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A sleep expert debunks the biggest myth about turkey at Thanksgiving

The tryptophan in turkey gets a bad rap every Thanksgiving. Here’s the real reason you’re so tired. Following is a transcript of the video.

Dr. Daniel Barone: So the myth is that turkey has a lot of a chemical known as tryptophan, which is actually the precursor to melatonin. So people think that when you, around Thanksgiving time, when you have a lot of turkey, that makes you tired because of all the tryptophan that you’re eating gets produced into melatonin and then it makes us fall asleep.

That’s actually not true, the reason why we tend to be tired after we have a large meal of Thanksgiving is simply because of the amount of food that we’re having we have what’s called postprandial fatigue, which is basically after you’ve had a big meal your body goes into basically shutdown mode and sleep gets promoted.

That’s why that’s why a lot of other countries have siestas for this reason. After lunch, the body goes into postprandial fatigue and then having a little nap can be can be very nice.

After we have a big meal, especially around lunchtime, the body just naturally has its own internal clock which tells us that we should be falling asleep around that time.

Falling asleep or being in a relaxed state after you’ve had a meal helps somebody digest it and use those nutrients to heal the body and repair the damage that’s occurred.

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