November 26, 2019 - Wellness

Does Turkey Make You Tired? The Truth Behind the ‘Post-Turkey Nap’

Every Thanksgiving, millions of people join their loved ones around the dinner table to enjoy a delightful feast, traditionally consisting of turkey and other holiday foods. Following a delicious meal and casual conversation, people often find their way to the nearest bed for a quick nap before digging into the leftovers or participating in family traditions.

In the past, people have attributed their post-dinner sleepiness to turkey. Why? The holiday bird contains Tryptophan, an amino acid found in high-protein foods like cheese, yogurt, fish, meats, and poultry. When you consume Tryptophan through one or more of these foods, your body uses the amino acids to produce two sleep-inducing hormones: serotonin and melatonin. 

Even though turkey does contain Tryptophan, research suggests that turkey has the same amount of Tryptophan as other types of foods. This means turkey consumption is not the main culprit behind your sleepiness. So why are you feeling so tired? While there could be several reasons for your “turkey” snoozefest, here are three possible explanations.

1. Overeating: With any holiday or special occasion, comes lots of delicious food—and it can be hard to resist another serving of mashed potatoes or an extra slice of grandma’s pumpkin pie. When consuming large amounts of food (especially foods high in carbohydrates), your blood sugar suddenly increases and then decreases. This reaction can lead to a significant drop in energy levels and make you tired as a result.

2. Travel Fatigue: Travelling for long periods of time can be exhausting. And even when you reach that final destination, you might have a hard time sleeping in an unfamiliar environment. For better sleep, stick to your regular schedule as much as possible. For extra support, check out these five natural remedies for restful sleep. 

3. Extreme Stress: The busyness of the holidays can sometimes leave you feeling emotionally and physically drained. While some stress is considered healthy, ongoing stress can cause a myriad of health problems, such as depression and anxiety, cardiovascular disease, and eating disorders. As the holiday season progresses, remember to take consistent breaks and make more time for yourself.

After reviewing these scientific explanations, you might know the real reason behind your sleepiness. If you’re searching for better sleep solutions this holiday season, check out our assortment of quality sleep products at