People on TikTok Are Drinking Boiled Lettuce Water to Fall Asleep – but Does It Work?
If you thought TikTok’s viral sock hack was a little out of the ordinary, then brace yourself. The latest sleep hack to come out of the social media platform has left people scratching their heads, and will probably do the same for you, too.
Several videos have been circulating on TikTok showing people adding lettuce to a mug of boiled water, taking it out after it has steeped for a few minutes, and then simply drinking it like tea to fall asleep faster and beat insomnia.
According to one user @shapla_11, it surprisingly works.
“So apparently drinking lettuce water makes you sleepy. Sis don’t sleep so imma try it out,” she says in her video, which has over 897k likes at the time of writing.
She places washed lettuce in a mug and then pours boiled water over it. @shapla_11 then adds a bag of peppermint tea because she’s “scared it will taste like sh*t”, waits 10 minutes before taking out the lettuce and tea bag, and drinks it.
The TikToker then gives her first update: “Update I do feel slightly drowsy not hella sleepy like knockout but I do feel sleepy.”
And before she knows it, she’s gone. “Update, lettuce has crack because your sis is gone.”
It’s important to note that although @shapla_11 mixed hers with a peppermint tea bag, she advises avoiding this as peppermint promotes alertness.
“Btw guys don’t use peppermint – apparently it actually keeps you awake so for the best results use camomile tea or avoid adding any other tea,” she wrote in the comments.
Other sleep-inducing teas include valerian root, lavender and lemon balm.
The video has since gained a lot of attention, with users stunned by the results of an incredibly simple hack.
“I have terrible insomnia so imma try this out ASAPPP,” one person commented.
“Not me about to ask my bf if he wants tea, since he stays up playing games,” another wrote.
A third person joked: “This is way cheaper than melatonin gummies.”
Others voiced their support, claiming boiled lettuce water really does have sleep benefits.
“As a psychiatrist, medical doctor and neuroscientist I fully support this. Literally anything that is not a benzodiazepine for sleep is good,” one wrote.
A second person commented: “My mum used to do this for me, boiled water and leave it in the pan for 5 min on minimum heat, always worked for me and it’s all natural.”
While the comments seem to be in support of this strange viral sleep hack, what do the experts say? Does it actually work to help induce sleep and beat insomnia? Should you try it?
Does TikTok’s Viral Boiled Lettuce Water Sleep Hack Actually Work?
The hack is based on a 2017 study published in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology, which showed the high levels of lactucarium in lettuce can make you feel relaxed and sleepy.
However, as leading sleep expert Olivia Arezzolo points out, “the study was conducted on mice, so although it’s a scientific paper, it’s low quality.”
“Yes, it does improve sleep quality on these mice, however, if we were to draw upon individual studies that show sleep quality improves after XYZ, we could list thousands of ways to improve sleep,” Arezzolo tells Bed Threads Journal.
She stresses that what is needed to justify the sleep hack is a meta-analysis, which means a review of multiple trials, not just one.
“So, yes, the lettuce trick may be verified by science, but it's not overly reliable or trusted data and therefore should be taken lightly as sleep advice.”
It won’t hurt to try (after all, it’s natural and safe), but Arezzolo suggests sticking to the verified sleep tricks like switching off all screens, diffusing lavender essential oil, meditating or reading, and taking a warm bath before bedtime.