Does lettuce water make you drowsy? Here’s what the experts say


Battling insomnia can leave you desperate to search for tips for getting to sleep late at night. When you do, you might stumble upon a trick you’ve never heard of before: drink lettuce water.

This is a now viral hack shared by Shapla Hoque on TikTok. “If you can’t sleep, try this,” she wrote in the caption.

In the video, which has 1.4 million likes, Hoque explained that she had heard that drinking lettuce water can help you feel tired. “Sister don’t sleep, so I’ll try!” she said. Hoque then went through the process of making his lettuce water, which included washing about four iceberg leaves, pushing them into a coffee mug, and pouring hot water over the top.

She added mint tea because, she said, “I’m afraid it tastes like shit.” Hoque cautioned, however, that the peppermint tea doesn’t make her doze off “so it won’t do anything.”

Finally, she removed the wilted lettuce leaves and took a sip. “It doesn’t look like anything,” she said. Hoque then shared an update of herself looking a bit sleepy, writing that she felt “drowsy, not really asleep like knocked out, but I feel drowsy”.

And, in another update, you can see the top of Hoque’s head and her eyes closed as she said, “The lettuce has crack because your sister is gone.”

Hoque then followed in the comments to advise against adding peppermint tea to lettuce water, noting, “apparently it keeps you awake, so for best results use chamomile tea or avoid using it. ‘add any other tea “.

People were all about the lettuce water in the comments. “My mother used to do this for me, boiled water and [left] in the pan for 5 minutes on minimum heat, it has always worked for me and it’s only natural, ”one person wrote. “Much cheaper than melatonin gummy candies,” someone else replied.

Many others said they were planning to try the lettuce water to help them get out at night. “I have terrible insomnia so I’m going to try this ASAP,” someone said.

Hoque isn’t the only person talking about the benefits of lettuce water for sleep. “So I’ve heard that if you oil lettuce and drink it like tea, you’ll end up in a coma,” TikTokker @neliebean wrote. (They later added, “Update: confirmed it works” in the comments.)

“So apparently the lettuce water knocks you out and we’ll be staying up all night here,” @thatnickguy_ said. In an update, he said he “knocked out” and forgot to finish the video.

Lettuce Water
Image: Courtesy of John Gibbons / Unsplash

Given that this is TikTok advice, it’s understandable to consider the idea of ​​drinking lettuce water with a healthy level of distrust. So… is it legitimate?

Yes and no, Christopher Winter, MD, of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and author of the book, The sleep solution: why your sleep is interrupted and how to fix it, tell Health. Here is the deal.

Is there anything in lettuce that can help you sleep?

Yeah. Lettuce contains something called lactucarium, which can make you drowsy. “It has a structure similar to opium and has sedative properties,” says Dr Winter.

You can actually see lactucarium if you look at the base of some lettuce. “It’s a milky substance,” says Dr. Winter. And, “if you get a whole bunch of lettuce and boil it, you can make this chemical,” he adds.

Can lettuce water help you sleep?

Perhaps? While lettuce contains lactucarium and it can make you drowsy, Dr. Winter says you’ll need to brew a “huge” amount of lettuce to really enjoy it. “The amount of lactucarium you get from four to five lettuce leaves probably won’t do much,” he says. But the heat of the water itself could help you fall asleep, with a healthy placebo effect, he adds.

If you like the idea of ​​trying some sort of warm liquid for insomnia, Dr. Winter suggests using tea that contains chamomile and / or valerian. “Having a cup of tea every night about an hour before bed signals your body that it’s time to get ready for sleep,” he says. “The clues can help. “

Still, if you want to try lettuce water, Dr. Winter says it’s great. “There is nothing dangerous about putting lettuce in your tea,” he emphasizes.

This story first appeared on

(Main image credit: Adobestock; Feature image credit: Mae Mu / Unsplash)

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