Monday, December 24, 2007

Sleepiness mostly due to carbs, not turkey | Deseret News (Salt Lake City) | Find Articles at BNET.com

Sleepiness mostly due to carbs, not turkey | Deseret News (Salt Lake City) | Find Articles at BNET.com

Meanwhile, a new area of research shows that another brain chemical called orexin may play a key role in the drowsiness cycle, regardless of whether any turkey is on the plate.

Scientists have long known that when people are hungry, they are more alert. In prehistoric times, that was probably a signal for people to get off their duffs and start stalking the latest meal, as opposed to simply taking a short hike to the refrigerator.

Recent studies have shown that animals' brains secrete orexin when they are hungry and their baseline metabolism is low. Conversely, after a meal, when baseline metabolism rises and the animal gets sleepy, the output of orexin drops off.

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