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Can Lettuce Water Really Help You Sleep? Here’s What We Know

October 13, 2021

If there’s one thing TikTok does best, it’s creating trends. From dance challenges to hilarious lip sync videos with variations done by millions, here’s a unique one: lettuce water and sleep. Sounds like a strange combination, doesn’t it? Apparently, the trend implies that drinking lettuce water before bedtime can help you sleep.

But how true is it?




The Study


A study back in May of 2017 indicates that certain lettuce and its extracts, in this case Romaine, can help increase sleep duration after being tested on mice. In the case of TikTok, the instruction is to steam a hot cup of lettuce before bedtime. But here’s the thing: the study itself wasn’t actually testing whether lettuce can help the mice sleep quicker. Instead, it was a comparison of red and green-leaf lettuces and their sleep-inducing effects.


What The Experts Say


According to an article by Health, lettuce contains what is called lactucarium, which “has a similar structure to opium, and has some sedative properties.”  Made of a “milky substance”, boiling lettuce will allow you to make the chemical. The catch? You’ll need a load of lettuce to actually get the lactucarium and for it to have any impact on how quickly you fall asleep. And while there’s nothing harmful about “lettuce tea”, here are other tried and tested ways that have been proven to help you fall asleep each night.


1. You need the light and dark both.


Your circadian rhythm is influenced by light, but it’s not just about turning off the lights. If you don’t get enough light either, then this may cause a disruption in your body’s internal clock. The result? It’ll be harder to wake up and fall asleep. So where you can, go out and bask in the sunlight. If you can’t, bright artificial light will do. At night, let there be darkness.


2. Tweak the temperature.


Too warm and it’ll be hard to fall asleep. Too cold and your sleep can be interrupted. The key here is balance: a sleep psychologist recommends that the best temperature for sleep is 15.6–19.4°C (60–67°F). But different strokes for different folks: if this range doesn’t work for you, find one that does since temperature impacts not just sleep quality, but whether you’re going to fall asleep quickly or not.


3. Silence or sound?


It actually depends on you! One study shows the positive effect of music (specifically “sedative” music) on sleep, but a quiet environment in this other study demonstrates the same thing as far as sleep and falling asleep is concerned. And the only way to find out? Give both of them a try.



We’re not entirely sure whether lettuce water is here to stay, but the suggestions we’ve provided have been around and utilized by a lot of people for sleep. Give them a try along with your lettuce drink and see which one works for you.

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