Almost 60% of Americans take a nap on Thanksgiving. And of those that don't nap, 56% are jealous of those who are able to catch some zzz's. But why is napping the national Thanksgiving pastime? For years, it has been thought that it was the tryptophan in the turkey, but there are several factors that weighs against this theory.
• Let's talk turkey. Turkey does contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that helps the body produce niacin which in turn produces serotonin and melatonin, which are key to calmness and sleep. However, this only works on an empty stomach, which does not happen with your Thanksgiving meal. Additionally, there are foods that contain more tryptophan that turkey, such as chicken, pork and cheese. Turkey is the only one with a reputation of inducing sleep.
• Your stomach is in overdrive. Mostly likely, it is the entire Thanksgiving meal that brings on lethargy. The meal is heavy in carbohydrates, fats, and averages 3,000 calories. The energy that it takes to digest all of this food requires blood flow, and the body redirects blood from the brain to the stomach. This for sure can cause feelings of fatigue.
• Thanksgiving gives us the excuse to nap. Those who nap in society, such as toddlers and college students, are given the opportunity to nap. Thanksgiving presents itself as a chance to seize the day, or rather, seize the shuteye. After all the hard work of shopping, prepping, and eating, what else is there to do but rest?
• Competing is tiring. Turkey Trots on Thanksgiving have increased in popularity. Perhaps people are looking for reasons to burn off the calories before they have even eaten. Whatever the reason, exercise and competing is tiring, and can be a contributing factor to naps.
But no matter if you nap because you are too busy with digestion to stay awake, or are looking for an excuse to avoid looking at a relatives slideshow, napping is an acceptable way to spend part of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Transcription Plus, LLC! We are thankful for our wonderful clients and business associates!
Mary A. Goehring
Transcription Plus, LLC
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Bristol, CT 06010
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