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Thanksgiving is coming up and that means a nice little break from classes and getting to spend time at home. Obviously the most important part about thanksgiving though is thanksgiving dinner. Sitting around the table with your family, eating turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and etc. Then following dinner that feeling of your stomach about to explode. You make your way over to the couch for a nice nap. Now this a theory that I have heard from many people, that turkey makes you tired and my question is does turkey actually make you tired?
Turkey contains the amino acid tryptophan, which is an amino acid that makes people tired. So naturally people assume that since the turkey contains this that it’s the reason that people tend to fall asleep following their feast. Studies show that this is merely a myth, the turkey doesn’t make you any more tired than any other food that you would have consumed at dinner. There’s numerous amounts of food that contain the exact same amount of tryptophan if not more. The real reason people fall asleep contributes more so to the fact that you’re consuming a lot of carbohydrates. When your body consumes carbs, it triggers the release of insulin in your body which ultimately leads to the production of melatonin which causes you to become tired. In my opinion I think that the third variables are more impactful to falling asleep after thanksgiving dinner. Thanksgiving is a time most people are off from school or work so naturally they are tired from these things additionally. Another thing that contributes to being tired is the fact that you are overeating. You are eating way much more food in less than an hour then you typically would. Your body has to exert a lot of energy in order to digest all of this food. When you are this full, your body directs blood away from your organ systems, which results in that sleepy feeling following your mass consumption. I think with all the contributing factors this is merely just a myth and the real reason that people fall asleep contributes more to third variables.