You may have heard that tryptophan in turkey is the reason Americans want to take a nap after Thanksgiving dinner. The truth is, tryptophan is an amino acid that aids in serotonin production, and serotonin tells the body to sleep. However, tryptophan is also in cheese, milk, and most meats. So, we can logically surmise that tryptophan is not to blame for after-dinner fatigue.
The real culprit is probably a combination of factors.
- Overeating makes the belly full, and blood rushes in to help digest food. That blood should be moving steadily through the body and brain. When it’s concentrated in the belly, the brain can want to go to sleep.
- Carbohydrates also make us full and tired. If you indulge in potatoes, breads, pastas, and starchy deserts, you may feel sleepy afterward. Also, if you consume a good amount of sugar, you’ll hit a sugar high, then your blood sugar can plummet, making you sleepy.
- Stress may also be to blame for Thanksgiving drowsiness. After planning, cooking, entertaining, and cleaning, your mind and body may want nothing more than a long rest.
- Then again, maybe crazy relatives make you want to get away from it all, so you sneak off and take a much-deserved nap as a hiatus from conversation and crowds.
Whatever your plans tomorrow, relax, enjoy yourself, and make some memories. The best holidays are those that leave you happy and satisfied.
From the Back Mountain Dental team to your home, happy Thanksgiving!