Does Thanksgiving Turkey Make You Sleepy?

By Jim Lawson on November 23, 2023
(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Does Thanksgiving Turkey Make You Sleepy?

Bloomberg News says turkey won’t make you sleepy on Thanksgiving, but eating a large meal late in the afternoon or early in the evening will. Sleep therapist Kat Lederle tells the magazine, The big factor is really sitting down eating lots of food. Not the tryptophan. Lots of other foods are also high in tryptophan, including chicken breast, pork chops, tofu, milk and squash. The whole reason we talk about eating foods with tryptophan is that it’s a building block for melatonin. Our bodies begin to secrete melatonin in the evening, sending a signal that it’s time to start winding down for bed.”

A study by Thanksgiving  found that eating turkey, which contains tryptophan, does not make you sleepy. Dr. Audri Lanford, who conducted the study, says people would need to consume more tryptophan than the amount contained in a turkey to fall asleep. Large amounts of alcohol and carbs are what make people sleepy.

So if you’re feeling tired after your Thanksgiving meal, don’t blame the poor turkey.

Around the site