Why do I get sleepy after I eat?

+29 votes
asked Apr 23, 2015 in Food & Drink by AHMED (690 points)
reshown Aug 12, 2015 by Kris
There is nothing that I enjoy more than a home cooked meal. It makes me feel like I’m at home again. But I always seem to want to go straight to bed after I eat. Why do I get sleepy after I eat? I can function just fine during the day while I’m at work and not feel like I need to take a nap. However, when I’m at home I seem to want to run straight to my bed after a good meal.

2 Answers

+24 votes
answered Apr 29, 2015 by Kathy (1,380 points)
First, it’s common, almost everyone has this experience after eating and the culprit is probably is the food we eat.

See, most of us don’t stop to think about what type of foods we are eating when we sit down for a meal unless we are on a strict diet. Many of us are extremely busy in our day to day life, so it’s easy to just grab something that is convenient which is typically loaded with carbohydrates or sugar.

You will often hear during Thanksgiving time that people take naps after the celebratory meal because turkey contains a sleep triggering chemical call tryptophan. However, did you know that this is actually a normal chemical contained in the human body and produced when insulin trigger the movement of tryptophan? If you eat a meal that is high in sugar and carbohydrates, you may find yourself feeling as though you could fall asleep at your desk. Many of us have jobs that require us to stay sedentary the entire day, so when we consume large amounts of sugars or fast food, it makes us sleepy after we eat because we just aren’t moving enough to burn off the excess sugar that we have consumed. This is caused by an increase in serotonin which is the chemical that helps control sleep.

So, why do we feel sleepy after eating? It’s caused by an increase in serotonin which is the chemical that helps control sleep.
+5 votes
answered May 2, 2015 by Jalisa (1,030 points)

The simple answer to this is that poor diet typically causes sleepiness after you eat.

Most of us have jobs where we sit around all day long in front of a computer or at a desk. When we are sitting around in the office, it is extremely easy to reach for the quickest meal we can find. Whether it be fast food or leftovers from the night before we typically aren’t eating the best.

I personally can attest to the fact that when I eat feeds that are high in carbohydrates and have lots of sugar in them I immediately feel like I should take a nap. This makes it extremely difficult for me to function throughout the remainder of the day. I usually have to get up from my desk and walk around for a little bit so that I can burn off some of what I just ate. I also know that at times I overeat which automatically leads to me wanting to take a nap. 

commented May 5, 2015 by kemberly (890 points)
Now I know why do I get sleepy after I eat, and it’s good to know it’s not just me. Thanks for sharing.
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