The Insane Turkey Syndrome

There is a label given to every ailment known to mankind. All you have to do is Google your symptoms or check WebMD and there you have it. Your diagnoses. After Thanksgiving dinner at my parent’s house today, as usual, we all became slow and sleepy. And we started blaming the turkey.

Turkeys get a bad rap, I think. Not only do they have to sacrifice their Gobble Gobble in order to end up on our plates, they also get to be blamed for humans becoming sleepy. Which come to think of it, makes us all look really whiny and spoiled.

So why DO we get sleepy after eating turkey? I decided to google Turkey Lethargy. Apparently other people care about this too.

I found out that tryptophan is an important precursor for the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which has a calming, sleep-inducing effect on the brain.

But the fact that the turkey is responsible for the Thanksgiving evening slump is a myth. For tryptophan to have a sedative effect, it must be taken on an empty stomach. After a “modest” Thanksgiving meal of turkey, stuffing, vegetables, sweet potatoes, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream, you aren’t going to experience any sedative effects of tryptophan in the turkey.

Then why are you drowsy after the Thanksgiving meal? Feeling sleepy after consuming large quantities of food is normal, especially after a high-carbohydrate feast containing sweets, potatoes, and bread.


So I decided to label the symptoms of sleepiness after eating turkey. It will be called The Insane Turkey Syndrome.

The Insane Turkey Syndrome – The act of whiny humans blaming  innocent turkeys for their own gluttony. (WebMD…call me!)

I think it’s time we start an advocacy group for Turkeys. They totally don’t deserve people talking about them like that.