherries.com.

Tart Cherry Turmeric Bedtime Tea

Recipe courtesy of Kristina LaRue of LoveandZest.com

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 7 minutes

Yield: 2 cups 

  • 1          cup Montmorency tart cherry juice
  • 1          cup water
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8       teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2          bags chamomile tea
  • 1/4       cup frozen Montmorency tart cherries
  1. In small pot or tea kettle, bring tart cherry juice and water to boil. Stir in turmeric and ginger, and pour over tea bags and frozen Montmorency tart cherries. Steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and drink warm, at room temperature or chilled.

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