Just a note to say Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating it today or any other day in the thanksgiving calendar. I’m conscious today is mostly celebrated in USA or by those of USA origin and I am really thankful for the support I get from this area which makes up the biggest proportion of subscribers to my blog and associated Facebook page. So, I’m thinking of y’all today!
Turkey and Sleep
Now …….. I hate to stereotype but I guess a lot of you might be eating turkey today? No Thanksgiving is complete without a turkey at the table (… so I’m told!). And also a nap right after it’s eaten….. right?
As you know I like to analyse such things …… Apparently, the meat has a bad reputation for making eaters sleepy, but is there really science to back that up? My google alerts feed increases around this time of the year due to the connection of turkey with the word ‘serotonin’. So for me, this is very educational. Those who read my Serotonin article may remember that tryptophan is one of the key amino acids in our diet and is partly responsible for the manufacture of Serotonin in our system. Turkey is said to be high in tryptophan although some say it is no higher than many other meats. I’ve also heard stories about how eating too much turkey makes you sleepy. Melatonin is said to be the hormone which helps with sleep regulation and is manufactured from Serotonin (which is manufactured from tryptophan). If you’re confused so far, you’ve probably had too much turkey and feel sleepy! However……… the articles I read, (New York Times and Time Magazine) both confirm the turkey/sleepy connection as a “common myth” and actually could be due to the other food and drink consumed at the same time as the turkey In any case, what’s wrong with an afternoon or evening nap after a traditional meal?
For those worried about eating too much tryptophan, don’t be, all NET dietitians say you should not be concerned about this and the only food restrictions that apply are right before the 5HIAA test as directed by your local specialist. Actually, I also read that turkey is a really healthy meat to eat, it’s low in fat, full of protein and other nutrients including the important B vitamins that NET patients might be at risk of deficiency. Note to self …… eat more turkey!
Enjoy your Thanksgiving! It’s OK to have a nap too ……
On a personal note, I’m also very thankful to still be here after 10 years!
Thanks for reading