Sleep

3. Why do I feel sleepy after lunch?

Feeling sleepy in the afternoon, especially after lunch, is a common occurrence. The post-lunch dip usually occurs due to a combination of factors, such as the following:

Circadian rhythms

You can partially blame post-lunch sleepiness on biology. Your body has natural internal rhythms, which make you feel sleepy at certain times of the day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, for most people it’s normal to feel sleepy at 2 a.m. and 2 p.m. When you go to sleep at night, the body’s core temperature drops. Melatonin production is stimulated, which helps you feel sleepy. The same thing happens to a lesser extent in mid-afternoon, shortly after lunchtime.

Eating certain types of foods

Certain foods, such as greasy, fast food, don’t provide the nutrients your body needs to sustain energy levels throughout the day. In addition, foods that are high in tryptophan, including turkey, dairy and nuts, can make you feel sleepy.

Large meals

Eating a large lunch can make you sleepy for a few different reasons. Large meals take longer to digest, and tend to make you feel weighed down and sluggish. Also, eating a large meal causes an increase in the production of certain hormones, which can increase sleepiness.

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