Falling Asleep After Eating


Do you have the habit of sleeping as soon as you have your meal? If so, you must have given it some thought trying to figure out the exact reasons for such occurrence. Some people may not give it particular importance as they think that sleeping right after having a meal is a common event. They casually call it mid-afternoon drowsiness, sleepiness or laziness. However, falling asleep right after having a meal is not something normal and should not be neglected upon.

Such instances are indications that you must see a doctor or seek expert advice so that further complications do not arise due to such occurrence. Some people have the habit of going off to sleep right after having meals either during the day or the night. This could be a result of having a hefty meal. Sometimes, the amount of calorie present in the meal that you had could weigh you down. It has also been seen that the sugar level in the blood could rise considerably after having a meal. This could be the reason for going off to sleep right after having a meal. However, some of the most important reasons could be summarized as follows –

Potential Reasons

As mentioned before, some people may think that laziness is the reason for going off to asleep right after having a meal. However, there are some clear biological reasons as to why people go off to sleep right after having a meal. Those reasons are as follows –

  • Too much increase in blood sugar level could be the reason for falling off to sleep after having a meal. Medical science has also stated that the crash of low blood sugar could be a reason for people going off to sleep after having a meal.
  • Another reason for falling off to sleep right after eating could be the food allergies or the sensitivities. You have to question yourself the following from time to time. “Do I have the same type of food during my meals? Are there certain types of food that I have or crave for regularly such as dairy products, bread, etc.? If the answers to the above questions are yes, then it is very likely that you are allergic to this kind of food stuff. This is how allergic addiction behaves which forces you to crave for the same types of food every time.
  • Other reasons that are responsible for an individual to go off to sleep after having a meal could be the natural body functions. A couple of the most important factors that are critical to having the sleeping tendency are the circadian rhythm and the sleep drives.

It is said that the sleep drives are controlled and monitored in the brain with the help of individual chemical accumulation. It is said that the amount of time a person is not sleeping is key to the building up of adenosine. High accumulation of adenosine forces the individual to crave for rest frequently. Such phenomenon is common especially, during the afternoon.

The process of having your body and the nervous system alert all the time is known as the circadian rhythm. This is how your body is restricted from the tendency to sleep during the day. However, the reverse happens during the afternoons. This is when the increased levels of adenosine in the body become critical in forcing you to go for a nap.

  • Consumption of too many carbohydrates could be a reason as well. The particular enzyme needs some time to break the long molecules into smaller groups of glucose. However, if the enzymes are not present in the human system to the adequate quantity, it might take some extra time to break down the molecules. This results in having a feeling of drowsiness and sleepiness.
  • Amino acids in the form of tryptophan could be a reason for people going off to sleep right after having a meal. This amino acid is responsible for drainage of energy levels in the body.

However, if your tendency of sleeping increases after having a meal, you should immediately seek the doctors’ advice. Sometimes neglecting symptoms like the one mentioned above may lead to further complexions in the future.

Probable Remedies

Some of the feasible solutions to the above – mentioned problems are as follows –

  • You should consider having healthy foods in the form of increased amount of fibers, whole grains, beans, fruits, etc.
  • You might consider having a cup of tea or coffee to deal with the sleeping tendency.
  • Try and change the timings of dinner and figure if the situation improves.
  • Having a power nap for 20 – 30 minutes might help you to tackle the problem.
  • You might also consider some forms of exercise after having a meal.


  1. My symptoms started when I was diagnosed with leukemia and have progressively gotten worse. I am constantly falling asleep if I sit for to long. After a meal I’m out almost immediately. Sometimes my blood sugar will drop and sometimes it will spike but I will fall asleep regardless. I’ve tried getting help from my personal doctor and my cancer doctor but neither will listen. Both say it’s just part of getting older. I’m 53. When you fall asleep at a traffic light it’s not normal. I did participate in a sleep study and it’s not narcolepsy. If this gets any worse I’ll never get out of bed.

    • If you find that your doctors are not providing you with responses, then you may need to speak with another medical professional Make an appointment with another doctor, as there are benefits to getting a second opinion. Continue to monitor your experiences so you can better address any questions that they may have. Best of luck, John!

  2. It’s a natural thing, don’t worry about it. Tune to your favorite music is the best option to avoid sleepy after lunch.


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