For several weeks, a viral trick has been shared through TikTok that claims to be the solution to sleep better: lettuce tea. Works?
Is lettuce tea the solution for better sleep? A viral health hack on TikTok claims that this drink is ideal for inducing sleep in no time. In fact, before becoming a trend, it was already a well-known remedy in popular culture.
According to its proponents, drinking this tea 30 to 40 minutes before going to bed can promote a better quality of sleep. Thus, with the hashtag #lettucewater, this preparation has reached more than 12 million views.
But what does the science say? Works? Well, unlike other trending remedies on TikTok, there are some scientific studies that speak of these effects. Even so, it is not a “magical” preparation as some have led you to believe. Let’s see.
Lettuce tea for better sleep: what science says
In folk medicine, lettuce tea has been used for decades as a supplement for better sleep. Recently, a video on TikTok recalled the recipe and thousands of people around the world decided to try it. Of course, as with other home remedies, opinions about its effects are divided.
While many users claim that it does work, scientific evidence on its effectiveness is limited. In this regard, a study published through Food Science Biotechnology reported that some varieties of lettuce extract, especially red romaine lettuce, induce an increase in sleep duration.
Specifically, it was observed that some phytochemical compounds, such as lactucin, lactucopicrin, triterpenoids and saponins, have a positive effect in promoting rest. They are believed to act as natural sedatives, but their mechanism is not entirely clear.
However, these results have been disputed, not only because of the method used in the research, but also because the test was performed on mice. To begin with, the rodents were given a dose of pentobarbital—a sedative—shortly after they were given the extract orally.
In itself, it was not determined whether this vegetable could actually reduce the time that mice fell asleep. Their purpose was to make a comparison between the sleep-inducing effects of green and red leaf lettuce.
This is also controversial when used to justify the effects of lettuce water, since an extract was used in the study and not the artisanal drink. Also, since it was done on mice, it is not possible to claim the same effects in humans.
In conclusion, there is no convincing scientific support.
The properties attributed to lettuce water come largely from popular literature. However, it is a fact that this vegetable contains ingredients with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antioxidant potential, which is beneficial for health.
Is there any risk of consuming lettuce water to sleep?
Although there is no evidence that lettuce water helps you sleep, the truth is that it is a harmless drink for most people. Therefore, those who want to try it can do so without any inconvenience.
Of course, we must consider that it is a liquid. Consequently, it is not good to take large amounts before going to bed because it can increase the need to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night – which interrupts rest.
Of course, as with other vegetables, it should be washed and disinfected well before consuming it. In addition, it is necessary to consult the doctor if medications are being taken or if there is any diagnosed disease. In these special cases, it is not always advisable to take natural remedies.
How to prepare lettuce water?
At this point it should be mentioned that the TikTok viral challenge suggests making iceberg lettuce water. However, considering the aforementioned study, the best thing to do would be to use romaine lettuce. Regardless, it’s safe to try any.
- 3 or 4 leaves of organic romaine lettuce.
- Honey and lemon to taste (optional).
- 1 cup of water (250 milliliters).
Preparation and consumption
- To start, place the lettuce leaves in a cup of water and let them simmer over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, cover the drink and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Then pass it through a strainer and consume it.
- Although the suggestion is to take it 30 to 40 minutes before bedtime, it is advisable to do so at least an hour in advance.
What else can you do to sleep better?
If you want to try lettuce water to sleep, that’s fine. However, there are other useful strategies to promote a better quality of sleep. Make sure you put them into practice!
- Ensures a clean and comfortable environment for rest.
- Avoid exposure to disturbing lights and noise.
- Move technological devices out of the room, as they are distracting.
- Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
- Do physical exercise, but avoid doing it shortly before going to bed.
- Try relaxing aromatherapy sessions. Some fragrances like lavender can help.
- Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, pilates, meditation, or taking a hot bath. This helps to reduce the tensions that affect rest.
- Try to keep regular sleep schedules.
- If you have insomnia or another sleep disorder, see your doctor.
What should you remember about lettuce tea for sleep?
Despite being a popular remedy, there is no evidence to show that lettuce water helps you sleep better. It is important to ingest it in moderation, because in excess it can lead to an opposite effect, by