Its the time of year when we focus on our family gatherings, good times, gratitude, and of course – Turkey. It’s also one of my favorite times to write a newsletter about the “dreaded turkey nap”. Is it real or just the poor scapegoat that gets blamed for the nap?
Here is the quick and easy science about the turkey nap. Turkey is known for having an element called Tryptophan which can help with sleep issues when used properly and at the correct suggested dosage. This is true. However, you will not eat enough turkey to put you to sleep. It’s like saying that you eat spinach which has iron and it causes an iron imbalance. Not likely.
So what is the nap from, Coach?
Let’s take the blame off of the turkey and apply it where it goes. So consider this.
1- On Thanksgiving people tend to overeat – all day – and can consume as many as 3,000+ calories just as the main meal!! The full-day can easily get over 5-6,000 calories. Yikes!
2- These calories are often much higher in fat and sugar than your normal intake — This is a lot of work and shock for your body.
3- We tend to eat more sugar and fat than normal so our insulin system is going crazy trying to keep up and this can make you sleepy and create other health issues.
4- Where do we go after we eat? To the couch for some TV! Football, Hallmark, parades. It’s all there and easy to get sucked into for inactivity.
Add all 4 of these together and you get a body that becomes sleepy because it’s trying to process the overindulgence of food. (I skipped the science but you can look it up if you like.)