Stop Trippin’, It’s Not The Tryptophan

You’ve gobbled up the turkey and all the fixings of a delicious Thanksgiving feast, and now you can’t stay awake. Is the tryptophan is making you sleepy?

By Joe Castignani

You’ve gobbled up the turkey and all the fixings of a delicious Thanksgiving feast, and now you can’t wait to curl up on the couch for an indulgent nap. The turkey! you think as your head hits the pillow. The tryptophan is making me sleepy.

But is turkey really to blame? Does turkey make you sleepy or is it just a clever ploy to avoid doing the Thanksgiving dishes?

Turkey contains tryptophan which is an essential amino acid used by our bodies to create melatonin and serotonin... and it has been observed in many studies to decrease sleep latency (meaning that it helps us fall asleep faster). But a few slices of the Thanksgiving bird just isn’t enough to knock you out. In fact, tryptophan is found in a variety of foods including milk, cheese, beef, and fish. Oddly, no one ever complains that their milkshake is making them sleepy!

Then, why am I so groggy during the holidays?

Since turkey isn’t the lone culprit of holiday naps, let’s consider other contributors from the holiday meal. Mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top, and pumpkin pie are just a handful of delicious, high-carb foods on the menu. The quick rise in blood sugar caused by these foods can bring on fatigue within an hour or so. If you add some alcohol to the mix, a winter’s nap after the big meal is in the works!

How can I avoid the post-feast crash?

Slow down and enjoy smaller portions. When you are full, put down the fork and enjoy leftovers later.

Alcohol in moderation. The sedating effects of alcohol may be heightened with over-indulgence at the table.

Move your body. Take a walk or engage in a game of flag football after dinner to start burning all those carbs!

Get 7-8 hours of sleep regularly. If you are having trouble with restful sleep, try the 6-Chamber Pillow with free shipping and returns!


Indulge wisely, keep your body moving, and enjoy regular, quality sleep to ensure an engaged Thanksgiving with family and friends without the post-feast snooze. These simple tips will help you throughout the holiday season—and beyond!

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Dream big, work hard, sleep ambitiously,

Joe Castignani