The resident faculty left an article on L-Tryptophan atop a pillow outside the mail room. Maybe they were too sleepy to think of a more challenging clue…. (More)

First our thanks to last week’s writers:

On Monday, you shared your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week and addisnana pondered On Tearing Down and Building Up in Midday Matinee.

On Tuesday, the Squirrel took umbrage at The Umbragettes in Morning Feature and readers helped tell Tuesday’s Tale: The Invention of Curling in Midday Matinee.

On Wednesday, the Squirrel shared Mixed Nuttitude: GOP Health Care Plan, Filibuster Reform, and the Cheney Family Feud in Morning Feature and addisnana mused on Never Having to Say Sorry? in Midday Matinee.

On Thursday, our series on conspiracy theories began with “Who Is In His Place?” in Morning Feature and triciawyse brought us Fursdai Furries in Midday Matinee.

On Friday, our series on conspiracy theories continued with “Who Benefits?” in Morning Feature and triciawyse shared Frieday Critters in Midday Matinee.

On the weekend, our series on conspiracy theories concluded with Who Do You Trust? in Saturday’s Morning Feature, Ms. Crissie was asked He Did What?!? in Sunday’s Morning Feature, and winterbanyan brought our weekly Eco News Roundup in Our Earth.

Note: Please share your stories of offline political activism in Things We Did This Week.

Thus we return to the article on L-Tryptophan left atop the pillow outside the mail room, as the resident faculty made their way from the wine cellar library where they spent the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”) to the hot tub faculty lounge for their weekly game where the underwear goes flying planning conference.

The Squirrel read the article first and tapped happily at his Blewberry. “Well that’s good news. Squirrels don’t eat turkey but we like to sleep.”

It turns out that it’s unfair to blame the turkey for that Thanksgiving nap. Yes, turkey does contain L-Tryptophan, and the body uses that amino acid to make niacin, a B-vitamin that’s important for digestion, skin and nerve health, and serotonin uptake. And yes, serotonin is a brain chemical that helps you feel happy, relaxed … and sleepy.

But L-Tryptophan is also found in other poultry, as well as other meats, cheese, yogurt, fish, and eggs. Turkey, like those other foods, also has other essential amino acids, and most of the others pass through the blood-brain barrier more readily than the bulky L-Tryptophan. So by the time that hits your brain, you’re probably already waking up from that nap and heading to the fridge for leftovers.

Instead, we get sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner because we eat too much. By that we mean the inclusive ‘we,’ not the singular royal ‘we.’ We hope we understand.

As for the resident faculty’s topic this week, the Squirrel said something about wild rice stuffing with mushrooms and dried cranberries.

Just thinking about it made us happy, relaxed … and sleepy.

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Happy Monday!