Health

Why you feel sleepy after eating

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We’ve all experienced it at some point – that irresistible wave of drowsiness that washes over us after a hearty meal.

While it might seem like a natural reaction to a full stomach, there’s actually a fascinating science behind this phenomenon.

According to the Sleep Foundation, research indicates that various elements can impact energy levels following a meal, encompassing fluctuations in specific cellular proteins, hormonal activity, blood circulation, neurotransmitters in the brain, inflammatory processes, and the body’s internal circadian rhythm.

The Sleep Foundation states that the content of a meal plays a role in determining whether an individual experiences drowsiness post-eating. A larger meal is more likely to induce sleepiness, and specific food types and nutrients can also exert an influence. Studies have demonstrated that meals rich in fat, carbohydrates, or overall calories may heighten the likelihood of drowsiness.

Additional factors influencing post-meal sleepiness encompass meal timing, occupational schedule, overall health status, exposure to natural light, and bodily composition. Postprandial drowsiness can also be symptomatic of excessive daytime sleepiness, which may stem from insufficient nocturnal sleep due to conditions like insomnia or other sleep-related disorders.

According to Medical News Today, certain foods, particularly those abundant in both protein and carbohydrates, have a propensity to induce drowsiness.

According to some researchers, the post-meal fatigue phenomenon can be attributed to an increase in serotonin production within the body. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, plays a pivotal role in regulating both mood and sleep patterns.

Tryptophan, an essential amino acid found abundantly in protein-rich foods, aids in the synthesis of serotonin. Carbohydrates, in turn, facilitate the absorption of tryptophan.

This combination between protein-rich foods and carbohydrates can culminate in a noticeable feeling of sleepiness after a meal.

Foods boasting high levels of tryptophan encompass by Medical News Today:

– Salmon
– Poultry
– Eggs
– Spinach
– Seeds
– Milk
– Soy products
– Cheese

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