why does turkey make you sleepy

why does turkey make you sleepy | ChatUp Guide

why does turkey make you sleepy – Thanksgiving turkey – a beloved tradition that often leads to post-feast naps! Let’s explore the science behind this myth!

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Understanding the Turkey Effect

When the Thanksgiving meal is over, many people experience fatigue or drowsiness, often attributing it to the main dish: turkey. why does turkey make you sleepy? The truth lies in the interaction between turkey, tryptophan, and our bodies.

Myth Debunked: The Tryptophan Controversy

Tryptophan is an amino acid found in turkey, often blamed for post-feast drowsiness. However, the reality is more complex. Tryptophan needs a carbohydrate source to induce sleep, making the full Thanksgiving meal more accountable for your nap!

Turkey vs. Other Foods

Although turkey contains tryptophan, other foods like chicken have similar levels. The sleepy feeling post-Turkey Day dinner may not exclusively be due to turkey. It’s the combination of various dishes that contributes to feeling sluggish.

The Role of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates play a crucial role in the post-feast drowsiness phenomenon. High-carb sides like mashed potatoes and stuffing elevate insulin levels, letting tryptophan enter the brain and convert to serotonin, inducing relaxation and sleepiness.

Real Culprits: Overeating and Traditions

Beyond the chemical components, overeating during holiday dinners and the cozy, nostalgic ambiance can make you feel lazier. Post-feast fatigue is often linked more to the quantity consumed and the comfortable atmosphere than just the turkey itself.


The Thanksgiving turkey may not be solely responsible for your urge to snooze. A mix of overeating, carbohydrates, and the holiday atmosphere contribute to the post-meal fatigue. So, enjoy the feast and embrace the nap – it’s all part of the tradition!


Q: Does turkey contain a high level of tryptophan?

A: Turkey does have tryptophan, but it’s not significantly higher than other meats.

Q: Can eating turkey alone make you sleepy?

A: No, a mix of the entire Thanksgiving meal contributes to post-feast drowsiness.

Q: How much turkey would one need to eat to feel sleepy?

A: The quantity needed is considerable, so the blame shouldn’t solely fall on the turkey.

Q: Are mashed potatoes more sleep-inducing than turkey?

A: The combination of carbs and tryptophan is key for inducing drowsiness, not just one food item.

Q: Will avoiding turkey prevent post-meal fatigue?

A: Not necessarily, as other factors like overeating and carbohydrates play major roles.

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