Why Do You Feel Sleepy After Eating? Tips to Prevent Post-Meal Fatigue

2023-07-23 14:53:12

Have you ever felt sleepy following gorging on a delicious breakfast or a healthy dinner? It turns out that there are actually reasons why you might feel drowsy and sluggish following eating.

Melissa Priest, a dietitian at the National Kidney Foundation in Illinois, told Previon, “Your body works like a highly efficient factory, when food enters it as if it passes on a moving tape in this factory, and different organs begin to break it down and deal with it for different purposes, and every part of it goes in a different direction so that the body continues to carry out its tasks. Of course, this process requires a lot of energy, which can make you feel tired.

And she adds: «When you start chewing food, the insulin level in the body rises, and when you finish your food, the insulin level decreases once more, which may make you feel tired. This is normal, and the feeling of sleepiness should not last long followingwards.

Priest suggests a recipe for avoiding post-meal sleepiness: include complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean protein. Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, rich in fiber, and unprocessed.

In addition to paying attention to movement daily, sleeping for at least 7 hours a day, and drinking water.

Foods rich in fats and carbohydrates

Foods rich in fats and carbohydrates are delicious, but they can lead to a feeling of sluggishness, because they cause the release of the hormone cholecystokinin or a cytokine protein (a protein used to transmit signals between immune cells) that research has shown is a relationship between increased secretion and a feeling of lethargy following eating.

And when you eat food rich in tryptophan acid in large quantities, especially if it has carbohydrate-rich food next to it, you will feel sleepy for several hours following finishing the food.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that helps your body feel relaxed and helps release the feel-good hormones (serotonin and melatonin). It’s often found in chicken, yogurt, bread, chocolate, canned tuna, cheddar cheese, peanut butter, and oatmeal.

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Priest says that the feeling of fatigue following eating, sometimes, is related to the amount of food itself and not its type.

She points out that “intolerance” to certain types of foods may cause digestive problems such as stomach pain and vomiting.

If you eat food with gluten while you have “gluten intolerance”, you may feel some fatigue, which will lead to the body not benefiting from the digested food.

How can you prevent feeling sleepy following eating?

Priest suggests several steps that can help prevent drowsiness and lethargy following eating, including:

1- Balancing the meal between carbohydrates and protein will lead to optimal use of food as fuel for the body.

2- Moving for 10 minutes following eating dinner instead of sitting watching TV will help the body digest and convert it into energy.

One study indicates that exposure to strong lighting also helps to reduce the feeling of tiredness or fatigue and contributes to clearer thinking following a meal. The same study stated that those who take a nap following lunch feel less tired and have a higher ability to carry out their tasks.

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