Sleepy After Lunch? Here are Causes and How to Stop It

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sleepy after lunch

Instead of getting refreshed and energised after lunch, you feel sleepy and tired. Meanwhile, there are still many activities and tasks that must be done, so the body must stay focused and awake. Follow the tips below and say good bye to sleepy after lunch!

After having meals, especially during lunch hour, most people tend to feel sleepy and tired. The cause of drowsiness after eating could be due to unhealthy lifestyle.

Sleepiness after eating is one of the body’s responses to chemical changes caused by digestion. This is normal for everyone. However, if the drowsiness always appears after every meal, maybe you need to start to pay attention!

Causes of Sleepy After Lunch

The cause of sleepiness after eating can be avoided by implementing a healthy lifestyle. Sleep patterns, food choices, and health conditions really must be considered.

1. Eating Too Much

Too much eating can also cause drowsiness. After eating, the body drains more blood into the digestive system to digest food in large quantities. This causes a temporary shortage of blood and nutrients in the brain.


2. Hormones Effects During the Digestion Process

The cause of sleepiness after the first meal is due to the influence of hormones during the digestive process. The body needs energy to carry out its functions, and this energy is obtained through food.

Then, the body breaks down nutrients from food in the digestive system to make glucose which is then converted into energy. After eating, the body releases hormones, such as the hormones amiline, glucagon, and cholecystokinin.

At the same time, the brain also releases the hormone serotonin which causes drowsiness. In addition, food also affects the production of melatonin in the brain.

These two hormones cause drowsiness after eating. Melatonin is made in the brain by converting the amino acid tryptophan to serotonin, and then to melatonin.

3. Food That You Consumed

The cause of sleepiness after the next meal is the type of food you eat. The body digests all food in the same way but food affects the body differently.


Some foods can make you sleepy compared to other foods. Foods high in protein, such as meat, chicken, eggs, fish, spinach, tofu, cheese and soy, contain the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid is used by the body to produce serotonin which is responsible for drowsiness.

In addition, eating foods that contain carbohydrates also helps the brain produce serotonin and makes the amino acid tryptophan available in the brain. The combination of foods containing amino acid tryptophan (protein) and carbohydrates makes you sleepy.

4. Poor Sleeping Habits

Poor sleep habits are also one of the causes of sleepiness after eating. After eating, the body feels full and relaxed, making the body feel rested and drowsy, especially if you don’t get enough sleep the night before.

To prevent this from happening, you should improve your sleep patterns and avoid stress. Coupled with regular exercise that can help you get a better night’s sleep. So thus, use adequate night sleep, exercise regularly, and avoid stress.

Read Also: 10 Tricks to Fall Asleep Easier When You Can’t Sleep at Night


5. Health Condition

The cause of sleepiness after eating can also be a symptom of a disease, such as anemia, allergies, sleep apnea, diabetes, food intolerance and hypothyroidism.

If you often feel sleepy after eating, and suspect the disorder, you should immediately consult a doctor. Sleepiness after eating can also be a sign that you are lacking certain nutrients.

Malnutrition causes food not digested properly because the body fails to digest it. As a result, you will not have enough energy to support activities throughout the day and feel sleepy all the time.

6. Lack of exercise

Based on research, lack of exercise can cause the body to get tired easily. This turn out to be one of the causes of sleepiness after lunch.

Regular exercise can increase strength and endurance, and make the cardiovascular system run more efficiently. You can start regular light exercise to be able to do a variety of activities with enthusiasm.


How to Avoid and Stop Getting Sleepy After Lunch?

Getting sleepy after lunch will make you unproductive and reduce your performance. But don’t worry, we have listed down some ways to stop being sleepy after lunch:

1. Ice Cube Hack!

Putting ice cubes on the forehead is proven to be effective in removing sleepiness. Cold ice cubes can help relax the brain and refresh the mind. You don’t have to have ice cubes, you can also stick cold drink cans to your forehead.

Besides, you can also chew an ice cube in your mouth. The coldness of the ice cube will make you more awake and get rid of your sleepiness away!

2. Eat in Smaller Portion for Lunch

If you’re having some important event after lunch, it is recommended to eat in smaller portion for lunch.

Overeating can make you very full and sleepy at the same time. This is because when digesting a lot of food, the body also needs more energy.


This certainly can make your body feel tired and sleepy. Drowsiness and fatigue after eating food usually occurs because our bodies have difficulty digesting large portions of food.

In addition, low blood sugar levels can also make us sleepy. Try to keep the stomach empty for more than three hours so that blood sugar levels in the body remain balanced.

3. Pay Attention on Your Food

Healthy Breakfast Meal

What we consume in the morning will greatly affect the body’s performance throughout the day. Try not to eat breakfast menus that are just full, but also nutritious, such as yogurt, fruit, or cereal.

Eating a healthy breakfast can prevent energy loss and improve mental and physical performance during daily activities.


Avoid Foods that Contain Fat

When eating lunch, try not to choose a menu that contains artificial sweeteners and high fat. Sugar can indeed increase energy instantly, but it only lasts a while. After the effect is gone, sugar will actually make us feel tired and weak.

Choose foods with high protein content and complex carbohydrates

If you often feel sleepy after eating, then try to replace your lunch menu with the type of food that can provide energy. Some types of high protein foods such as meat, eggs, cheese, and nuts can keep blood sugar flow stable so as to prevent drowsiness.

4. Do Little Exercise After Lunch

In the office time, usually we will immediately sit back and work after enjoying lunch. This can be dangerous to your health as it can trigger food coma.


Instead, you need to do activities to keep the body active. No need to be heavy, just by walking around the office or surroundings for a few minutes so that the muscles are stimulated.

Walking after eating can also improve the process of moving food to the digestive system and can reduce glucose in the blood.

Alternatively, you could do some light exercise such as push ups and plank. This will increase oxygen levels in the blood, so that the energy in the body can increase. But remember, wait for about 15 minutes until the food is finished digesting.

5. Drink More Water

One of the causes of getting sleepy after lunch is because our body is dehydrated. Various organs of our body need water in order to function properly, especially in digesting food.

Make sure you drink enough water when eating. Water can hydrate your body, so you avoid fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and sleepiness. Remember, all organs in your body need water to perform its function.


Bottom line

If you have a short time after lunch, you might try to take a power nap. This will recharge your energy and you will feel more energetic and focused. 

To conclude, getting sleepy after lunch can be caused by several factor including hormones changes during the digestion process, poor sleeping habit, health condition, and lack of exercise. Food consumption and portion is also the main causes of the sleepiness.

To stop the sleepiness after lunch you can try to chew ice cube, eat smaller portion, consume less fat and carbo food and drink more water. You also can do a little exercise after lunch such as walking around after lunch.

Are you one of these people who always getting sleepy after lunch? Tell us in the comment section if you have another life hack to stop the sleepiness after lunch. Share this post to someone that always getting sleepy and not productive after lunch!

Read Also: How to Stay Awake & Focused to Increase Productivity at Work