You’ve heard of lemon water, hydrogen water, and even electrolyte water, but “lettuce water?” According to some social media videos, lettuce water may help with sleep. But does this theory hold any water?
According to trends circulating on social media, a piping hot cup of lettuce water can help you fall asleep faster when you drink it before bed.
Millions of people have viewed these viral videos showing TikTokers sipping lettuce water as part of their bedtime regime, and followers are wondering if this may be the latest hack in the world of sleep improvement. Even the hashtag #lettuce water is making its rounds.
While social media influencers may hold plenty of clout among followers, it’s ultimately the science that will dictate whether or not a simple beverage like this can actually work to help you catch more z’s. And there may be some when it comes to lettuce water and sleep.
According to one study, lettuce water may help to improve sleep.  Researchers discovered that certain varieties of lettuce extract promoted an increase in the duration of sleep among rodents at both low and high doses. More specifically, it was red Romaine lettuce that showed the strongest effect.
It could be the lactucin in lettuce that may help improve sleep, if lettuce indeed does help in this realm of health. Lactucin is a bitter plant compound that also has antioxidant properties.
However, the study is somewhat limited and does not provide much in the way of evidence that lettuce water can be an effective sleep aid. While the study may have shown that the mice were able to sleep longer after consuming lettuce water, this concoction isn’t what helped them fall asleep in the first place.
Instead, the rodents were given a sedative to put them to sleep just after consuming the lettuce water.
Further, just a handful of lettuce leaves likely will not be strong enough to help improve sleep. And despite the hype, there isn’t any data on the effects of drinking lettuce water on humans to back up this claim.
That said, it may not hurt to try it. There is no evidence to suggest that consuming boiling water steeped in lettuce will cause any harm.
At the very least, it may be worth a try. If anything, hot lettuce water can serve as a soothing treat and part of a bedtime regimen to help people relax before calling it a night.
Image source: moerschy from Pixabay
- Kim, H.D., et al, “Sleep-inducing effect of lettuce ( Lactuca sativa) varieties on pentobarbital-induced sleep“, Food Sci Biotechnol., May 2017, 29;26(3):807-814.