If you’re tired post-Thanksgiving feast, it might not be the turkey

Legend has it, the tryptophan in turkey makes people sleepy. That might not be all that is making you tired.

If you made  turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, apple pie, pumpkin pie, cheesecake, roasted vegetables, cranberry sauce, and other dishes, you were probably too exhausted to eat.

If you were like most people and plopped down at the table (or in front of Thanksgiving football) and gorged yourself on the aforementioned food, you’re probably pretty drowsy right now.

The amino acid tryptophan can be metabolized into seratonin, which can become melatonin, a substance that makes people sleepy. (In fact, you can buy melatonin over the counter as a natural sleep aid).

Before you blame the tryptophan on your sleepiness, consider this: Most people consume over 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving. That’s the equivalent of 15 small Dairy Queen hot fudge sundaes or seven Burger King Whoppers, according to USA Today.  On a normal day, under normal circumstances, 2,000 calories enough. Eating more than twice as many calories as usual– in a single meal– can make you tired independent of the tryptophan.

So, if you take a turkey sandwich to the office, you probably won’t fall asleep, unless you are chasing that sandwich with 14 hot fudge sundaes or six Whoppers.