Sleeping after eating a meal is expected, regardless of your overall health or diet. There are biological reasons for this.
Adenosine, a chemical in the brain, builds up the longer you stay awake. This chemical is at its peak right before bedtime but also increases in the afternoon, leading to drowsiness after lunch.
Your circadian rhythm is a natural biological pattern controlling your sleep cycle, hormone release, and body temperature. The part of your brain contains the circadian rhythm called the hypothalamus and increases during the day to keep adenosine levels in check.
You’ll feel a change in this pattern seven to nine hours after waking up – for most people; this occurs around lunchtime. (Generally speaking, our bodies experience a dip in energy around 2 a.m. and 2 p. m.)
Other factors, such as the amount and type of foods we eat, how much sleep we get, and our exercise habits, determine how sleepy we are after a meal.
If you want to know how to stop feeling tired after eating, try following these seven ways to avoid feeling tired after eating.
1. Take a Walk or Exercise
If you feel sleepy after a meal, take a walk or do some yoga (a few stretching exercises like the Full Twist or Triangle will do). Sitting in front of the TV is one of the worst things you can do after eating. It’s better to keep moving.
This will prevent the blood from going to your stomach and make your body work overtime to digest food. Even washing the dishes, clearing the table, or doing some light housekeeping around the kitchen right after eating is better for digestion than sitting or taking a nap.
According to research in Psychology Today, they were taking a walk after meals can do more than prevent drowsiness. It can guard against diabetes.
Study participants who walked for fifteen minutes immediately after meals showed a drop in their glucose levels. Walking after meals can also prevent GERD (acid reflux) and help control weight better.
Like another exercise, walking promotes the flow of pain-relieving endorphins throughout the body to make you feel happier.
2. Eat Foods That Give You Energy
Include protein-rich food in every meal, such as beef, eggs, or cheese: snack on walnuts, peanuts, or sunflower seeds instead of candy. Seeds and nuts are good protein sources, particularly for vegans or vegetarians.
Protein slows down your digestion and prevents post-meal sleepiness by stopping the rise and flow of blood sugar. Protein-rich foods are also a tremendously excellent choice for dieters because they fill you up faster and prevent overeating.
Some healthy foods cause drowsiness, so be aware of how much of them you eat and when. Oatmeal raises your blood sugar and relaxes you, so it’s not the best food to eat before a big exam or event.
It’s rich in sleep-inducing melatonin, so eating a big bowl of oatmeal is better when you don’t have a busy schedule. Almonds are rich in muscle-relaxing magnesium and tryptophan, which have a calming sedative effect. Eat almonds in small amounts if you need to stay energetic immediately after a meal.
Parmesan cheese and other hard, aged cheeses, tomatoes, and eggplant contain the amino acid tyramine. This amino acid releases norepinephrine, which keeps you awake. If you want to feel more energetic after lunch, include some of these foods in your mid-day meal.
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and cauliflower are full of fiber and nutrients, but they are harder to digest than many other foods and can hamper sleep. Choose these healthy veggies for lunch or an early dinner.
Choose protein-rich foods and veggies when planning meals or ordering food to go, especially at lunchtime when your circadian rhythm is fluctuating. Avoid junk food filled with preservatives and sugar, which may cause headaches in some people as well as drowsiness.
The more sugars and carbohydrates in your diet, the sleepier you’ll be after eating.
3. Eat Several Smaller Meals instead of a Few Large Ones
It would help if you didn’t go more than five hours without eating. Your body naturally needs a protein refill every four hours to maintain maximum energy.
Even if you eat a perfect meal full of veggies, fish, and whole grains, it won’t make up for extra hours without food.
If you can’t eat a full, sit-down meal after a few hours, eat a whole-grain cracker with peanut butter, a small salad, apple slices, or another protein-rich snack to tide you over til you can eat a full meal.
When choosing foods high in protein, remember that turkey, chicken, milk, and eggs contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can make you sleepy.
Tryptophan triggers serotonin, which makes you feel calm and happy but makes you feel relaxed and comfortable and also causes drowsiness. You don’t need to avoid eating these foods at lunchtime, but avoid eating large amounts of them.
A large meal weighs you down, wreaking havoc on your digestive system by making it work overtime. Eating a big meal full of heavy meats and sugary desserts triggers the parasympathetic nervous system to instruct the body to focus on digestion.
Blood also rushes to the stomach to help the body digest a large quantity of food. If you feel “stuffed” and tired after a big meal, rearrange your plans to eat smaller meals throughout the day. This allows the digestive system to work more efficiently because it has a smaller quantity of food to process.
4. Take a Wheatgrass Supplement for Better Body Function and pH Balance
Wheatgrass is filled with all the nutrients you need for better brain and body function. Taking a wheatgrass supplement daily gives your system the balance it needs to fight sleepiness after eating.
This superfood contains beta-carotene, B-complex vitamins (including the energy-boosting vitamins B12 and B6), magnesium, essential amino acids, and enzymes. It has vitamins A, C, E, and iron. Wheatgrass works to detoxify the body. It’s been proven to aid the digestive system and may even prevent ulcerative colitis.
Wheatgrass contains chlorophyll, the pigment responsible for making plants green. Chlorophyll increases oxygen throughout the body and acts as a powerful antioxidant, protecting you against colds, the flu, and other everyday illnesses.
It may aid in preventing cancer, diabetes, and other diseases. When paired with a proprietary blend of herbs or a multivitamin, you’ll experience even greater energy and reduced daily appetite.
5. Get Restful Sleep
You’ll be less likely to feel drowsy after eating or anytime during the day if you get between seven and nine hours of restful sleep a night. You’ll be less likely to feel sleepy after eating or anytime during the day if you get between seven and nine hours of restful sleep a night.
If you’ve earned less than seven hours of sleep or tossed and turned all night, a heavy meal will be more brutal to digest, and you’ll have a more complicated, complex, and challenging time staying awake. If you often experience drowsiness after eating, examine your sleeping patterns.
You may need to go to bed earlier, reduce computer use or TV watching before bed, and keep your bedroom free from light and noise.
Set a regular bedtime each night, preferably the time when you usually feel tired. If you go to bed too early, you may toss and turn for hours. It would help if you woke up at the same time every morning.
You won't need an alarm clock if you get the proper sleep. You’ll naturally wake up after getting the right amount of sleep.
Remember to get up and around at least 15 minutes after eating. (See Tip Number 1). If you stay inactive, you may fall asleep after meals, leading to insomnia at night, and more problems with drowsiness might cause insomnia and more drowsiness problems the next day.
6. Cut Down on Sugar
Eating a large meal slows you down, but regardless of the size of the meal, certain types of food will make you drowsy. Sugary desserts, or any food with high sucrose content, breaks down into glucose in your body, elevating your blood sugar level.
Your body then releases insulin to fight this sudden rise in blood sugar. The increase in insulin makes your brain produce sleep-inducing melatonin and the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can make you feel drowsy. Substitute fruit or low-sugar sweets for dessert. Use honey instead of sugar when preparing homemade desserts.
7. Avoid Caffeine
Coffee, tea, and cola are short-term solutions for sleepiness. If you feel lethargic after a meal, drinking coffee or a cola won’t perk you up drinking coffee, or cola won't perk you up if you feel sluggish.
On the contrary, it will make you drowsier after the initial energy burst ends. Drink a decaffeinated beverage or water after a meal instead of coffee or soft drinks. Water keeps you hydrated and allows your digestive system to work smoothly.
8. Eat More Complex Carbs
Simple carbs like white bread and pasta can cause a blood sugar crash, leading to that familiar post-lunch lull. Choose complex carbs like whole-wheat bread, legumes, and vegetables to prevent this. These foods are slowly absorbed by your body and provide lasting energy.
Complex carbs are also a good source of fiber that can help regulate digestion. Additionally, they are high in vitamins and minerals essential for good health. So next time you're looking for a healthy snack or meal, reach for some complex carbs instead of simple ones.
9. Add More Protein to Your Diet
Protein takes longer to digest than carbs, so it will help you stay fuller and prevent that 2 p.m. energy crash. Good protein sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Adding more protein to your diet can be easy. Various foods are wide in protein and can be easily incorporated into your meals. Some good sources of protein include:
- Beef: Lean beef is an excellent protein source and is also low in fat. Try incorporating beef into your dinner recipes, or use it as a sandwich filling.
- Poultry: Poultry is another great source of protein, and it's lower in fat than red meat. You can either cook chicken or turkey at home, or buy them pre-cooked at the grocery store.
- Fish: Fish is a healthy and delicious way to add more protein to your diet. Try grilled salmon or tilapia, or incorporate canned tuna or shrimp into your recipes.
- Tofu: Tofu is made from soybeans, and it's a vegetarian source of protein. Tofu can be used in a variety of dishes, such as stir-fries, salads, and casseroles.
- Beans: Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. They're also low in cost and can be cooked quickly. Try black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, or lentils.
- Nuts: Nuts are a healthy and convenient snack option that's high in protein. Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and cashews are all good choices.
- Seeds: Seeds are also a good source of protein. Try adding chia seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds to your breakfast cereal or yogurt.
10. Get Plenty of Iron
If you often feel tired, your iron levels may be low. Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to your cells. Good sources of iron include red meat, dark leafy greens, beans, and fortified cereals.
If you think you may be iron-deficient, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.
If you are concerned that your iron levels may be low, there are a few things you can do to increase your intake. First, eat foods that are high in iron. Good sources of iron include red meat, dark leafy greens, beans, and fortified cereals.
If you're not sure which foods contain the most iron, consult a nutritionist or dietitian.
You can also take an iron supplement if you think you may be deficient. Talk to your doctor about the best option for you. Increasing your intake of iron-rich foods and supplements can help ensure that your body has enough energy to function at its best.
11. Avoid Alcohol
While a glass of wine with dinner may seem like a good idea, alcohol can make you feel more tired. Alcohol is a depressant that relaxes your muscles and makes you feel drowsy. It also disrupts your sleep cycle, so you may wake up feeling groggy the next morning.
There are a few things you can do to feel less tired after drinking alcohol.
First, drink plenty of water before and after drinking alcohol. This will help flush the alcohol out of your system and reduce the likelihood of feeling tired the next day. Second, avoid caffeine.
Caffeine can further disrupt your sleep cycle and make you feel more tired. Finally, try to get some exercise. A moderate amount of exercise can help you feel more energized the next day.
12. Drink Plenty of Water
Dehydration can make you feel tired. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially if you’re exercising or it’s hot outside.
Here are some tips for staying hydrated and feeling less tired:
- Drink plenty of water, especially if you’re exercising or it’s hot outside.
- Drink other fluids too, like juice, milk, or sports drinks.
- Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, tea, or soda, if you’re trying to stay hydrated.
- Make sure to also eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, which are high in water content.
13. Avoid Smoking
Smoking is a major contributor to fatigue. Nicotine is a stimulant that can initially make you feel more alert. But over time, it causes fatigue and sleepiness. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your energy levels.
There are a few things you can do to help you quit smoking and feel less tired. First, talk to your doctor about quitting. They can prescribe medication or refer you to a support group. Second, try to avoid triggers that make you want to smoke, such as being around other smokers or drinking alcohol. Finally, make sure to get plenty of rest and exercise, which can help reduce stress and increase energy levels.
14. Get Regular Exercise
Exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you’re feeling tired. But regular physical activity can increase your energy levels in the long run. Exercise improves your circulation and helps your body to better use oxygen. It also releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and make you feel more alert.
Start by gradually adding more activity to your day. If you’re not used to exercising, start with just 10 minutes a day and work your way up. Try to get your heart rate up and break a sweat. If you can, exercise outdoors in the fresh air – it’s a great way to wake up your body and mind.
If you’re really struggling to find the energy to exercise, consider working out with a friend. Having someone there to motivate and encourage you can make all the difference. And don’t forget to reward yourself after a workout – something healthy like a piece of fruit or some nuts will help you feel energized for the rest of the day.
15. Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress can take a toll on your energy levels. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try some stress-relieving techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
When you're stressed, your body goes into "fight or flight" mode. This is a survival mechanism that was developed to help us protect ourselves from danger. In this mode, the body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones prepare the body to either fight or flee. They cause the heart rate to increase, breathing to become faster and more shallow, and blood sugar levels to rise.
All of this happens to give us more energy so we can deal with whatever is stressing us out. Unfortunately, when the stress is constant and there's no relief in sight, these hormones can have the opposite effect. They can make you tired and exhausted instead of energized. This is why it's so important to find ways to manage your stress levels and get regular relaxation time.
16. Take a Probiotic Supplement
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your gut health. They can help improve digestion and prevent fatigue-causing digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating.
Probiotics are live bacteria that are good for your gut health. They can help improve digestion and prevent fatigue-causing digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. Probiotics also help to boost energy levels and increase overall vitality. So if you're struggling with fatigue, taking a probiotic supplement may be a good idea.
17. Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is one of the most common causes of fatigue. Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re not getting enough, try to establish a regular sleep schedule and create a bedtime routine that will help you wind down at night.
18. Take Short Breaks Throughout the Day
If you’re feeling tired during the day, take a few minutes to rest. Get up and walk around or take a quick nap. A little break can help improve your energy levels and make you more productive when you return to your task.
19. Limit Caffeine
While a cup of coffee in the morning can help you wake up, too much caffeine can actually lead to fatigue later in the day. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause anxiety and irritability when it wears off. If you’re feeling tired, limit yourself to one cup of coffee per day.
20. Invest in a Good Mattress
If you’re not sleeping well, your fatigue could be due to an uncomfortable mattress. Invest in a quality mattress that provides support and comfort. This will help you get the restful sleep you need to feel energetic during the day.
21. See Your Doctor
If you’re regularly feeling tired and you can’t seem to find the cause, make an appointment to see your doctor. Fatigue can be a symptom of a variety of underlying health conditions, such as anemia, thyroid problems, sleep apnea, and depression. A medical professional can help you determine the cause of your fatigue and recommend treatment options.
22. Avoid Feeling Tired After Eating with Zeal O2 Supplement
The usual energy-boosting suspects – coffee, sugar, and energy drinks – may give you a temporary lift, but after a few hours, you’ll be right back where you started. If you need extra energy after meals or anytime, take one of Wheatgrass Love’s nutritional supplements for better power and health.
Zeal O2 Natural Energy and Weight Management supplement is powered by wheatgrass.
It gives you all the antioxidant benefits of chlorophyll, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and dozens of other nutrients.
The wheatgrass in Zeal O2 is combined with fat-burning Citrus Aurantium (bitter orange), a herb proven to control appetite. The pounds will disappear when you use Zeal O2 along with a regular exercise routine.
Zeal O2 is a weight loss supplement and a weight management tool. After you’ve reached your target weight, you can still use Zeal O2 for nutritional support. Its nucleus of wheatgrass and Citrus Aurantium combines with a blend of herbs long-used in alternative medicine.
This formula provides energy and protection against free radicals with nearly a dozen spices. Herbs in Zeal O2 include cayenne pepper, ginseng, ginger, fo-ti, Ginkgo Biloba, and guarana extract – all proven to increase energy and improve mental function. Read more about Zeal O2.
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Happy Girl Mood Enhancer from WheatgrassLove offers most of the same ingredients as Zeal O2 and contains a formula specially created to neutralize mild depression and control mood swings.
It includes a blend of wheatgrass, herbs, vitamins, and minerals that provide dozens to help users maintain a healthy alkaline pH balance.
An alkaline pH balance keeps your body functioning at its best and helps prevent arthritis, depression, and other diseases.
Men and women of all ages can use happy Girl to boost mood and energy. Order Happy Girl.
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REVV is a chocolate mint wafer made from wheatgrass with the amino acid L-Taurine and memory-enhancing Choline Bitartrate.
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Keep your energy and vitality steady throughout the day with REVV, Zeal O2, and Happy Girl. As with any nutritional or dietary supplement, you should check with your doctor before using it.
Feel Sleepy After Meals? It’s Normal, but You Can Control It
Everyone experiences post-meal drowsiness to a different degree, according to the New York Times article “Drowsy after lunch? Don't worry - it's natural.”
Most people can recover from after-meal drowsiness on their own (or with a few adjustments to their routine). If you can take a “power nap” for 20 minutes during the day, it will have a rejuvenating effect. If not, try to do secondary “busywork” until your energy returns.
If you are so tired that even diet and lifestyle changes don’t help, visit your doctor to rule out hypoglycemia, diabetes, anemia, or another medical condition that diet and lifestyle changes don’t help, call your doctor to rule out hypoglycemia, diabetes, anemia, or another medical disease.