Ask EpicentRxTM

Nov 22, 2023

“Let’s talk turkey.”

“Time to squash a rumor.”

“Don’t be a jerky and blame it all on the turkey.”

Q: “Does turkey on Thanksgiving really make you sleepy? If so, I don’t want to eat it anymore.” E.B. from Saratoga, California

A: Not a phan of tryptophan, eh, E.B.? Well, then, give thanks because turkey contains lower levels of tryptophan, a precursor to the sleep inducing hormone melatonin, than pork, chicken and cheese, for example. Also, tryptophan (Trp) is one of 8 amino acids that compete for access to the brain through a specialized transporter called Lat-1, which, like a bouncer at a nightclub with V-shaped lats, limits the availability of Trp.

So, if Trp is not responsible for your Trp to Sleepytown, then what is?

In a word, overindulgence. In a limerick, too much wine and too much dine makes a person sleepy every time. Also, interminable conversations about how tryptophan causes loss of consciousness may factor in.

Your best bet this Thanksgiving, E.B.? Don’t eat on repeat. Rather, eat once and then retreat.

And good luck (cluck?) with that.