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Eggie's avatar

Why am I always tired after lunch?

Asked by Eggie (5867points) March 21st, 2012

In class I usually feel really sleepy after lunchtimes and I have to really struggle to stay awake. It has been happening almost everyday now. Does anybody know what could be the problem?

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19 Answers

SmashTheState's avatar

Digestion is an energy-intensive procedure and that alone can make a person tired, but in addition to this, blood sugar levels rise after meals, which causes a drunken, sleepy feeling. Together, these two effects can be a knock-out blow.

Coloma's avatar

What he said….^ took the words right outta my mouth. ;-)

SpatzieLover's avatar

^What they said

What are you eating for lunch @Eggie? Is it loaded with carbs? Starches tend to cause sleepiness.

marinelife's avatar

Try having a salad with some protein, like a chicken Caesar. Avoid bread and other carbs.

Avoid turkey and milk. Both contain L-Tryptophan, which can cause sleepiness.

tom_g's avatar

I agree with the others – Too many carbs and too much food. It’ll do it to me every time.

Akua's avatar

Listen to them, They’re right.

Aster's avatar

It also can be a symptom of type II diabetes.

thorninmud's avatar

There is typically a slight dip in body temperature that happens at this point in the day. The body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates sleepiness and wakefulness, correlates pretty tightly with these swings in body temperature.

Look at this chart of typical variations in body temp over 24 hours. You’ll see that although temperature is generally high through the mid-day period, it does this little dip at around 1:00 PM. That’s very common.

I’m not convinced that this has much to do with lunch. A typical breakfast is a pretty high-carb affair, but we don’t see such a dip after breakfast.

tom_g's avatar

@thorninmud – I check out that chart. Interesting. I disagree about breakfast, however. If I eat a high-carb breakfast, I’m all messed up.

gailcalled's avatar

I still remember back when I could actually fall asleep easily. During the 2:15 -3:00 class in school, I would nod over the desk, and then in the desk.

And in college, I loved early morning classes; I continued to have that mid-afternoon brown-out.

Now that Milo and I are free agents, we frequently have a lie-down together at 4:00.

Eggie's avatar

My lunch times usually consist of plenty of rice. It is usually with peas, beans and some chicken. I eat the rice almost consistently everyday but the other combinations vary. Is this the cause?
This morning I ate bake and curried channa and I ate four apples and I drank a bottle water and for lunch I ate spanish rice, fried chicken in a delicious sauce and blackeyed peas and vegetable salad. I drank another bottle water and I felt really sleepy afterwards. I was not even in class. I visited the doctor previously and he did not say that I have diabetes.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Tomorrow, see if just chicken and veg make you tired.

Pandora's avatar

Sounds like a sugar crash. Four apples for breakfast may be too much sugar. Sure its natural but by lunch its all used and then your body has to hurry to convert the carbs to sugar for your brain. Try eating a fruit before you eat your heavy carb lunch or at least cut your carbs in half and add veggies and more protien. The protien will give you a pick me up and it takes longer to break down.
Too much carbs will always make a person sleepy. I found this to better help you better understand what carbs do to your body. If you change your diet and it doesn’t help then you may want to get tested for diabetes.

Photo Credit Images Some carbohydrates digest quickly and raise blood sugar rapidly. Sugar and pasta are high glycemic foods that provide instant energy followed by sleepiness. Normal insulin secretions should not leave you feeling severely fatigued unless your blood sugar drops below normal. Warning signs associated with fatigue may include hypoglycemia or type 1 diabetes. Consult your physician for a blood test that can indicate high levels of sugar in your blood and urine.

The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a measurement of how fast carbohydrates turn to glucose in your body. Low-glycemic-index carbohydrates are foods that digest and absorb slowly. High-glycemic-index carbohydrates digest and absorb quickly, raising blood sugar levels suddenly. A simple carbohydrate such as sugar and complex carbohydrate such as pasta are high-glycemic foods that absorb into your body quickly and raise your blood glucose. Consuming high-glycemic foods provides instant energy; however, once the sugar or pasta is metabolized, your pancreas releases insulin and your blood sugar drops, making you feel tired. Other high-glycemic foods include white potatoes, white rice, watermelon, ripe bananas and pineapple.

Read more:

Coloma's avatar

I’m as predictable as a baby these days in my middle age. get home, have a glass or two of wine, make dinner, settle in, eat and then…promptly start nodding out within 30 minutes. lol
It is true, we do digress as we age. lolol

Akua's avatar

@Coloma That’s MY routine!

wundayatta's avatar

Is that what age is for you, @Coloma, a digression?

So where are you really meant to go?

filmfann's avatar

If I have a full afternoon planned, I stay away from burritos. Those things put me to sleep quick!

rooeytoo's avatar

Maybe you are eating too much as well. That sounded like a lot of food. But I agree with the theory of just eating the chicken and salad. See what that does to your energy levels. how old are you?

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