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Big Cat, Big Sleep

What Is Turkey Sleep?

Turkey Sleep is bringing back the well known essential amino acid Tryptophan

Um, why do we need to bring it back, isn’t it already here?

Yes, actually it is already here, in fact its in a lot of the foods you already eat, but are probably eating less of for other reasons.

And, when you do get some, it’s not very much.

And that’s a shame, because Tryptophan is an astonishing essential amino acid.

It’s involved in a ton of processes in the body.

And a lot of them have to do with overall health and sleep quality.

What about all those other sleep supplements?

Yes, you’ve tried the Melatonin, the Valerian Root, the GABBA, the Ginkgo, etc.

You’ve tried the 5-HTP, boy that did not make you feel good in the morning.Melatonin is giving you crazy dreams and doesn’t seem to help anymore.

So, what gives? What is all that stuff, and if that didn’t work, why would anything else? What is all that stuff anyway?

Hate to break it to you, but a lot of that stuff was the synthetic version of what your body already makes naturally. Or it was squeezed out of a plant somewhere and it may have side effects. There should be something a lot more natural. Something essential perhaps…

So, what am I talking about? Let’s start at the beginning.

What are essential amino acids?

Everyday, humans and animals need to ingest a few key molecules in order to live, strive, and thrive.

These are not just “nice” to have molecules, they are “need to have molecules. The body simply cannot survive without them.

There are about 500 naturally occurring amino acids, but only about 20 appear regularly in living organisms.

In humans, just nine of these are what’s termed “essential amino acids.”

That means they can’t be made inside our bodies, but instead they have to be brought in from food.

That’s another way of saying that the body cannot “synthesize” them internally.

These essential amino acids are used by the body to make cells, repair cells, and to make the various other molecules that are used to communicate with each other.

Ok, so what are Essential Amino Acids made from?

These essential amino acid molecules are made out of just a few atoms; Carbon, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Hydrogen.

There are about 10-12 atoms per amino acid. By adding or subtracting more atoms you can get a new shape with a new pattern and you have a new amino acid.

Amino Acid Molecule
Just your average amino acid molecule.

An interesting feature of these molecules is that they exhibit what is called “handedness”.

They are either left-handed or right-handed, which just means the shape of the molecule is a bit different, even though they have the same number of molecules.

Living organisms seem to mainly only use the Left handed (L Version) versus the right handed or (D version).

So that’s why you usually see “L” in front of supplement names, like L-Carnitine, L-Arginine, or L-Tryptophan.

Without new molecules in the right “shape” ingested everyday living organisms would slowly get ill and decay. The essential amino acids are exactly the size and shape needed to create the shapes and so on and so forth.

Almost every other molecule we ingest is “gravy” as long as we get the “essentials” as far as survivability is concerned.

Taste would be another matter…

What does the body do with essential amino acids?

The living organism takes these essential amino acids and uses them to make all the other compounds that the body needs via a process called biosynthesis.

Biosynthesis is basically what it means to be alive.

Essential amino acids are the building blocks for proteins.

Proteins are one set of the building blocks for cells.

protein structure
Just Another Fancy Protein Structure

Living cells are very good at biosynthesizing most of what the body needs from a wide variety of foods because most food is pretty much the same at the molecular level.

As long as enough of the raw materials are being brought in, the body can manufacture the rest.

The “essentials” are just the right shape and have just the right energy to make this possible.

What about the other essential nutrients?

The “essential amino acids” are not the only group of “essentials”.

There’s also the “essential fatty acids”.

These are the lipids the body needs to make things like cell walls.

Just like with the amino acids, some fatty acids can’t be made from within.

Some can, but many can’t.

Same with some vitamins and minerals.

They are groups of specific molecules that the body needs small quantities of regularly.

Different animals and plants have different systems available to them for producing these molecules to survive.

These systems are called “pathways”.

Is this a subway map or a metabolic pathway?

For example, most mammals have the pathway built in to make Vitamin C from raw materials.

Seals, elephants, and quite a few other animals don’t need to eat oranges to get the Vitamin C their cells need to survive.Their cells are able to make it “in house”.

Humans and other primates do not have this ability. If humans don’t get Vitamin C directly from the outside in our food, we will get sick.

Vitamin C is known as ascorbic acid. It is not an amino acid, but is part of the group of “essentials” needed to survive.

If your diet is low in any of these essential molecules, then deficiencies can occur, which will hinder the production of all the other molecules that the body needs to create from them. You simply won’t have enough raw materials to synthesize the other important molecules that you need.

Why is Tryptophan special?

Uniquely, when it comes to sleep health, Tryptophan has a lot of things going for it compared to some of the other essential amino acids.

Because it has two roles.

First, Tryptophan is used by the body to make other proteins, in regular biosynthesis. This is the primary use for a lot of the other essential amino acids as well.

The second reason that makes Tryptophan extra special is that it is also used by the body to make very important hormones. Some of these hormones are famous sleep molecules you may already be familiar with.

One of them is Melatonin.

The human body naturally makes Melatonin in the brain, and to do that it needs the raw material in the form of Tryptophan.

Melatonin is a neurohormone that you need to help have a good sleep-wake cycle.

It keeps your biological clock humming on time.

If you’re having trouble sleeping it could be that your body is not making enough Melatonin at the right time.

What is Serotonin?

Another important molecule that your body makes out of Tryptophan, is the neurotransmitter Serotonin, the so called “happiness” molecule.

Serotonin is the molecule that lets your brain and body feel good, happy, and satisfied.

It’s basically signalling that your body has enough of the good stuff in it and is functioning normally.

If you don’t feel good, perhaps a little ill at ease, barring some important medical condition, it could be perhaps you don’t have enough serotonin being produced in your body naturally.

Well, you can’t get enough Serotonin inside if you don’t have enough Tryptophan coming in from the outside.

And it doesn’t stop there.

All sorts of various other components that your body needs to synthesize to function, require the raw ingredient Tryptophan to actually be made properly, and in enough quantities.

So What Should I do About It?

So, time to go eat a real meal, maybe even a real Turkey and some potatoes right? Get your Tryptophan the old-fashioned way.

Not so fast.

When you have a nice big meal, you are getting all or hopefully most of the important essential amino acids.

That’s good news for all of us, because food tastes good, and we all would like to eat more of the tasty stuff.

The problem is, that when you get all these amino acids in the body together, a lot of the same “reaction” pathways are used up at the same time.

Unfortunately, Tryptophan usually gets last priority. And when its mixed with other amino acids like that it can’t help you sleep.

So you ate all that food, and for some reason you’re still not getting enough, doesn’t seem fair right?

Are you low on Tryptophan?

It’s possible that the way we eat now is reducing our overall ability to absorb and use Tryptophan.

We put everything together on one dish which causes the amino acids to compete for the various synthesis pathways available to them within our digestive system and beyond.

And that’s why we created Turkey Sleep; the ultra-pure, naturally fermented, low-dose Tryptophan supplement product.

Image By: Michael Green