December 10, 2023

By Sandee LaMotte | CNN

Do you consider within the vacation meals coma?

Many individuals do. A mainstay on the dinner desk at the moment of yr, turkey comprises tryptophan, which is extensively believed to be accountable for the uncontrollable yawns and sudden snoozes frequent after large household feasts.

“Tryptophan is an important amino acid wanted to make serotonin, a hormone that has many features in our physique, together with balancing temper and sleep,” mentioned sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta, an affiliate professor of scientific drugs on the College of Southern California’s Keck College of Medication.

“The byproduct of the tryptophan-to-serotonin course of is melatonin, one other hormone that regulates our sleep cycle,” he mentioned. “Our our bodies don’t naturally produce tryptophan, so we now have to get it by means of the meals we eat.”

Nevertheless, many meals in addition to turkey include tryptophan, together with cheese, hen, egg whites, fish, milk, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, soybeans and sunflower seeds, in line with the Nationwide Library of Medication.

Why we really feel sleepy after an enormous Thanksgiving meal

Serotonin is likely one of the “feel-good” hormones, which may calm and calm down the physique. Nevertheless, we don’t eat practically sufficient turkey throughout a vacation smorgasbord — even when we return for seconds — to create the quantity of serotonin wanted to make us sleepy, mentioned Steven Malin, an affiliate professor within the division of kinesiology and well being at Rutgers College in New Jersey.

To get the quantity of tryptophan required to trigger a meals coma, he mentioned, we’d need to eat about 8 kilos of turkey meat — about half of a typical hen meant to serve a crowd. The US Division of Agriculture recommends planning for 1 pound of turkey meat per individual when making ready a vacation meal.

“Tryptophan from turkey is unlikely to enter the mind and make sufficient serotonin to make us sleepy,” Malin mentioned.

So you’ll be able to’t blame the gobbler in your desk alone to your sudden sleepiness, mentioned sleep specialist Kristen Knutson, an affiliate professor of neurology and preventive drugs at Northwestern College’s Feinberg College of Medication.

“Turkey doesn’t actually make us sleepy,” Knutson mentioned. “If we really feel sleepy after an enormous meal, it’s possible as a consequence of not getting sufficient sleep within the days main as much as the large occasion and at last with the ability to calm down after the dinner is over.”

Overeating on the whole can be a serious offender for the fatigue one feels after consuming, Dasgupta mentioned.