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Smarter Health: The Low Down on The Post-Turkey Nap

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It's Turkey Week! According to, 46 million turkeys are eaten at Thanksgiving. That's a lot of gobble gobble being gobbled up...and a lot of post-turkey feast naps. But does the turkey meat cause that sleepiness or what? Someone else in our community also had that same question.

motherlover445 asks: Can you settle the debate in our house - why do we get so sleepy after eating turkey at Thanksgiving? My husband says it is due to the tryptophan, I say it is because we've been running around and eat a big meal and get that "crash" because of full bellies. Who's correct?

Yes, we all know that feeling and have seen the reclined bodies all over the house about 20 minutes after eating the Thanksgiving meal. And yes, we've all heard that tryptophan (which is an amino acid) is the snooze-inducer. But, friends, is a myth. It is not the tryptophan's fault, as it is found in many, many, many foods we consume everyday - other poultry, pork, eggs and so on.

So what does cause it? Probably a variety of things - the full belly being one of them, as we tend to eat much more than usual at one sitting at Thanksgiving. Add to that the carbohydrates we eat (stuffing, mashed potatoes) and possibly some wine, you've got the right recipe for naptime. Finish it up with the fact many of us were hard at work in the kitchen and are a tad exhausted, then -- bam! -- you're looking at some droopy eyelids.

So, if I have to settle the debate, I declare you the victor!

Do you get sleepy after the Thanksgiving feast?

Ā© NWPhotoguy 

by on Nov. 19, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (31-40):
by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM

 I am always tired by the time we get home from a day's outing. I don't think the turkey eating has anything to do with it.

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

not really...i never overeat lol

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

 No, not me. I have sleep issues and I'm almost always "awake" lol

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Maybe a full belly and all...

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 4:24 PM

No. We all get geared up for a walk after we eat dinner. We eat our big yummy dinner and then about an hour later go for a walk around the block before we eat dessert. lol

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM
Me, SO, and our daughter all nap after. :)
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by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 6:21 PM

 I am always sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner, especially while the Cowboys are playing LOL

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Its called carb overload.

Sue ~ Head Admin
~ D.V. Survivor/Admin

by on Nov. 20, 2012 at 7:39 PM

My father calls this problem "Fat Puppy Syndrome" because we all look and feel like little puppies that have gorged on that doggie bowl a little too long.

by Ruby Member on Nov. 20, 2012 at 7:46 PM

 If I have been up a long time cooking yes.

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