Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

188 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Why do I get sleepy after eating?

Answered by
Dr. Aparna Amritsagar

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1997

Answered : 274 Questions

Posted on Sat, 12 Jan 2013 in General Health
Question: Post break fast and post lunch for an about 15 minutes I get into to XXXXXXX sleep in the office and not able to control that, What could be the reason behind this ? How to avoid this ? This doesnt happen when I am at home.
Answered by Dr. Aparna Amritsagar 50 minutes later
Thanks for writing your query to us.

There are three main reasons for sleepiness post-meal :

- The food you have eaten is diverting your blood for the digestion process. While natural, depending on what you eat, this process can increase your energy levels, or it can cause sluggishness. Sugary foods increase the blood sugar levels more than normal, causing your pancreas to release insulin. In turn, the insulin triggers tryptophan, which gets converted into serotonin in your brain, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel sleepy.
- You haven't had enough sleep due to snoring or any other reason. Lack of adequate sleep affects both your digestive system's effectiveness and your energy levels.
- You are unfit. If you aren't physically fit, if you're avoiding exercise, your afternoon energy levels may be impacted negatively. Sometimes this can be remedied by getting in shape.

Try these few things to reduce post meal drowsiness.

1. Get a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night to give your body the proper amount of rest.
2. Wake up at the same time each day so your body gets into a routine.
3. Eat a good breakfast. Never skip, it sets the energy standard for the rest of the day. Make healthy food choices such as wholegrain breads and cereals, fruits, and yogurt, to provide you with sustained energy for the morning.
4. Limit the processed sugars and fat you consume at lunch to avoid an energy crash. While sugar may give you a boost initially, it wears off quickly and leaves you feeling exhausted. If you want a sweet treat with your lunch, choose fruit that has natural sweetness.
5. Limit the size of your lunch to avoid overeating. Digesting a large meal leaves your body feeling tired.
6. Try eating a smaller lunch with snacks in the morning and afternoon to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
7. Wait 15 minutes after you eat and then take a brisk walk around the block before heading back to work. Finish with a set of breathing exercises to increase the oxygen levels in the blood to boost your energy.
8. Drink water after lunch to hydrate your body. All of the organs in your body require water for proper functioning. Sleepiness is a sign of dehydration so if you don't drink enough after lunchtime your fatigue may seem worse.

As you had mentioned you don't feel sleepy when at home, that may be because you might be eating limited portion plus home made food contains less of sugar & oil.

I hope I have answered your query. In case you have any further question I will be happy to help you.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Mohammed Kappan

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions

Recent questions on  Insulin

doctor1 MD

Hello, I have a question regarding insulin resistance and dehydration. I m a Type 1 Insulin Dependent diabetic. Have been for nearly 16 years. My HA1c was last 4.9% so I keep my numbers extremely regulated. Anyways to the question, can severe dehydration lead to insulin resistance? I have some idea of the physiology but I want to understand it thoroughly. Let me give you the story first so you can maybe give me the walk through of it all especially the dehydration and insulin resistance. So after heavy drinking ( not something I do often at all....) , 6-7 hours of hard alcoholic drinks and no water during this time. I went to sleep woke up the next morning feeling very thirsty, it d been about 18 hours since I had a sip of water. So I drank some, and became nauseous. My sugars kept rising, initially was 192, ended up at 425 before I had to call 911. I was not holding down water.. my glucose was rising, I was taking massive amounts of insulin, somewhere in the 80-100 units of Humalog range. I take ~60 units in a day and this was in a matter of 12 hours probably. And my numbers did not drop. My question is why and whats the physiology behind the insulin not working? Something with the dehydration but Im not quite understand it. Please answer this if you can. Oh and I was not consuming food during this time so the glucose rise was not from carbohydrates. WWW.WWWW.WW

doctor1 MD

hi iam a diabetic patient and suffering from erectile dysfunctionlegs ,feet and muscles pain.iam under insulin and my sugar is almost normal,my cholostrel is below 7 while blood pressure is at 140/85.I had recently a buy pass..i have visited a neuroligist and has prescribed to use tablets which would help in blood flow

doctor1 MD

hello doctor, im very thankful for this online help. im diabetic taking tablets and insulin as medication. additionaly im hypothyroid also.i have severe constipation problem as well . im taking daily laxative also. in this suitation can i take mega neuron regularly?if u dnt mind to answer this question it will be very helpfull to me.thanks.

doctor1 MD

My wife aged 55 years is diognised with diabetic neuropathy very recently (one month approx). She is a diabetic patient for over a decade. Presently on insulin and tablets.
1. Is there a cure for this disease.
2. Request, please refer a Doctor where I can take her for further treatment.

doctor1 MD

Can I reverse a possible chance that I have Typ 2 diebetties ?

doctor1 MD

Hi Doctor my wife is 25 weeks pregnant. We recently got RBS GCT Test on empty stomach with 50mg glucose[1 hour after] for her. results are a follows: 190 mg/dl Please suggest the demerits of having this level and also advice methods to reduce the...

doctor1 MD

Getting high Blood Urine checks +++ fasting this morning. Positive all day yesterday. This has happened a couple of times in past 6 moths then stops for a while . No other symptoms, no thirst, I am overly tired and didnt want to get up this...