why do we get sleepy after a meal

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Feeling a little tired after eating a heavy meal is perfectly normal. However, if you feel like having a nap after most meals there could be some underlying health problem that needs addressing. When we feel overly tired after eating, it can be related to eating processed foods that contain high levels of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Eating these types of foods causes a rise in blood sugar levels, followed by a drop, which results in low energy levels. Excessive secretion of insulin, which is the body s way of trying to balance blood sugar levels, causes tryptophan to move into the brain, where it is metabolised into serotonin and melatonin. These neurotransmitters have a calming effect and help regulate sleep. To help balance blood sugar and insulin levels, choose natural foods that are high in fibre and protein such as wholegrains, legumes and nuts. Other reasons for feeling tired after eating might be related to food allergies or intolerances, which are usually associated with digestive problems such as bloating, indigestion, wind, constipation or diarrhoea. If you suspect you are allergic or intolerant to a certain food try taking it out of your diet for two weeks, and then reintroduce it again. This a good way to identify any offending foods. General overeating and the consumption of particularly fatty meals can leave you feeling sleepy.

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Having poor digestion can also leave you feeling tired after meals. Apple cider vinegar, made from fermented apple cider, has been popular since the 1970s as a multi-purpose remedy for improving a variety of different ailments. Taken before each meal, apple cider vinegar is effective for improving digestion and is beneficial for people with digestive problems such as reflux, bloating and indigestion. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which may help aid digestion and improve fat metabolism. Including apple cider vinegar in the diet may also help stabilise blood sugar levels, making it beneficial for people with diabetes. Apple cider vinegar is also considered alkaline forming, which can help restore a healthy alkaline acid balance in the body. You can either use it to make salad dressings or simply take it with water (one teaspoon) before each meal. Choose an organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar so it retains its nutritional value.
Imagine this. You are at work, all charged up and have slotted the 3 P. M. to 4 P. M. window for an important assignment. You have your lunch around 2 P. M, and thereafter find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open! You are lazy and lethargic, suddenly. What could be the reason of the post lunch slump?

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Is there a reason why you feel this way? Certainly. The phenomena is common with everybody who has a slightly heavier lunch or one that is rich in carbohydrates. Sneaking an afternoon siesta is actually a very common practice in India. In parts of Bengal shop owners shut their shops from 3 P. M. to 5 P. M. to catch up on their afternoon nap or Б Bhaater Ghoom Б as they call it, after a meal packed with carb-rich rice, and vegetables. Here\’s the real reason why we feel sleeping after having lunch. After a heavy meal, our insulin levels spike. This is because, for everything that we eat, our pancreas produces insulin to regulate our blood sugar levels. The heavier the meal, the greater will be the production of insulin. With the increased secretion of insulin, our body produces the sleep hormone which where it gets metabolized into serotonin and melatonin in our brain and they induce drowsiness. This nervous response tells our body to slow down, stop doing what we\’re doing and let our body and mind focus on digestion. (Also read: Bangalore-based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood explains the physiology behind this, \”There are a couple of factors working here. The most important function after eating is digestion which requires energy.

So, all your blood streams get diverted towards the task of digestion, hence you feel the energy deficit and also drowsy. Other than that it also depends on the food that you are eating. If your meal is loaded with fat, it will take more time to digest. If you have a carb-rich meal, the sugar goes to the liver and an increased amount of insulin is generated. In this process, the neurotransmitter serotonin also gets stimulated which induces sleep. Б Dr. Sood adds, БThe process is the same after dinner too. ItБs just because we do go to sleep eventually at night, we donБt realize while in the afternoon we still have the rest of the day. Hence, the Бfeeling of sleepinessБ is more evident. \” (Also read: What can you do to avoid feeling sleepy? Nothing much as the condition is absolutely normal. However, you can cut down the slump, and stay alert by checking your diet. The more you eat, the more energy it takes to break down the food, and the more sleepy you feel. So keep your lunch light and consume smaller meals throughout the day. Smaller meals at regular intervals would keep you fuller and prevent you from binging on high-carb or salty foods. Avoid too many carbs or fats for lunch and eat foods that are easily digestible. Diabetic patients may have to take extra care.

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