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Burning Question: Does Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Does Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

This age-old claim is both fact as well as fiction. Turkey does contain tryptophan, an amino acid that often converts to serotonin, a sleep-regulating neurotransmitter. But in order to truly experience the side effects of tryptophan, one would need to eat copious amounts of turkey on an empty stomach.

Tryptophan can be found to some degree in red meat, eggs, fish, poultry — virtually every animal product. And in reality, few people eat solely turkey at a Thanksgiving meal. Most of us also eat massive quantities of sides, such as stuffing, mashed potatoes, and yams. These carbohydrate-heavy foods trigger the pancreas to produce insulin, which blocks energy. Combine this "food coma" effect with a few too many glasses of wine and football on the couch, and you're in for quite a sleepy night, turkey or no turkey.

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Join The Conversation
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
We'll see Yum, ask me on Friday! LMAO
Food Food 8 years
@Mykie7 - How exciting! I assure you you'll be hooked from this year forward...!
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
I'm cooking a Turkey (Brined and Basted) making a Candied ham, sweet potatoes, scalloped potatoes, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, Homemade potatoe rolls, pumpkin bread, two pumpkin pies, brownies, 3 cakes and a cheesecake. This is the first thanksgiving where I get to do everything! I'm fairly excited!
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I just always eat so much that I get sleepy! I love thanksgiving!
bengalspice bengalspice 8 years
Turkey is awesome for your brain though ... that's what I read in college.
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
Yes, but mainly because I'm cooking two of them, along with the potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and piezzzzzzzzzzz...
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
so - does that mean that we can't use the excuse anymore? see i kind of liked it cause i was the only person that didn't eat turkey and that meant that i could have the house to myself while everyone 'napped' but i guess that's not going to be the case this time around :( so sad.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I knew turkey didn't actually make you sleepy, and have tried to tell my BF this (who passes out about 5 minutes after dinner), but now I have hard evidence!
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