Why you feel sleepy after eating
Many people feel tired after eating. They just get full and relaxed and are struggling to keep their eyes open. Such a decrease in energy levels is also called postprandial somnolence. But what exactly contributes to this condition? When should you be concerned about it?
What you eat
Some scientists suggest that people feel sleepy after eating because their body produces more serotonin, a chemical that can regulate sleep cycles. Many protein-rich foods contain an amino acid named tryptophan that helps your body produce serotonin, and carbohydrates help to absorb this chemical.
Foods that are rich in protein:
- 1, Eggs
- 2, Fish
- 3, Tofu
- 4, Spinach
- 5, Soy
- 6, Milk
- 7, Seeds
Foods that contain large amount of carbohydrates:
- 1, Rice
- 2, Whitebread
- 3, Pasta
- 4, Sugar and candy
- 5, Cookies
How much you eat
Some researchers believe there will be a significant slump in blood sugar after eating, which is the main reason why you feel tired right after you eat at midday. This condition can be even evident if you just had a large meal.
When you eat meals
The body clock or circadian rhythm can affect a person’s feeling after eating. For example, 2 a.m. and 2 p.m. are generally believed to be the time when the energy is at its lowest. This may explain why you usually have to take a nap after lunch.
Other factors can also play a role. For instance, if you didn’t have enough quality sleep during the night, you’re more likely to experience drowsiness when you’re relaxed and full. For a better night’s sleep, just stick to a regular sleep schedule, and if possible, avoid midday naps.
Besides better sleep, regular exercise can keep you energetic and reduce fatigue during the day. If you find yourself sitting for too long, you’d better do some exercise.
How to prevent post-meal sleepiness
It is very common to feel sleepy after eating, and you don’t need to speak to a doctor as long as you don’t frequently feel tired. The following strategies may help prevent sleepiness after a meal:
- Eat little and often: To avoid energy dip, it is better to eat smaller meals every few hours. Some healthy snacks like fruit and nuts would be a great choice.
- Sleep better: As we said just now, a person who had quality sleep will be less likely to experience drowsiness after lunch.
- Have a walk: If you feel tired after eating, go for a walk. This light exercise will make you feel much better.
- Avoid alcohol with meals: Alcohol will make you more easily to get sleepy.
- Take a short nap if possible.