Journalist Spends a Week Testing Whether Drinking Lettuce Water Actually Sends People to Sleep

·2-min read

A few weeks ago we told you how people on TikTok were drinking lettuce water (also known as lettuce tea) to help them drift off to sleep.

We also told you how, in 2017, a study published in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology reported how lettuce is known to have a "sedative-hypnotic property" and concluded that, "lettuce, especially romaine lettuce, is an interesting and cheap source of sleep-potentiating material and antioxidant polyphenols."

So there is some scientific basis to believe that drinking lettuce water could help with getting people off to the land of nod.

However, Vice journalist Koh Ewe has taken it upon herself to test the efficacy of lettuce water as a sleep aid, and we're sad to say it's not good news.

Turns out, as with most TikTok advice, drinking lettuce water appears to be b**ls**t.

After a seven-day study, Ewe concluded that "as far as foolproof knockout hacks go, lettuce water ain’t it."

Ewe said: "I really hoped that it would work – how awesome would it be if everyone’s sleep woes could be solved by soggy lettuce?

"But what I learned from the past week is that my drowsiness was probably brought on by something other than the drink, be it an intense workout, post-work lethargy or food coma from a hearty meal. I didn’t feel any improvement in the quality of my sleep either," she added.

If, like Ewe, you're not convinced by drinking lettuce water and want a proven solution then Rebecca Robbins, a sleep scientist at Brigham & Women's Hospital, recommends limiting caffeine consumption later in the day, exercising, unplugging from electronics and practicing a soothing activity like meditation before bedtime.

As for Ewe, she says she'll "just stick to counting sheep".

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