Can Drinking Boiled Lettuce Water Help You Sleep? + 4 Alternatives

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The sleep market is a multi-billion dollar market, containing everything from sleep medicines and sleep supplements to sleep-supporting devices such as white noise machines, weighted blankets, and sleep apps.

There is also ongoing intrigue and research into the best foods and drinks to support sleep. One such drink touted to promote sleep is lettuce water.

But, can drinking boiled lettuce water help you sleep? Does boiling lettuce for sleep actually work, and how much lettuce water do you need to drink for sleep support?

In this article, we will discuss drinking boiled lettuce water for sleep, investigating whether boiling lettuce for sleep actually works, what compounds are in boiled lettuce water that promotes sleep, and other tips surrounding the best drinks to help you sleep at night.

We will look at: 

  • Why Do People Drink Boiled Lettuce Water for Sleep?
  • How to Make Boiled Lettuce Water for Sleep
  • Does Boiler Lettuce Water Work for Sleep?
  • Are There Any Health Risks of Trying the Lettuce Water Trend?
  • Alternate Foods and Drinks to Aid Sleep

Let’s get started!

A person drinking lettuce water before bed.

Why Do People Drink Boiled Lettuce Water for Sleep?

If you have ever dealt with insomnia or had difficulty sleeping, you probably recall just how desperate you may become to find a sleep solution to help you get a good night’s rest.

For this reason, it’s no surprise that whenever there is some sort of new sleep solution or natural sleep aid that is touted to help promote sleep, the interest in the said natural sleep supplement skyrockets.

Drinking boiled lettuce water for sleep is one of the latest entries into the ever-growing list of purported natural sleep aids.

Boiling lettuce for sleep has become a viral trend or viral sleep pack circulating TikTok and other popular social media channels.

Having boiled lettuce water for sleep essentially involves steaming a hot cup of lettuce water and drinking it before bedtime to help you fall asleep more quickly.

The lettuce water boiling sleep technique is credited to TikTok user Shapla Hoque, who shared the tip of drinking lettuce water before bed to help you fall asleep on her TikTok account in a video that has now been viewed at least 7.1 million times since she first posted it on May 30, 2021.

Since she first shared the boiled lettuce water sleep idea, the #lettucewater with millions of views on other TikTok lettuce water videos where different users shared their lettuce water sleep results and boiled lettuce water sleep tips.

A head of lettuce.

How to Make Boiled Lettuce Water for Sleep

Boiled lettuce water is essentially a lettuce tea made by boiling lettuce leaves in hot water, straining out the lettuce, and then drinking the leftover stewed lettuce juice water concoction.

Learning how to make lettuce water tea for sleep is extremely simple, and you can even make a large pitcher of the lettuce tea and keep it in your refrigerator for 2 to 3 days, partitioning out a serving each night before bed.

Most people drink tea lettuce water hot, but you can theoretically drink it cold if that is your preference.

The longer the lettuce tea stews, and more lettuce “essence“ will be in your lettuce water tea, making it more potent but also more vegetal in flavor profile.

There are two versions of the basic boiled lettuce water recipe:

  1. You can wash and then boil lettuce leaves in a pot of water for 5-15 minutes, remove the solids after boiling, and pour the remaining liquid into a mug.
  2. You can place lettuce leaves in a mug and pour boiling water over them. Then, steep the tea for 5-15 minutes. Strain off the lettuce and drink the liquid.
A variety of lettuce types.

Does Boiler Lettuce Water Work for Sleep?

Although most of the TikTok lettuce water sleep videos are just anecdotal accounts of drinking boiled lettuce water before bed for sleep, there’s actually some science backing the potential benefits of boiling lettuce for sleep.

For example, one study found that drinking lettuce water improved sleep, particularly when certain varieties of lettuce or lettuce extract were used, such as red Romaine lettuce.

However, it’s important to note that this was an animal study rather than a human study.

Are There Any Health Risks of Trying the Lettuce Water Trend?

The good news is that even if drinking lettuce water does not improve your sleep quality or help you fall asleep faster, there is also no real harm in having boiled lettuce water.

Hydration is always good for the body and provides health benefits independent of sleep.

A person drinking from a mug.

Furthermore, there are no harmful chemicals or compounds inherently found in lettuce, so drinking boiled lettuce water should be innocuous.

The one caveat is that you should buy organic lettuce, if at all possible.

Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and lettuce are among the most heavily sprayed crops and are consistently found on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” List.

This is a list that is released every year showing the fruits and vegetables most heavily sprayed with pesticides and fertilizers or those that contain the most toxic pesticide load or most pesticide residues per serving, even after they are washed.

Paying attention to the produce found on the “Dirty Dozen“ list can help you make informed decisions about which fruits and vegetables to avoid if you cannot afford to buy organic or grow your own.

Although spinach and kale generally contain significantly higher pesticide loads than lettuce, conventional lettuce still contains a significant amount of pesticide residue even when washed. Plus, the pesticides on these greens are among the most dangerous.

Lettuce heads in a garden.

Although you might not immediately experience pesticide side effects from drinking lettuce water every night, evidence suggests that consuming foods with pesticide residues can cause a multitude of health issues, including endocrine issues, disruption of the gut microbiome, and even certain cancers.

Therefore, if you’re making boiled lettuce water and drinking a glass every night before bed, you could be exposing your body to a toxic pesticide load over time if you are not using organic lettuce.

The other thing to be mindful of is drinking too much fluid before bed, lettuce tea, or otherwise, can disrupt your sleep by causing you to get up and use the bathroom during the night.

Alternate Foods and Drinks to Aid Sleep

If you decide that drinking lettuce water tea before bed isn’t an effective sleep aid or it doesn’t seem to fit your needs, there are other potential beverages and foods to aid sleep that have more scientific evidence supporting the soporific effects of these natural foods.

If you’re looking to add a drink or food to your diet to support sleep, some science-backed options include:

A glass of cheery juice.

#1: Tart Cherry Juice

Tart cherry juice has been shown to not only help support sleep and potentially induce drowsiness if consumed before bed, but this antioxidant-rich fruit also confers powerful anti-inflammatory effects on the body, giving you a potent one-two punch in terms of the health benefits of tart cherry juice.

#2: Foods High In Magnesium

Magnesium-rich foods and supplements can also potentially help you fall asleep and stay asleep. 

Magnesium is a mineral and functions as an electrolyte in the body. Among the many physiological functions of magnesium, it helps relax the muscles, aid digestion, and potentially help promote sleep. 

Examples of foods high in magnesium include dairy products such as milk and yogurt, bananas, nuts including Brazil nuts and pistachios, beans, leafy green vegetables, and seeds. 

You can also take magnesium supplements; magnesium citrate is often recommended for people who suffer from constipation, tight or tense muscles, or who have insomnia.

A cup of chamomile tea.

#3: Chamomile Tea and Extract

Chamomile is a soothing herb that is said to help promote relaxation.

Having a warm mug of chamomile tea instead of boiled lettuce tea may help you fall asleep if you find that the boiled lettuce tea doesn’t help you sleep better or you do not like the flavor.

#4: Valerian Root

Valerian root is a natural sedative found in many natural sleep aids, including bedtime teas and melatonin supplements. This herbal compound is said to induce drowsiness and help you fall asleep faster.

Ultimately, there isn’t enough research to back the lettuce water sleep trend; however, drinking lettuce water for sleep is likely not going to harm you.

That said, you are likely better off by choosing other foods to help you sleep and eating whole leaf lettuce as a salad in the evening to take advantage of all of the nutrients in lettuce and the more evidence-based foods to aid sleep.

For another flavored water idea, check out our guide to the benefits of drinking lemon water here.

A bottle of lemon water.
Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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