Does Lettuce Tea Really Help You Sleep? Here’s the Science Behind the Viral TikTok Trend

CBD gummies with melatonin. A white noise machine. Chakra meditations. If it claims to help you fall asleep faster, you’ve tried it. But what about sipping on lettuce tea? No, this isn’t a joke; lettuce tea has blown up on TikTok. (Don’t believe us? Videos with the hashtag #lettucetea have 7.5 million views). Apparently, drinking this strange brew helps folks fall asleep faster, but is it too gross good to be true? Probably. Read on for everything you need to know about this trending concoction.

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What Is Lettuce Tea?

Lettuce tea is, sadly, exactly what it sounds like: lettuce leaves (typically romaine) steeped in hot water. Some videos show TikTok creators straining the leaves out, while others leave them in; a peppermint tea bag is sometimes added to make it taste more refreshing (but more on that later). In many of these videos, someone drinks the tea, makes a few comments about its smell and taste and checks back in 45 minutes later to say that they feel drowsy.

How Does it Taste?

Unsurprisingly, not great. Though the addition of peppermint tea might make it a bit more palatable, most people who’ve tried it on TikTok note that it’s definitely not a tasty drink (oftentimes they end of closing their noses and chugging the tea as quickly as possible. As for the smell, one creator notes that it “tastes how asparagus pee smells,” so we’ll leave you to do with that what you’d like.

Does Lettuce Tea Actually Make You Fall Asleep Faster?

We hate to break it to you, but probably not. Though some TikTok creators say that it does help them feel drowsy faster than they normally would, the science isn’t so supportive. While there have been a couple studies on the effects of lettuce on sleep, they’ve focused on said effects in mice. One study by Korean researchers found that romaine lettuce was “an interesting and valuable source of sleep-potentiating material,” noting that the extract of green romaine lettuce significantly reduced sleep latency (the amount of time it takes to fall asleep), and increased sleep duration in mice when compared to other lettuces. However, the mice in that particular study were also given a pentobarbital medication (a sedative) and researchers used romaine extract, which is much more concentrated than the lettuce tea you’d make at home.

What Happened When We Tried It?

Nothing good. For the record, were unpleasantly surprised to find that the creator who said it tastes how asparagus pee smells was right. It tastes, in a word, horrible. However you're thinking you'd feel drinking hot water mixed with romaine lettuce, it's exactly like that—not in a good way. We also didn't notice ourselves feeling any more tired than usual, but that could've been because the taste was so horrific we were praying it wouldn't work.

That being said, there aren’t any potential negative side effects, so if you want to give it a try for some TikTok clout—and aren’t afraid of the taste or smell—go forth.

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sarah stiefvater

Wellness Director

Sarah Stiefvater is PureWow's Wellness Director. She's been at PureWow for ten years, and in that time has written and edited stories across all categories, but currently focuses...