Feeling Sleepy This Thanksgiving? Tryptophan Could Be The Culprit!

Feeling Sleepy This Thanksgiving? Tryptophan Could Be The Culprit!


With three NFL games scheduled on Thanksgiving Day, you might think that the lowly Lions’ performance against the mighty Titans is what is causing you to feel sleepy. Fresh on the heels of their first loss of the season, the Titans aren’t about to make the game interesting, offering a real Thanksgiving Turkeysnoozer opportunity for football fans instead.

Yet, there could be something else at work on Turkey Day, a naturally occurring ingredient called tryptophan, found in that big bird you scarfed down just prior to kick-off. Can it make you sleepy? According to scientists it can, providing enough of a problem for some people to cause them to fall asleep when they least expect it.

Tryptophan acts like a natural sedative, an essential amino acid that your body cannot make. Amino acids come from food sources and tryptophan helps your body produce the B-vitamin niacin. That vitamin helps your body produce serotonin, a chemical that acts as a calming agent for the brain, something that also helps you to sleep. Thus, that sleepy feeling you get from eating several slices of turkey can be attributed to tryptophan.

Although experts recognize that tryptophan does play a role in contributing to making you sleepy, the entire Thanksgiving meal can cause you to feel tired. This means that if you skip the turkey and choose to bulk up on stuffing, bread, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie, your body will still feel stuffy and have to work extra hard to digest all of that food. That extra work means your body will expend more energy and that energy depletion will make you feel tired. Drink a glass or two of wine with your meal and you may find that you’re even more tired, turkey or not.

Then again, if you’re having trouble sleeping at night, a leftover turkey sandwich could be the best sleeping pill for you. Especially when consumed on an empty stomach, you just may be able to take in the right amount of tryptophan to produce the right amount of serotonin to help you fall asleep.

Now if that isn’t sound advice for a good night’s sleep, I don’t know what is!

Source: Howstuffworks.com

Adv. — Visit the nBuy Food Court for discounts on food and online grocery shopping (meats, fish, seafood, fruits, gift baskets, beverages, desserts, more). The holiday season is here — shop today and save!


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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".