Few things are as alluring as the siren call of sleep after lunch, but why do we feel sleepy after eating? After all, food is a source of energy, not a drain on it.
Unfortunately, the human body is not that straightforward, and a wide range of factors affect how tired a person feels.
According to Claire Shortt, a nutritionist with a background in microbiology, “when we eat a meal, it spurs a series of actions in the gut and across the body.”
Shortt suggests that fluctuating blood sugar levels may be one of the causes of the feeling of sleepiness we have after eating. She said that eating foods high in sugar can cause our blood sugar to rise and then drop quickly. The ensuing crash may cause unexpected fatigue.
However, since our hormones also play a part in preventing a slump at 3 o’clock, this isn’t the only factor to take into account. We occasionally experience an increase in serotonin production and release after eating. Despite being referred to as the “feel good hormone,” this could also have other negative effects.
Increased hormone levels could make us feel a little sleepy, according to Shortt. “According to some researchers, this is brought on by elevated serotonin levels.
Serotonin is essential for maintaining our mood and sleep patterns, and when levels increase after a meal, it may make you feel sleepy.
Serotonin has been linked to fatigue because of its well-known effects on sleep, lethargy, and drowsiness, as well as its ability to make people feel unmotivated, according to a review of studies published in the Sports Medicine(opens in new tab) journal. However, the same article also points out that stronger proof is required to show that serotonin plays a significant role in this situation.
Therefore, although it can’t be confirmed, a rise in serotonin levels following a meal may be the cause of that awful groggy feeling.
WHAT MEATS ENSURE PEOPLE SLEEP THE MOST?
According to Shortt, some foods are more likely than others to make you feel tired.
“Eating foods high in the amino acid tryptophan may make you feel sleepy. This is because it contributes to serotonin production. Many foods high in protein, including cheese, eggs, turkey, and tofu, also contain tryptophan.
“Some other foods, such as cherries, may have an impact on your melatonin levels, improving your sleep. Even milk with high melatonin levels is available, marketed as a sleep aid.
WHAT MEATS PRODUCE THE MOST SLEEP FOR PEOPLE?
Shortt asserts that some foods are more likely than others to give you a feeling of exhaustion.
“You might feel sleepy after consuming foods high in the amino acid tryptophan. This is because it helps to produce serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in a variety of foods that are high in protein, such as cheese, eggs, turkey, and tofu.
“Other foods, like cherries, may affect your melatonin levels and enhance your sleep. Even milk with high melatonin levels is marketed as a sleep aid and is readily available.
WHAT MEATS CAUSE PEOPLE TO SLEEP THE MOST?
According to Shortt, certain foods are more likely than others to make you feel exhausted.
“After consuming foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, you might feel sleepy. This is because it contributes to serotonin production. Several foods high in protein, including cheese, eggs, turkey, and tofu, also contain tryptophan.
“Cherries are one food that may impact your melatonin levels and improve your sleep. Even milk with high melatonin levels is widely available and marketed as a sleep aid.
However, it’s challenging to offer a definitive list of ingredients to use to combat a sluggish mood after meals. This is because a person’s response to particular foods may also be a result of allergies or food intolerances, claims Shortt.
“People with food allergies and intolerances or people who have a condition known as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are more likely to experience what is sometimes referred to as “brain fog,” which is a feeling of fatigue or fuzziness after eating (SIBO). Using a glucose or lactulose breath test, SIBO can be identified. If you think you might have SIBO, you should consult your doctor.”
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FEEL SLEEPY AFTER EATING
While there may not be a definitive explanation for why people occasionally feel sleepy after eating, Shortt suggested that there are some steps people can take to boost their afternoon productivity.
Shortt explained that eating high-fiber foods with meals can help to stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent that crash, which will make you less likely to feel sleepy. “Try to eat regularly and steer clear of extremely large portions. This may strain your digestive system, leaving you drained and lethargic.”