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Sleep Science: The Truth Behind Tryptophan

21st Nov 2019 • Lucid

Every year the U.S. President pardons one turkey from becoming someone’s dinner. This year, we want to pardon all turkeys from taking the blame for our after-dinner drowsiness and help you identify what’s really contributing to your post-Thanksgiving dinner crash.

Tryptophan Composition

What Is Tryptophan?

Tryptophan is an amino acid found in turkey that helps produce sleep-promoting serotonin and melatonin in our bodies. Turkey contains about the same amount of tryptophan as any other meat we eat regularly; however, we often cite turkey as the reason for crashing after a thanksgiving feast.

The amount of tryptophan per serving of turkey is very low, and it would almost be impossible to ingest enough turkey to cause you any significant drowsy side effects.

Long story short, the proof is in the pudding, and turkey, and potatoes, and all the other delicious treats we indulge in during the holidays. The chemicals in the food we consume on Thanksgiving aren’t the only cause for our extreme holiday exhaustion.

Stressed woman

The Real Culprits


The holidays are an especially stressful time of year for most families. Hosting Thanksgiving for your family can bring a lot of extra stress. A common holiday stressor is balancing a pack of extended family staying at your home while you try and maintain a crazy sleep schedule to synchronize the preparation of all your dishes.


The tryptophan found in turkey alone won’t cause you to crash; however, eating twice as much food as you normally eat in a day, in a single sitting will. Digesting is tiring work, and your body will need to recover with a significant dose of refreshing sleep after overeating.

Family relaxing in bed


Proper Sleep

Coming into the holidays well-rested will help you have a leg up on the stress, and other factors that have us collapsing after dessert is served.

It’s especially important to try and maintain some normalcy regarding your sleep schedule during the holidays. Sporadic sleep schedules can lead to prolonged naps and leave you feeling constantly groggy.

If you are having a hard time falling asleep during this holiday season, don’t solely rely on turkey. Our mattresses, pillows, and accessories contain more sleep benefits than a turkey dinner and none of the calories. Sleep like it’s Thanksgiving every night with Lucid’s fat-free sleep aids.