Does drinking lettuce water actually help you sleep? Exploring the viral TikTok trend

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So you’re telling me that drinking a cup of boiled lettuce is the solution to my insomnia? Well, according to a large community on popular social media platform TikTok, it’s a yes.

People have been taking videos of themselves trying out this viral trend, many swear by it while some say it does nothing for them. One of the more popular videos shot and uploaded by Shapla Hoque has garnered 1.5 million likes and 7.6 million views already.

Click here to watch the full video:

Image credit: screen grab of @shapla_11 TikTok video

The first time I came across this video, I thought *cue holy music*, “could this be the answer to all my sleepless nights?”. On the flip side, I was equally skeptical that something like this could ever work. As someone who suffers from chronic insomnia, I’ve felt actual desperation for quality sleep. I never thought I’d be drink-lettuce-water desperate but hey, what do you know? We learn more about ourselves everyday.

While I may be late to the trend, I had to know, fact or cap. So, I tried it.

How should I describe it… my experience of drinking boiled lettuce water to fall asleep was about as useful as using an umbrella in a hurricane. In other words, it was useless.

Still, so many people claim that it worked for them. Time for some research, what’s the science behind it?

After conducting some research, I’ve found out that lettuce actually contains high levels of lactucarium, a component that can have a “sleepy” effect when consumed. However, it would probably take a larger amount of it to actually have some sort of an effect – not just a few leaves.

There are no studies conducted on humans to show that drinking lettuce water can make you fall asleep. While there’s no science to prove any direct correlation between the two, experts believe that it’s a placebo effect that makes people think that it works.

There’s no harm in trying this out so if you want to give it a go yourself, I genuinely hope it works for you. Just don’t drink too much before bedtime, you wouldn’t want to finally fall asleep just to be rudely awakened by the urgent need to pee.

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