Sensations often grip the world of TikTok and one that is trending right now is the benefits of lettuce water on your sleep quality.
I’m not normally one for internet challenges but given that I’ve just moved into an apartment above a 24/7 gym with no soundproofing and road works on the street every night, I’d literally do anything to get a bit of sleep right now. That includes drinking the lettuce water.
So does this strange TikTok hack actually work?
What is TikTok’s lettuce water hack?
TikTok creator @shapia_11 went viral recently for her simple and effective sleep hack that involves drinking water from boiled lettuce leaves.
After drinking a cup of delicious (Is this sarcasm? You’ll soon find out) lettuce water, you’ll apparently be hitting the hay in about half an hour for one of the best sleeps of your life.
Before you write this off as some sort of witchcraft, hang on a second because it’s actually got some scientific backing.
A 2017 study from the journal of Food Science Biotechnology found certain varieties of lettuce had higher amounts of lactucin, which is known to have sedative qualities.
The study reported that Romaine lettuce had a higher lactucin count and was found to increase sleep duration in mice when they were fed both small and large quantities.
As Everyday Health points out, this study doesn’t actually support the idea that lettuce will put you to sleep, only that it will help you to sleep longer. It was also tested on mice that were already sedated so it’s hard to tell if these effects were from the lettuce or the sedative the mice were given.
The study also used Romaine extract which has a higher concentration than that of water from boiled lettuce leaves.
Despite these caveats, I gave the lettuce water a go anyway.
How to make lettuce water
This could not be more simple. All you need to whip up this sleep concoction is some lettuce leaves and boiled water.
Cos lettuce is the equivalent of Romaine in Australia, so start by buying a bunch from your local supermarket.
It’s then as easy as washing your leaves, sticking them in a mug and pouring some boiling water over them. You can also choose to boil the leaves in a pot on the stove if you want to go the extra mile.
I let it sit for about 10 minutes before removing the leaves. You’re left with this lovely yellow drink.
I’m sure you’re wondering how it tastes which, I’ve discovered, isn’t as bad as you’d think. The smell of the water is honestly worse than the taste and you get used to it after a few sips.
What I will warn you of, however, is the need to thoroughly wash all your vegetables, though. The hot water really drew out all the residual dirt from the leaves into the bottom of my cup. Not a pleasant sight.
Will it help you sleep?
While I firmly believe there are better and more efficient ways to get to sleep, I can’t deny the lettuce water did seem to help.
I didn’t feel any drowsier than normal and I definitely didn’t fall dead asleep 30 minutes after drinking, so I wouldn’t really say it will help put you to sleep. But I can’t deny that once I did drift off after drinking the lettuce water the sleep I had was deeper and longer than my average.
I drank the water before bed over a number of different nights and got a solid chunk of really restful sleep every time. We’re talking a good five or six hours which is saying something when you consider the level of noise I’m putting up with.
Lettuce water may not be a miracle cure-all for sleep but it is easy, simple and healthy – and it might just get you through the night.