Why Do I Feel Sleepy After I Eat?

Breaking Down the Itis.

You just finished lunch and all of a sudden.... I'm sleepy

To some its known as the itis. Others have a different interpretation for it. Regardless of what you call it, we all have been in a position where we have eaten a big meal and immediately wanted to go to sleep afterwards. This phenomenon is crucial and can often have a big effect on how well we can function throughout the rest of the day. Although it may seem like an issue, being tired after a meal is perfectly normal.

Both our brains and our digestive system need lots of energy to function properly. When we eat big meals at lunch time, our body requires that much more effort to digest and break down nutrients, causing our body to slow down and relax. The types of foods we eat also play a large role as well. When we eat bigger meals that contain lots of sugars, our body experiences a big rise in blood sugars which causes us to feel tired, sleepy, or slow. In order to deal with the increase in sugars, insulin is released to attempt to curve the increase in sugar. The rapid drop requires the body to be drained and as a result, fatigue occurs.

To conclude, the exhaustion that comes after a meal is totally natural. In fact, it is the body's response to the work that has to be done to maintain its equilibrium. However, there are some ways to avoid fatigue. The first way is sleep. To ensure better digestion, seven to eight hours of sleep is ideal. Next, avoid foods that are sugar heavy or meals that are very large in portion. The ideal meals to go for are those that are rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables, and appropriate amounts of protein.

Try It Out

1) Carry a notebook around during lunch time and record your meals and how you felt afterwards, depending on the meal. If you have lots of energy or feel good after the meal, try to duplicate. Take note of the meals that cause you to feel the most drained. Try to avoid those foods or to consume them in moderation.

2) Try experimenting with different room conditions when you sleep. Note what things and conditions help you sleep better than others. (this is more to do with feeling sleepy even after napping)

Here are some links to information about food, nutrition and sleep :