First of all, in this blog, I want to explain why you have the feeling sleepy after lunch and how you can manage it.
Why do you feel sleepy after lunch? I believe these six simple solutions can help those who suffer from it.
Do you feel sleepy after lunch?
- Drink soda or juices?
- Don’t eat breakfast?
- Eat a lot in one meal?
- Eat fast?
- Go out and eat often?
- Drink alcohol?
- Don’t eat vegetables?
I assume you must have one of these signs. It is the effect of “Sugar Crash.”
So let’s start understanding what blood sugar level is.
How blood sugar spikes work
“Sugar Crash,” or AKA Postprandial hypoglycemia, is when the blood sugar level becomes abnormally spike up and drop down like a roller coaster after a meal.
Usually, for people who have this condition, their blood sugar levels are regular, so you can easily ignore the presence of blood sugar crashes.
The blood sugar level is the concentration of glucose contained in the blood.
The sugar in the diet is digested into glucose and enters the blood.
Typically, before we eat, the average range is about 70-100 mg/dl.
For example, when you eat a sugar-based food like donuts, the blood sugar level rises sharply.
The pancreas then rushes to secrete a large amount of insulin, making the blood sugar level drop.
When the blood sugar level drops too quickly, you end up feeling sleepy, dizzy, irritable, anxious, tired, and foggy head, etc. The Source is https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7962339/.
How to solve feeling sleepy after lunch
What Should I do?
Here are six simple tips that you can do to improve your feeling sleepy after lunch.
- Eat slowly and Don’t Eat too much
- GI diet
- Chew well
- Eat from vegetables
- Sleep well
- Chinese herbs
1. Eat slowly and Don’t Eat too much
As mentioned earlier, overeating too much sugar can cause blood sugar fluctuations and lead to feeling sleepy.
About 15 minutes after eating, you will reach your satisfaction level.
Therefore, make sure to spend at least 15 minutes per meal.
Generally, eating fast is the cause of obesity, so please take off the risk.
So, Keep in mind to stop binge eating and make the blood sugar level control.
2. Low GI diet
Choose your diet from a low Glycemic index chart. Glycemic Index Chart (GI chart) is an index of how easily the blood sugar level of food rises and indicates the degree of absorption of sugar contained in food.
Currently, more than 1,300 foods are listed. WHO, the Canadian Dietetic Association and the International Diabetes Society also recommend the use of GI.
Examples of low GI food:
- Kidney beans
- Soy milk
- Spinach, etc
Carbohydrates are high in sugar and can be another cause of blood sugar levels rising sharply.
So try not to eat them too much. Sugar restriction also leads to prevention.
Foods that quickly raise blood sugar levels:
- Soft drinks, etc
3. Chew Well
By chewing slowly and eating well, you can easily digest the food, even with a small amount.
This study shows that changing your eating habit including chewing more, reduce the blood sugar level drastically.
4. Eat vegetables first
It’s best to eat vegetables, seaweed, mushrooms, and other rich dietary fiber foods first.
Dietary fiber has the effect of slowing the absorption of sugar. So eating it first slows down digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes.
Ideally, when eating, eat side dishes such as
Vegetable → Side dishes such as meat, fish, and eggs → Rice, and bread.
It is easier to eat a set meal for lunch, including side dishes, rice, and soup, than a single dish such as a rice bowl or ramen.
5. Sleep well
The sudden drowsiness after eating can be due to a lack of sleep at night in the first place.
Thus, eliminating sleep loss at night may be a shortcut to relieving feeling sleepy after lunch.
Sleeping is highly related to Melatonin and serotonin.
Melatonin is the sleeping hormone that puts you asleep at night, and serotonin, also known as the happy hormone, secretes during the daytime.
So it switches to Melatonin to make you sleep longer. And, without Melatonin, you won’t be relaxed and have a restful sleep at night.
Likewise, without serotonin, it’s impossible to feel awake well the following day.
To help you sleep, you have to have enough Melatonin and Serotonin to be secreted.
I would recommend you doing
Go outside and expose yourself to the sunshine because you secrete serotonin during the daytime. Even taking a walk and stretching is preferable.
Refrain from the smartphone or TV at night because Melatonin doesn’t get secreted while you are exposed to the light.
Meditate before going to bed. It helps to secrete more Melatonin.
Eat more food that contains a lot of L-tryptophan, which is a source of serotonin.
Eggs, bananas, tofu, natto, Miso, cheese, yogurt, tuna, sesame, etc.
Try to take supplements like 5-HTP with Melatonin. It converts to Melatonin.
6. Chinese Herbs
In traditional Chinese medicine, we consider your spleen energy (digestive) has been weak when you feel sleepy after lunch. One of the functions of the spleen organ in TCM transports nutrients and essence from food to the whole body.
Suppose your spleen is weak or not functioning well, you get abdominal distention, diarrhea, indigestion, lower appetite, and sleepy after a meal.
To nourish spleen energy, you can take Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang.
This formula supports digestive power to raise energy. One of the primary ingredients is Ginseng root and has chemicals called ginsenosides that affect insulin levels in the body and lower blood sugar.
Where can you get the Chinese herbs?
YourKampo.com is the new Online Chinese prescription service.
First, you answer 3 minutes long questionnaire about your chief complaints and general questions like your digestions and sleep disorders, etc.
Then, our specialist diagnoses your condition and chooses the best Chinese herbs out of 1000 herbs.
Here is the link that you can go and get your best Chinese herbs for hot flashes.
In conclusion, feeling sleepy after lunch can be caused by a sugar crash.
Firstly, please understand the causes of drowsiness due to the Blood sugar spike up and down.
Secondly, please try these six solutions for feeling sleepy after lunch to see if your symptom goes away.
Finally, I hope it helps those who are suffering from these annoying symptoms.
Recommended article to read together
Please feel welcome to comment if you have any questions about this post.
Sayonara till next post.
About Author: Satoru Ozawa – Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist.