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Why Do I Get Sleepy And Tired After I Eat A Meal

Updated on January 22, 2013

A lot of people get drowsy or sleepy after eating a meal. It is perfectly normal as long as it doesn't happen too often. There are a lot of factors that influence our levels of energy. The sleepiness might be caused by lack of rest, allergies to certain types of food, stress and many more. Lets look at the most common causes of feeling sluggish and sleepy after eating and see what we can do in order to prevent feeling tired after a meal.

The Most Common Reasons Why Do People Feel Sleepy After Eating

Not Enough Sleep
If your body doesn't get enough sleep at nights it might feel tired at any time of the day. If you have healthy sleep regime and get enough quality sleep, it might prevent you from feeling sleepy after having a meal.

General Health And Fitness
Sleep is a natural way how a person heals oneself. Fit and healthy people need much less sleep because their energy levels are much higher. An illness or sedentary lifestyle can make people feel tired. Getting fit and in shape can solve this problem.

The Food
Warm food which is rich with sugars, carbohydrates and gluten is the most common reason why people feel sleepy after eating. Sugar gives a boost to energy but it runs out quickly too causing your energy levels to drop fast too. Other common cause for feeling tired after eating is food allergies. If you have an allergy to a food the body 'fights' it and becomes tired which is very similar to a sickness. It is also possible that one doesn't get enough nourishment from food.

Sleepy After Eating
Sleepy After Eating

How To Prevent Feeling Sleepy After Eating

  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Try to avoid eating heavy meals shortly before sleeping because your body will be working all night to digest the food and that might influence your night rest.
  • Eat low carbohydrate and sugar food. Try avoiding sweets, desserts, pastries, baked food, rice, wheat, pasta, potatoes. Vegetables, fish and nuts are good choices to avoid feeling sleepy after eating.
  • Alcohol has sedative properties and even only one glass of wine at lunch can make you feel drowsier for a long time.
  • Caffeine works similar as sugar - it gives you energy boosts that wear off and make you sleepier afterwards. It is fine to drink coffee to keep you awake as long as it is not the main drink you are having throughout the day.
  • Sleeping after eating is not really a good idea since it is much harder for your body to digest food when you are laying down. Try going for a short walk instead. It will help your body to digest food and refresh yourself. Light exercise can give you loads of energy.


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    • Nomascus concolor profile image

      Nomascus concolor 5 years ago from A Country called Earth

      Great tips! Next time I really feel like taking a nap - like pretty much every day at work after lunch - I will go for a walk, instead of staring at the computer screen like a zombie.

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      Thomas 5 years ago

      Hey there, i have a slightly different problem.. Whenever i eat hot food, almost the second i start to eat.. i get insanely sleepy.. how come?

      And it is only with hot food

    • Eranofu profile image

      Eranofu 6 years ago from Europe

      Thanks Journey for your comment.

      You're right, thesingernurse. Digesting requires oxigen which is delivered with blood. So when we eat some oxigen goes to digesting instead of other activities. That's why it is important to not to have heavy meals too often, so we'd have more oxigen for other things. :)

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 6 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      I guess one of the reasons why a person feels sleepy, most especially after a heavy meal, is due to some blood flow changes. When we digest food, some blood is shunted to the digestive track to focus more on digestion and absorption. This prompts a slight decrease in cranial blood flow (to the brain) which may cause the slight sleepiness. :) Though am not quite sure.

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 6 years ago from USA

      A great informative article and super adorable photo of the puppy.

    • profile image

      Fenn 6 years ago

      no problem :)

    • Eranofu profile image

      Eranofu 6 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for appreciating. I'm happy to write when I receive such nice feedback. :)

    • profile image

      Fenn 6 years ago

      Very informative and logical, thanks for sharing!