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Does Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Does Thanksgiving Turkey Really Make You Sleepy?

Today is the day that many of us have been waiting on all year, it’s Thanksgiving! As we gather around the table to appreciate our family, friends and the joy of a perfectly cooked turkey, after a plate or two the familiar feeling of sleepiness will try to convince us to take a nap, but why?

Popular belief points to eating turkey as the culprit as it contains the amino acid tryptophan, one of the nutrients that make up the building blocks of chemicals in the brain that make us sleepy. However, according to Live Science, experts say that the real culprit is the large amount of carbohydrates and alcohol we consume on Thanksgiving, citing that turkey can’t compete with all of the amino acids to possibly have a huge impact on our drowsiness.

Typically, a Thanksgiving plate is filled with numerous options, including turkey, ham, potatoes, greens, dressing, and we mustn’t forget the mac n’cheese. The large amount of carbohydrates we are prepared to eat today will trigger the release of insulin, which in turn will get rid of most of the other amino acids in our blood, leaving tryptophan behind. As tryptophan forms serotonin into melatonin, our sleep-inducing hormone, the affects of feeling full and sleepy will set in for the holiday.

So, in order for you to blame the turkey for the reason you feel asleep on your grandmother’s sofa, you’d basically have to only eat turkey for the entire day in a large quantity and what’s Thanksgiving without those delicious sides and desserts?

Nonetheless, with all the chaos surrounding the holiday, we think you should know how fully enjoy today without paying the cost of poor sleep later. These quick tips from The Huffington Post will keep you on track:

1. Watch your alcohol intake:  Drinking late into the evening reduces your sleep quality, even it is just red wine.
2. Be mindful of travel times: If you have travelled to a different time zone, read up on jet lag and take the steps to enjoy your day without being sleep deprived.
3. Keep moving: It may be tempting to sit in one spot for the day with the football games going, but physical activity leads to better shut-eye. Play active games with your family.
4. Time your meal: Americans may be eating up to 4,500 calories today, creating sleepiness at the wrong time. Eat more proteins earlier in the day, and then eat more carbs around dinner time.
5. Nap smart: We all have a uncle who falls asleep in his favorite chair right after dinner. However, be sure to take a brief nap early in the afternoon so that you will still get sleepy at bedtime. With the high number of drowsy driving this season, we encourage you to nap whenever you need to.

Happy Thanksgiving from us at Gallery Furniture! We hope that you all get an opportunity to be surrounded by people you are thankful for as we all eat, play, laugh and create new memories to be a part of family traditions. Travel safe and enjoy all the things that make Thanksgiving special!

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