You're Getting Sleepy: The Truth About Turkey and Tryptophan

The sleepiness that follows Thanksgiving dinner rich in tryptophan has little to do with the turkey meal. New evidence shows that overeating combined with joint, bong, pipe, dab or vape hits have revelers nodding out.

Says our medical cannabis expert Dr. Mary Clifton:

"Tryptophan isn't really the culprit. The extremely high calorie content of the meal redirects blood flow to digestion and leads to that sleep feeling."

American Dietetic Association's Dawn Jackson Blatner agrees: 

"It boils down to Thanksgiving being a time when people overeat. When people overeat food, the digestion process takes a lot of energy. Don't incriminate the turkey that you ate, incriminate the three plates of food that you piled high."

An amino acid, tryptophan is in a lot of protein sources like egg whites, fish, soybeans, cheese, beef, pork and poultry. So Tofurkey eaters can experience the same drowsiness, especially if they have an after-dinner puff.

If you really want to give thanks on this holiday, look no further than the cannabis plant, which provides so much joy and inspiration, and many hours of blessed sleep.

This article was originally posted on Nov, 28, 2013. It's been updated several times.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.