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Who would have thought that letuce leaf was the answer to a good night’s sleep?
TikTok’s latest sleeping hack has gone viral, with user Shapla Hoque from @shapla_11 sharing a unique tip to help users doze off. Currently boasting more than 6 million views, the unique tip has supposedly been helping TikTok viewers around the world drift off!
The video advises users to soak lettuce in boiling water for 10 minutes, then remove and drink the remaining ‘lettuce tea’. Some added chamomile or peppermint flavouring is also recommended to make the beverage taste better. YUM!
If the idea of drinking hot lettuce tea doesn’t appeal (and who could blame you?), the team at Otty have pulled together a list of international dishes used across the globe, which are all recommended to assist in helping you fall asleep.
India – Moon Milk
Moon Milk – or Golden Milk- is a common sleeping hack used across India. A spin on the classic ‘warm milk before bed’ which is well known worldwide, Moon Milk is praised for its blend of spices and herbs which make for the ultimate relaxing drink, especially in warmer climates. The traditional ingredients are milk, cinnamon, turmeric and honey, but some recipes also suggest adding in ginger, nutmeg and ground pepper.
China – Congee
A go-to meal in China for those struggling to sleep is Congee, a high carb meal that dates back to the Zhou Dynasty of 1000 BC. Used by those feeling a little under the weather, the dish is made using rice, vegetable stock, ginger, sliced green onion and soy sauce. The simplicity of the dish makes it easy for the body to digest, allowing your body to fall asleep more quickly.
Toppings such as nuts or berries can make the dish taste a little more flavoursome.
UK – Marmite
Good news for Marmite lovers, the salty spread that’s beloved by some – but detested by others – can actually help you sleep! Marmite can increase levels of GABA in the brain, a neurotransmitter that makes it easier for us to relax and wind down, which ultimately results in a better night’s sleep. Traditionally spread over toast, you can also add Marmite to sweet potatoes, chicken or even cake!
Sweden – Elk
One of the most popular dishes in Sweden is meatballs, made from Elk! This dish can be eaten a number of ways, but is usually enjoyed with some veggies and roast potatoes, a hearty meal for the cold Swedish winters where temperatures can drop to -30 degrees! Elk is high in tryptophan, an essential amino acid that benefits our mood, behaviour, and sleep. Low levels of tryptophan can also be associated with anxiety and depression, which are common causes of sleepless nights.
Japan – Tuna
The people of Japan eat more tuna than any other country across the globe, and for good reason too. Sushi and Tuna Tataki are just some of the most popular dishes in the country and are helping residents enjoy a good night’s rest. Tuna is high in Vitamin B6, which helps produce serotonin and melatonin, both essential for regulating your sleep-wake cycle.
Spain – Paella
The Spanish eat their evening’s meals notoriously late, with dinner typically consumed around 9 or 10 pm across the country. Hearty meals are often enjoyed before bed, with residents going to sleep on a full stomach. A meal high in carbs and protein, Paella is well known to most as the quintessential signature dish of Spain. The meal can be made either with seafood, chicken, chorizo or vegetables – all foods high in tryptophan making for a good night’s rest.
France – Cheese
There is a common wives tale that cheese can give you nightmares, however, the French have proven this to be a misconception. No other country eats more cheese than France. Cheese is full of amino acids, proven essential for sleep as they help your body switch off and relax if the right balance is consumed.
In France, cheese is often consumed after dinner, commonly accompanied by bread is torn into small pieces. It is sometimes also served with a salad or fresh fruits to compliment the unique flavours. Cheese is also filled with calcium, which helps the body use amino acids to create melatonin.
The bottom line is, getting enough sleep is crucial for your body’s health. All these dishes from around the globe should be consumed an hour or two before you head to bed, to give your body enough time to digest properly. Some other common foods to help you fall asleep include bananas, almonds, kiwi fruit and cherries, which can be added to a number of meals to help you drift off. Or you can also try chamomile tea or pure coconut water.
Robyn Foyster is an award-winning journalist and former Editor-In-Chief of The Australian Women's Weekly. She is also the owner and publisher of Women Love Tech, Game Changers and The Carousel. Robyn's tech company produced the augmented reality app for Sydney's Vivid Festival in 2018 and the retail app Sweep. She is a speaker and a judge of the Telstra Business Awards and Mumbrella Awards. Robyn is passionate about supporting women in STEM.