Lettuce Water: Does It Help People Fall Sleep?

A good night’s sleep is essential for your well-being and happiness. That’s why it’s so frustrating when you find yourself tossing and turning, unable to get valuable rest. If you struggle with insomnia, you’ve probably tried a number of strategies to drift off.

Drinking Lettuce Water For Insomnia

Have you tried drinking lettuce water? It sounds a little whacky, but it’s the latest trend sweeping TikTok to help people fall asleep. In a now-viral TikTok video, user @shapla_11 said she heard about the hack and decided to try it out for herself.

“So apparently drinking lettuce water makes you sleepy,” she begins. “Sis don’t sleep so imma try it out.” (Warning: The video contains some profanity.)

@shapla_11

if you can’t sleep, try this #lettucewater #insomnia #lifehacks #fyp

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In the video, she begins with washed lettuce, which she puts in a mug and then fills with hot water. She then adds a bit of peppermint tea to make the concoction taste a little better. She notes that peppermint does not make her sleepy, so it won’t skew the experiment’s results.

When she sips the DIY sleepytime “tea,” she announces that it doesn’t taste like anything at all. As for its sleep-inducing effects, she says it made her a little sleepy, though not “knockout.” Then she revises her conclusion, saying, “Lettuce has crack, your sis has gone.”

More than 7.5 million people have viewed the video, and users sounded off in the comments with their thoughts on the unusual solution.

“My mum used to do this for me, boiled water and leave it in the pan for five minutes on medium heat, always worked for me and it’s all-natural,” wrote @milasummer13.

“This is way cheaper than melatonin gummies,” @2stressed2blessed pointed out.

“My Dominican grams makes this every night for sleep!” wrote @dominicanabroad.

Some noted, however, that peppermint tea can make you more alert. So another tea, like chamomile, might work better instead.

What Does The Science Say About Lettuce Water?

Still skeptical? According to the experts, there may be some truth to lettuce helping you fall asleep. Lettuce contains lactucarium, which has some mild sedative effects.

“It has a similar structure to opium, and has some sedative properties,” Dr. Christopher Winter of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of “The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broke and How to Fix It,” told Health. “It’s a milky substance. If you get a whole bunch of lettuce and boil it down, you can make this chemical.”

The problem is you’d need a lot of lettuce to get enough lactucarium to actually make you sleepy. Using just a few leaves to make a mug of lettuce-infused water is unlikely to be enough.

Winter says there’s nothing harmful about drinking lettuce water, though. Plus, the warmth of the water may help you feel drowsy, so feel free to try it out for yourself.

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If you want to leverage your diet to get a little more rest, dietician Samantha Cassetty recommends cutting back on caffeine after 2 p.m. and avoiding foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

“Those snack foods — white bread, white crackers, sugary cereals, dessert food and cookies — have been tied with less sleep, less restorative sleep, more wake-ups during the night (and) that lighter or more disrupted sleep,” she told NBC’s “Today.” “Your overall diet pattern really does influence how well you sleep.”

Will you try the lettuce water TikTok trend?