Turkey does have the makings of a natural sedative in it, an amino acid called Tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning that the body can’t manufacture it. The body has to get tryptophan and other essential amino acids from food. Tryptophan helps the body produce the B Vitamin, niacin, which in turn helps the body produce seratonin, a chemical that acts as a calming agent in the brain and plays a key role in sleep.
Tryptophan is one kind of amino acid (building blocks for forming muscles and other parts of human body) that is digested and used by the brain. The brain turns the Tryptophan into serotonin, a neurotransmitter that controls our “feelings” such as depression, hunger, thirst, sleep and other “moods.” By increasing the levels of Tryptophan in our bodies, serotonin will be produced and the end result will be a natural way of keeping depression at bay.