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Do you get sleepy after eating? A doctor explains why and how to fight it

Do you always feel sleepy after dinner, even if you slept well? There is a reason and a solution for this.

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

Imagine that you wake up in the morning, have a good breakfast and leave home ready to conquer the world. But suddenly you get sleepy. Does this situation sound familiar to you? 

An endocrinologist explains why we feel sleepy after eating and what we should do to be productive for longer.

Our brain has a section called the hypothalamus, explains the endocrinologist. In it, among other things, a substance called orexin is produced. It affects arousal, wakefulness and appetite.

Orexin neurons excite parts of the brain that play an important role in wakefulness, including those that regulate the production of dopamine, norepinephrine, histamine and acetylcholine (all of which are actively involved in the regulation of vital body functions).

Orexin’s primary role is to combine the effects of metabolic processes, circadian rhythms, and the need for sleep on whether the body should be asleep or active.

Scientists link it to metabolism, circadian rhythms, and the need for sleep. This substance also intensifies hunger and cooperates with other substances that form it.

The cells that make orexin are stimulated by ghrelin and a low level of glucose in the blood. Increasing this last indicator, in turn, makes the functioning of orexin receptors less effective.

“A strong meal with a large amount of carbohydrates, especially simple ones, generates a neutralization of the activity of orexin and causes sleep,” says the doctor.

How to fight sleep?

First, to avoid sleep, distribute carbohydrates evenly over several meals throughout the day.

Second, the endocrinologist recommended maintaining the balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins with each food consumption. If you want to be productive, but are afraid sleep will stop you, skip carbohydrate-rich foods for breakfast. You can eat them later.

Third, it is important to regulate the level of sugar in the blood, adds the specialist. So it would be better to go for foods with a low glycemic level.

In the end, it must be taken into account that a large amount of leptin stimulates the inhibition of orexin neurons, emphasizes the specialist. So in this case it is advisable to lose weight to avoid excess of this substance.

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