Myth: Eating Turkey Makes You Sleepy

Bust: The first time I heard this was from a friend of mine who didn’t want to have a turkey sandwich for lunch because “it would make her very sleepy and tired”. I had no idea what she was talking about back then, as I couldn’t remember an instance when growing up when eating turkey made me sleepy. Yet this is one of the most enduring myths about turkey.

We hear it all the time, especially around Thanksgiving. And yes turkey does contain L-Tryptophan, an essential amino acid with a demonstrated sleep inducing effect. But it shouldn’t be blamed for making you feel overly sleepy.

Read Related: Pass the Potatoes, Thanksgiving is All About the Sides

So why do people believe otherwise? Simple. It is not the turkey, but the entire Thanksgiving meal itself that makes you tired. It’s a combination of the type and amount (usually large and heavy) of food, drinks, sugar and carbohydrates consumed in one meal.