As the common myth goes, you’re ready for bed soon after Thanksgiving dinner because the turkey you eat is loaded with tryptophan, which makes you drowsy and drags you into slumber. It’s a line often repeated, but it’s not true - Daniel Victor


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Can some foods really make you sleepy?

Roast turkey tends to get most of the blame for causing drowsiness. And anyone who has had their fill at Thanksgiving or Christmas is probably familiar with the sleepy feeling that arrives afterwards. But is it fair to blame the turkey?

The reason it’s a prime candidate for sleepiness is that it contains the substance L-tryptophan. But other foods have more. Sea lion kidney, for example, or if you are looking for something more everyday, egg white, cod or pork chops. I can’t think of a recipe that combines all these ingredients, but even if you were to succeed in finding one, it wouldn’t necessarily have soporific effects.

The idea that some meals make you drowsier than others…

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Last Updated : Wednesday, March 10, 2021