Does Turkey make you sleepy?

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Source: Food Network

Nicole Kell

Have you ever wondered what causes you to be so sleepy after your Thanksgiving turkey feast? Spoiler alert… it is not the turkey! Many people believe that turkey causes sleep. These claims come from the known fact that turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid that forms the foundation of the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin is converted to melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone. However, turkey does not contain nearly enough tryptophan to be the main cause of  drowsiness. According to experts, consuming copious amounts of carbohydrates such as mashed potatoes, stuffing, dinner rolls, and pie, is the main cause of the infamous post-Thanksgiving meal nap.

There are many other factors that contribute to drowsiness on Thanksgiving. This is a time of year where many are taking a break from work or school and may be worn out. Scarfing down large quantities of food and stretching the small intestine also induces sleepiness. Thanksgiving is a holiday spent with friends and family, so many people are consuming alcohol with their company. Alcohol tends to have a relaxing effect on the mind and body. So do not solely blame the bird for your snooze!

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