Social media trends come and go, just like some platforms do – do we have any Vine or Myspace fans here? If you remember the ice water bucket challenge or the Harlem shake phenomenon, you know what we’re talking about.
Nowadays, going viral online isn’t only for dance routines over catchy songs or redoing memes with tons of views. You can get your fifteen minutes of fame with literally anything—even lettuce water, which is what teens are trying at the moment.
We were obviously intrigued, and with people claiming lettuce water as a new sleep aid, we couldn’t call ourselves sleep experts and not try it out.
Before we go further, we’re not medical professionals and try this trend at your own discretion.
Where did it start?
Tiktok user @shapla_11 recently uploaded a video of her sipping on lettuce leaves dipped in boiling water. She claimed that this concoction helped her sleep faster, and other Tiktokers followed suit. Her post quickly millions of likes and views.
Some users tried it too with similar results, while others had doubts about the results, voiced through duets or the commonplace reply in Tiktok. However, most of the videos under the lettuce water trend are people saying it actually works.
It seems like Millennials and Gen Z are searching out sleep hacks via TikTok trends to help with their sleep. Earlier this year, we saw the topic of revenge bedtime procrastination blow up because so many people could relate to it. Lettuce tea is currently making the rounds, but what viral video will be next?
@shapla_11 is Shapla Hoque, an influencer and chef based in the UK. She says that the boiled lettuce water makes her doze off faster, resulting in the best sleep for her in a while.
How does it even work?
In theory, a cup of lettuce water functions like other sleep aids such as chamomile tea. The difference between the two is the number of studies conducted on chamomile’s benefits. There’s not much science to back up lettuce water.
Despite that, we decided to try the trend for ourselves and see once and for all if it actually works.
To get the best results, we looked into different types of lettuce available in our local grocer. Experts suggest going with red romaine because it’s superior in terms of nutrient content. However, we’ve also seen people try iceberg and other kinds of lettuce.
Shapla Hoque initially mixed hers with a peppermint tea bag, but we went with pure lettuce water for our experiment to get the best results.
First, we soaked lettuce leaves in hot water for ten minutes. Afterwards, without adding anything, we sipped at it until finished. Definitely don’t drink it for the taste.
Did it work?
After drinking, we tried chilling on the couch with Netflix, letting Hoque’s sleep hack do its thing. Two movies down, and we were still as awake as before drinking said tea.
We tried giving lettuce the benefit of the doubt, laying down without any gadgets or reading a book. Basically, we tried to get our bodies in a state where sleep should come quickly. Still no luck.
The results were not the same as what was promised. Apparently, lettuce extract as a sleep aid isn’t for everyone.
Is it a yes from science?
Experts say that drinking something like valerian tea can give you a good night’s sleep. According to health experts, consuming food or drink packed with antioxidant polyphenols or compounds leads to better sleep.
That explains why people feel sleepy after drinking certain plant-based drinks. Others rely on chemical-induced sleepiness to get the job done, but both work the same in theory.
When it comes to lettuce and its benefits to sleep, food science and biotechnology experts believe it shows promise.
According to research, lettuce, or the scientific term Lactuca Sativa, contains trace amounts of lactucin, a substance with sedative properties. This makes lettuce extract a viable sleep aid. Further, it is said that romaine lettuce is the best kind for sleep hacks.
Before you go all-in on lettuce as the next big thing for sleep medicine, additional studies are needed to quantify its supposed effects, and that’s still years down the line. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be effective in time.
Cheers for a good night
The global sleep aid market is expected to rake in hundreds of billions in revenue for years, and that, more than anything, shows the demand for these kinds of products. Sadly, that also tells us how many people suffer from sleep problems.
These aids, whether naturally occurring or artificial, are necessary. Sleep shouldn’t be a luxury but a necessity, but for some, that isn’t the case. Therefore, accessible and affordable sleep tricks are essential.
So what’s the verdict for lettuce water as a sleep hack?
It didn’t get the job done for our team, but that’s not a final judgment on whether or not it works. There are tons of factors that can affect sleepiness in an individual, and not all of those can be addressed with a few lettuce leaves.
That said, home remedies and other hacks are reported to have a beneficial, if not a placebo effect on users. So if it helps you sleep better and faster, and as long as it isn’t harmful, it isn’t too bad.
In the end, sleep aids can only do so much. Maintaining a regular bedtime and sleep hygiene are the first steps in improving your sleep.