By Matt Stone
There are three quick answers to this common question…
- Because you’re stressed.
- Because you didn’t sleep enough.
- Because you ate enough.
Everyone in the health industry thinks that eating a meal should make you perk up and want to instantly break out into the Humpty Dance or other similar variant. Maybe throw in?a high-intensity interval while you’re at it. Just for kicks. If you do get sleepy after eating, your nutritionist or dietitian is ready to’send you off to the lab for food allergy testing or start pulling out every delicious thing in the world from your diet. No more sugar, dairy, or?wheat for you. Enjoy your?brown rice?and lean turkey breast. Oh dear?please don’t go swimming for at least an hour after a feast like that!
Ironically, your?health advocate will probably, at the same time, suggest that you do relaxing activities like meditation, deep breathing,’taking warm baths, getting a massage, and hitting the sauna. These activities make you deeply relaxed, warm all over, and?drowsy. Just like eating a really good, complete meal that has everything your body needs.
You should feel a little tired after a meal – certainly more relaxed, with little desire to jump up and run. If you don’t, there’s something seriously wrong with your meal. It must not have enough carbs, fat, protein, salt, or calories – and your body’s desire to hunt down more food stays on instead of powering down for digestion.
When we eat a good meal, insulin rises. When insulin rises, cortisol and the entire?action of the sympathetic nervous system shuts down, leaving us feeling relaxed and warm and fuzzy all over. The higher your stress levels are prior to eating, the more complete that shutdown is. Thus, the longer you go without food, the more sleep-deprived you are, or the longer you’ve been strung out on stress hormones in a stressful situation…’the bigger the postmeal coma.
The coma itself is the antidote to your stressful life. It’s not an enemy, something to be avoided, or something to be lambasted by?your highly caffeinated?nutritionist.?It’s perfectly healthy, normal,?natural, and in many cases quite therapeutic?(just like a massage or sauna) to feel drowsy after a good meal. If you were to treat it as such and not think there is something “wrong”?with it or assume the next step will be The Beetus, you could really enjoy the feeling – making lots of “ahhhhhh” and “mmmmm” sounds and grinning. I mean, what about?Bob?
I conclude this with some examples of this horrendous postmeal relaxation state, and?a call?for immediate extreme diet interventions…
Oh no! Get this kid on a gluten?and casein free diet immediately before he develops the Ass Burgers!
Gah! It’s breakfast cereal!Is that Cap’n Satan or Lucifer Charms? Too much sugar! Do a candida cleanse before yeast?possesses his whole body?and makes him want to eat carbs all day!Beat those carb cravings!
Dude!Way too many carbs in shrimp, and crabs in carbs! You’re allergic! Stick to fish and kelp only!
Damn that was quick guy. New record I think.
I was wondering about this yesterday. I ate an amazing jalapeno burger after swimming in the ocean. By the time we left the restraunt I was feeling so tired. I passed out in the car on the way home. So did my kids. Glad to know this is a good thing! ;)
This sounds lovely, unless you are the person who has to drive.
Everybody needs a designated dieter to drive sometimes.
Love the “designated dieter to drive” concept, but I think another possibility for feeling sleepy has to be included – eating the wrong foods. If some foods don’t make you sleepy, even with the same macronutrient and calorie ratios, the obvious conclusion is that there are other factors.
Right. You were probably craving the foods that made you sleepy, as eating is a multisensory experience. Eating food you don’t really like or want won’t make you nearly as sleepy as eating exactly what you find to be most delicious.
I found brown rice made me sleepy on the HED, while sprouted whole wheat and stone-ground sourdough didn’t. Someone who bashes wheat admitted that maybe it makes you more alert (Roman soldiers ate it) & argued that’s not a good thing. Brown rice tastes nasty, IMIO. Sprouted wheat and stone-ground sourdough taste way better, for whole grains. So deliciousness doesn’t seem to be the only factor.
White rice also makes me sleepy, even organic sushi rice.
I’ve also noticed that pork makes me sleepy and often nauseated, very routinely, after eliminating it for a week or two and then adding it. At first, I didn’t have any bias against pork, thinking it’s all in the mind as some people here claim, but I noticed feeling better after avoiding all pork. I would rather eat beef bacon and turkey bacon than pork now. I notice that even fast food is starting to offer turkey bacon in breakfast items (some place like Dunkin Donuts had an advertisement for that recently). I think more people don’t want pork and there is scientific evidence that it’s not the same as other meats like lamb or beef. A study by several WAP members who ate pastured pork found it made them sleepy and caused a huge rise in fibrin while lamb didn’t. I’ve also heard that pork stimulates a huge insulin insulin spike compared to other meats and promotes cancer, according to many people (from Aajonus on down).
Yeah I’m not a fan of pork at all. But don’t talk too much about it for the sake of not sounding like a lunatic.
What is it with pork? Everywhere I see it written that you should avoid pork, but I’ve never seen anyone say why. Chief reckons it affects your ability to lose weight and is basically kryptonite for humans. I’d like to hear the lunatic ideas about the evils of pork.
Thanks very much.
Well that is certainly interesting. I’ve always been scared of that feeling, thinking my blood sugar was going up and feelin’ like I had the Beetus, so I have avoided that feeling like the plague, especially after lunch. My work was so stressful I would eat then put my head down on my desk for the last 15 minutes and sorta snooze, then wake up terrified I would be caught or die from high blood sugar. I was so grateful to low carbing as it ended that feeling completely. After several years of low carbing my hair fell out and I shivered all the time, but HEY! I was not sleepy. So it’s really ok to be tired after eating, eh? I am gonna have to think about this one for a while.
That is partly true Michelle. But the answer is to lower stress (including eating more often) and get more sleep to avoid feeling sleepy after meals.
I thought the healthier you got the less sleepiness you were supposed to experience after a meal.
The lower your stress/cortisol levels, the less sleepy you will feel after meals. It is a good sign of health, but feeling sleepy after meals just indicates a need for more rest and sleep.
What about insulin resistance? I’ve been eating more 180-like, but the only place I’m gaining weight is around my gut. Skin and bones elsewhere, almost look like a beriberi patient.
That is very unusual. You really need to get a good physical. Hate to be a downer, but if what you write is not exaggerated, it is not likely due to diet or something as benign as insulin resistance. Skin and bones except for the belly, in my experience, is a sign of a very serious illness. Please see an MD/DO!
Sounds like Cushing syndrome to me.
Sounds like celiac disease to me. Bloated belly. Decreased muscle mass on extremities. Classic look…and hey, beriberi comes from thiamin deficiency. Malabsorption from celiac disease would fit.
But hey, that would mean gluten is the problem. And I can tell how serious the author takes gluten related disorders from the article.
According to traditional Asian medicine the digestive energy powers the limbs and maintains mental clarity (among other things). TAM advises against distractions during eating (like reading, watching the tube, moving around, standing, driving your frickin’ car) so that the digestive process can focus on eatin’ the food. Then you can move strongly and think clearly LATER. After eating and stuff. Although extreme sleepiness can indicate weak digestive power…more reason to just eat without distractions.
I’ve also heard that laughter helps digestion. You health nuts still take everything way too seriously, even on this blog. I don’t think everyone can have great health, but doing what you feel like doing, without questioning it, will probably lead to the best results.
“Do as thou wilt is the whole of the law”
Quoting Crowley as an example of how to live life is offensive.
Why? That guy knew how to party!
It makes me miss living in Spain. Initially I was annoyed with their damn siestas and how everything shut down so we could all rest, but after a few weeks (I was there a year), I settled in nicely and came to love my little mid-day nap after an amazing meal.
Hmm, I wonder if this is why a siesta after lunch is common practice in many parts of the world??
Yes, only in places like the US are you expected to bust ass and work hard right after lunch, which is why so many people with busy, high-stress jobs develop the lunch-skipping habit.
The US- death-style + the EMFs and lack of earthtime are really contributing to a lot of my challenges right now. I need to get outta here!
Yes, I’ve lived in Siesta countries. Works better in a more traditional economy. What happens in big cities is that people don’t have time enough to go home to sleep, so they end up going shopping or lingering over lunch. When I lived in Italy, I did live fairly near my work and could invite a lady friend home for a “sveltina” (I’ll let you do the translation). That was good. There’s another thing about having a couple of hours of lunchtime. You work later hours. That’s not good.
Where we lived in Aviano, it was small. Most Italian people worked close to their homes and were able to go home for Siesta. Pordenone was the largest town close to us, but only about 15-20 km away I think.
My husband was stationed at an Air Base, where the military members worked hard AND late hours, and lunch break was super short. The Italians were baffled by it.
“Sorry, I thought you were a cat!” ….. made me giggle out loud!
I always fell asleep after eating, sometimes for 3 hours or more. Turns out, I have severe sleep apnea. As a woman in my 20s and 30s (i.e. not an obese 50-year-old man with a 17″ neck), no one really thought of sleep apnea. I’d complain of fatigue and they’d give me a pregnancy test, check my thyroid, and increase my SSRI dose. Anyway, sleep disorders are a thing.
I was thinking about the relationship between sleep disorders and hypothyroidism the other day. When I don’t sleep enough, I will act out in my sleep: walking, talking, doing stuff. None of which I remember, all of which are a good laugh unless you live with me. Anyway, the other day I poked my partner in the eye in the middle of the night and said “I’m sorry, I thought you were a cat.” Poor guy was awake for the rest of the night. So I guess each of us has our own ways of saying we need more down time.
I had a similar experience. I think there are a lot of people out there with sleep apnea who have never been tested or diagnosed because they don’t fit the profile. Although I am slim, I know that my sleep apnea gets worse when I gain weight or don’t take care of my allergies. I really believe that someone who is overweight or obese at ANY age should be tested for sleep apnea. The same holds for chronic allergy sufferers because I think, over time, allergies can lead to defects in the nose and mouth that can cause mild sleep apnea in an otherwise healthy person.
Thanks for your post. I just had a lunch of quiche and I’m now lying on the bed as I’m so tired.
I’ve been awoken by ” animal noises ” several times in the night. I’ve had tree branches trimmed and had friends look under my house as I live in Australia and possums can be a nuisance. I resolved the mystery one night last week when I woke up with the usual start but realized it was ME making a sort of very loud snoring noise approximately one hour after I went to sleep.
Could this be sleep apnea? I’ve been exhausted for years.
“every need brings in what is needed” -Rumi
Then why have I been alone and miserable for years?
When I eat my fill and enter the realm of the food coma, I finally understand my cats.
It goes something like this http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/50-fat-cats-in-food-comas. Ahhh.
Oh man, what I wouldn’t give for even one hour for lunch… it’s stressful eating at school with kids coming in and out of the room asking for passes or help.
I wish I took better advantage of la pausa in Italy when I studied abroad… that was a long time ago, and I would love to go back. Now that I’ve got forty minutes, I think about how awesome it would be to have la pausa here. I ought to petition the school board.
Yeah, a good meal should activate the “rest & digest” parasympathetic nervous system. This is why “warrior” Ori Hoffmekler counsels his warriors to only eat one super-large meal at night, positing that day time is meant for fighting battles (sympathetic activity), even if they are only in the boardroom. It was a seductive argument for me at one time, but it’s what started off my metabolic decline, probably because I can’t consume a 2,500 calorie dinner!
It is amazing what a little study of the history of food and humans can teach you. I recently read that, in Europe at least, people rarely ate more than 2 meals a day before the 19th century, even wealthy people. Working class people ate only 1 meal. That is not to say that this practice is healthy (check the average life expectancy back then) and probably led to all sorts of malnutrition-related illnesses and growth problems (check the size of the armor during the middle ages).
Man I love that feeling…like 20 minutes after a Thanksgiving throwdown. The other night I had a large pizza, 12 or so fried wings, and 1.5 quarts of ice cream (with throwback Moutain Dew of course). Man I felt warm and tired after. To think a year ago I was dizzy, cold, and eating only grass-fed meat. :)
Matt- I think Jared may have something here- add Laughter to the 4 S’s. It’s a great stress reliever- So it can lower cortisol levels, and will naturally lessen your need for a nap after a meal! And I sure laughed from those videos! That’s the best stomach exercise there is, IMO! LOL!
I am that lion.
Oh Matt, you had me at “what about Bob.”
Oh crap, I just clicked your name, and clicked some more, your music is quite awesome!
What About Bob dinner scene!
Matt, have you seen the Boondocks episode “The Itis,” from Season One, IIRC?
Very timely article. I notice that if I have been getting good sleep for 2-3 nights in a row, then I’m not sleepy after meals, even if they’re high in calories.
Conversely, after just one night of bad sleep (went to bed too late, got up too early, woke up in the middle of the night and took a long time to fall back to sleep, etc), I feel sleepy after both breakfast and lunch, pretty much regardless of what’s in those meals. Dinner can go either way in that kind of scenario.
Oh thanks for this. I was wondering what was going on. Big Carby meals do it for me, it was a worry that sudden feeling to nod off, thought my blood pressure was too low, now I can just purr, stretch out and be a floor rug for a while.
Oh thanks for this. I was wondering what was going on. Big Carby meals do it for me, it was a worry that sudden feeling to nod off, thought my blood pressure was too low, now I can just purr, stretch out and be a floor rug for a while.
Second that. Good night’s sleep equals no sleepiness after meals, even big ones. Not enough sleep and even looking at lunch will make me tired… So, as vegan and paleo diet researchers would put it, there is a correlation :)
What about the idea that if your pulse increases x bpm after eating a certain food, then you’re probably allergic/sensitive to it? Seems like total phooey from a metabolic perspective.
I don’t like the cats analogy. Wild cats gorge on food, eating several day’s worth, while house cats nibble on food all day and dogs bolt their food, gulping without chewing much, if at all. I don’t think we should extrapolate wild cat sleeping behavior to house cats unless you only give them one large raw carcass every couple days.
Dr. Tom Lonsdale, an Australian vet & author of the Raw Meaty Bones books and website, says it’s not normal for domestic animals to sleep as much as they do. It’s because of the toxic food people give them. The “Pottenger’s Cats” study noted the animals had more energy and calmer dispositions with raw meat and raw milk. That shouldn’t be extrapolated to humans, of course, without first isolating variables (like meat and milk) and controlling the consistency of the diet (what meats and parts are fed, what cooking method, etc). Also, animals generally eat what is presented and humans may restrict due to taste or beliefs.
The longer you fast the sleepier you will get after eating too, generally-speaking. Part of that also has to do with how many calories you consume when meal frequency is lower rather than higher.
I’ve found with pets that they have an endless amount of energy in a stimulating environment (outdoors). I get bored and just want to sleep if I sit around the house all day too. That would be even more true if I couldn’t read or watch youtube.
Good points. I want to spend more time outdoors (I assume you mean nature and not choking on pollution, looking at billboards and signs, and listening to cars rush by to perpetuate their empty and unfulfilling lives). Getting outdoors away from cars and commerce energizes and stimulates me. But don’t knock just sitting and doing nothing (not reading or using computer or watching TV or phone) until you have tried it. I think we need time to just be bored, you know?
Each new technology changes us and makes us think how did we ever live without smartphones, GPS, internet, computers, video games, television, phones, and so on. I remember playing outside, finding hidden places like forests behind homes and shortcuts. Now people spend most of their time indoors and are bored without media. I think we need more balance or to push things the opposite way. Like face-to-face talk, deep conversations, long walks in the city and wilderness, lounging around not doing ANY thing actively or passively, just daydreaming. Some people never get bored and can sit in a waiting room just observing without boredom or sleepiness. it depends on your imagination, curiosity, mental life, peace, etc.
Absolutely. Our non-stop stimulation world comes with its own set of side effects.
Matt, are you still following any of the RBTI principles? I know you have said that you stay away from pork mostly and pop a min-col every once in a while but are there any other Challenisms that you would consider especially helpful in repairing your metabolism or regaining your health?
Matt, or anyone else who can answer, is it bad to have a temp reading of 100.7 after eating dinner?
I have to eat a lighter dinner to keep from feeling too hot at night. I haven’t taken my temperature then but I bet, based on how I feel, that it probably gets into at least the high 99’s at that time.
Haha, love the ice cream video. That’s pretty much how i feel these days. Drag myself off the couch long enough to stuff a bunch of food down my throat, half the time with my eyes closed;)
Matt, thanks so much for this warm, delicious post! Today after lunch I felt so toasty and sleepy and it felt so good. Before meeting you I would have wondered if it meant something was amiss, but now I know everything is just as it should be. Thanks again!
I sail! I’m sailing!!!!
Best. Movie. Ever.
Great post. I was concerned about my post meal sleepiness and have been eating more protein to prevent it. Maybe that isn’t necessary.
Totally off-topic…sorry for hijacking…just wanted to follow up with the low-intensity exercise posts from a few weeks ago. I had been doing months (perhaps year) of high-intensity exercise, not enjoying it, and despite not changing anything about my diet, I gained 10 pounds. My personal life has been very stressful since last fall, so my body had been under a great deal of mental stress in addition to crazy exercise. I also developed pneumonia this winter, and I rarely used to get sick.
I switched to low-intensity exercise about six weeks ago, started on some minerals three times a day, added Co-Q10 to my supplements, and just didn’t give a crap as to what I ate and when. I have actually started enjoying exercise again, and now with only doing an hour a day instead of two, I have some time in the evening to chill out. I have lost 5 of those 10 pounds, so I’m feeling I’m in the zone now…
Oh, and I started letting my 7-yr-old son eat as much ice cream and milkshakes as he wants, and keep him stocked with Oreos. He’s happy most of the time and wore a t-shirt all winter (in Michigan no less).
Sweet! That’s exactly why I decided to do the series. I think that applies to a lot of people.
Hey matt, have you seen the website by dr wiilson called yin and yang healing diet. I feel like crap and i want ur opinion on it. for people who tend to get tired and depressed (me) he reccomends lots of cooked vegetables and no sweet things with like 15% animal protein and 15%complex carbs such as whole grains. i have started eating fast digestible carbs and its the first time iv experianced alot of seratonin. these past few days iv been really woozy. what should i do? will the seratonin settle down after more time eating fast digestable carbs? i feel like iv been drugged at the dentist! before this i used to eat alot of protein such as eggs and meat but i always felt nervous and had insomnia. the insomnia has improved alot tho and i even have really good vivid dreams the past couple nights
It’s normal to be super drowsy and foggy when introducing refined carbs. But your sleep should also improve and that’s a good sign that it has. That woozy snoozy feeling should go away in time. If it doesn’t after several weeks it’s probably time to make some adjustments.
Matt! Do a post on bi-phasic sleeping
Wow about half an hour ago i just started feeeling a lot of mental clarity, like i cant believe how i feel right now! i feel so calm and energised i havent felt like this in years! i just ate a bowl of noodles to see if the woozynes would come back and it hasn’t at all i still feel good! i think my blood sugars have sort themselves out
I often find, especially when I am outdoors that if I eat before it gets too dark that I get an ‘I’m just going to sit here and watch the sunset” slump and then in about an hour I feel perky again for a while until I start to wind down for bed.
Could this be why raw vegans say they feel they have a lot of energy? now it makes sense that they are energized all day with so few calories.
Isn’t Paula deen eating this way, doesn’t she have The Beetus? Looks like she restricts nothing, is all carbed up, and she seems to love her food. What’s missing for her? Working out?
The beetus is not only about food and exercise. Not even obesity.
Checking up on her recipes I see she uses a lot of margarine(and pufa cooking oil). There is an active link between polyunsaturated fatty acids and diabetes.
Then it is also a question about salt, calcium, and other electrolytes. High salt consumption can reduce the risk of diabetes by 66% which is an incredibly high number. Since sodium affects aldosterone and aldosterone is implicated in diabetes that is another link.
She’s the butter queen. Hardly uses veg oil. Pioneer woman the same. is it age? I don’t get what Georgina said
And if we’re supposed to eat like how grandma did, wouldn’t that be what Paula eats?
I’m going to say much of it was a lack of activity and grain oils. She may use butter but she also fries in crisco. Not to mention most Americans eat in restaurants a lot.
There is also genetic predisposition. I have three horses on pasture. They get all the forage they want they even get a little exersize walking around and some playing, but not what they were really made to do. Two of them are lean and one is fat. He is an old foundation type quarter horse, they are known for being easy keepers. However, back when I was training him, working with him five or six days a week for about an hour- not all hard work but a variety of exersizes, he was leaner (and still eating free choice). So with him he needs more movement to not have that insulin resistance he shows now. But he does ok so I will let him do his thing for now.
What do you think about shangri-la diet?
Thanks for your website and looking for an opinion
Matt’s talked about it previously: http://180degreehealth.com/2010/07/the-flavor-calorie-theory
That said, I wouldn’t say it’s recommended. Palatability is one piece of the puzzle, for sure, but trying to hack that without getting the body out of the woods of restrictive eating and the resulting psychological and metabolic consequences is not likely to be sustainable or desirable.
Shangri la diet didnt work for me,
tried it for months.. no results..
And as Rob is saying,
the principle of the Shangri La is mainly about suppressing appetite;
which is going to lead you down the path of restrictive eating and metabolic disturbances etc etc.
The appetite should be followed, ideally , for full body health, not suppressed.
So, me and my boss are definitely havin’ that chat about the need for post meal siesta’s tomorrow ;-) More sleep and chow for me. Your articles make me SO happy, Matt. Early night for this Gal’ who is consistently doing ‘nodding dog’ impersonations after a yummy high carb meal.
You are very pretty.
Babies fall asleep during or after nursing. Toddlers often nap after lunch. Seems natural to me. Why not for the rest of us?
Hey Matt, this is OT but I think I read in one of your comments some time ago that you were about to open a forum on the site? Or did I dream it? Or is it there and for some reason I can’t see it?
That would be cool! It’s not always easy to keep track of the discussions in the comments.
Hey Matt, how does cortisol fit in with sleep and tinnitus? I find i get louder tinnitus after a heavier carb meal for dinner but disappears once i hit the sack. Mate, can i also mention (ask) about an itchy scalp that flares up within a few minutes of rising in the morning but was never itchy while in bed?
Very interested to hear a reply to this, as I have similar tinnitus and itchy scalp, although I can’t necessarily detect a pattern. One thing that does have a pattern is a histamine reaction (watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing) shortly after rising some mornings.
Even after what I consider a high carb, low fat meal ( 1/2 cup dry white basmati rice plus one teaspoon of ghee, 125 gr of low fat camembert cheese, 1 can of coke (33cl) about 2 cup of applesauce mixed with 4 Tablespoons of white sugar, small amount of sparkling water with 1 tsp of blackstrap molasse), I don’t feel the need to take a nap, neither I really feel cold or stressed after such meal….Just feeling good and energized…is that so weird?
Might just mean you weren’t hyped up on stress hormones, and so when those carbs de-stress you, you don’t have a floor to crash through.
Celebrate it- that’s where we’re all trying to go!
I find that if the fat is low enough you don’t get as drowsy as heavier meals.
Thanks Matt and Rob for the quick reply.
Matt, do you think that a very low amount of fat (like in my example) could be, in the long run, detrimental to health?
Probably not unless you fail to get in adequate calories or the calorie-density of your food is too low.
I mean putting together your work on nutrition, Matt, plus those from ayurveda, blood type, the metabolic typing diet, Ray peat’s work, Carl Pfeiffer on people with histadelia, Georges Watson ect….I may be finally manage to understand what kind of fuel my body needs.
At first I was a bit scared jumping on the high carbs, low fat band wagon (mainly because of the fear of sugar and the “relation” between IBD, I have crohn’s,gut inflammation and sugar overload…) but I can say for sure that I need a really huge amount of glucose to feel well. And so far, three years after a major surgery, I’m still free of any relapse…eating the way that it supposed to worsen inflammation…..
And the lower water technique that I learned from you works also pretty well for me.
If I sleep directly after a meal, it does not digest properly, and I get that odd icky feeling in my mouth after I wake up.
Maybe some people can relate. Burned out adrenals has come up here before, and I think it’s relevant to this topic. A lot of us are adrenal freaks and have gotten high off whatever said retarded diet, and I personally get frustrated when I get drowsy after a meal. I’m an adrenaline junkie, and prefer to be “energized”, rather than lethargic, and sleepy. So, this concept, which I was already aware of presents a difficult conundrum……Eat like a normal person and accept the repercussions of lack of sleep, or stress(after meal sleepy time), OR perpetuate the crazy cycle, and play food avoidance games in order to maintain the energy status quot to which I’ve become freakishly dietarily accustomed to.
That sounds a llot like the dietary/exercise food vicious meal pattern cycle im trapped in.
It doesn’t end well.. and it does end eventually!
After a big meal, you feel sleepy, because your digestive system needs a lot of energy to transform the food, you’ve eaten a while ago.
I don’t get sleepy after a big meal if I’ve slept a lot the night before.
A few weeks ago I had dinner at a Peruvian restaurant. I had ceviche empanandas, some purple corn super sweet and spicy drink, fried plantains, salmon rice and shrimp in a cream sauce and the richest rice pudding ever- with coconut, whipped cream, spices and brown raw sugar. I was so tired afterwards I honestly felt drugged. It was beautiful. I slept like a baby (very toastily, might I add) and felt great the next day. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!
I read this account recently of a guy who was taken prisoner by Indians on the east coast some where. He traveled with them for a long time. Indians and settlers were more or less at constant war at the time, so there was a lot of displacement and people I think ate what they could get when they got anything. Anyway, there is a passage where he describes how they ate when they got food, which he seemed to think was noteworthy and different enough to record. Basically he says that when they got food, they all ate until full, laid down and fell asleep. When they woke up, they ate again and fell asleep again, and repeated this until all the food was gone before moving on with their journey. Sort of a short term rest and re-feeding. That, and the many things I’ve read on the lifestyles and food practices of aboriginal peoples and historical Europeans indicates frequent scarcity, even starvation, with long periods of eating a diet very low in variety, sometimes subsisting exclusively on one food for weeks or months. That has go me thinking that it seems likely that people used to be a lot better at making the transition from starvation, or food restriction back to a higher metabolic state, or they were able to better maintain a highly metabolic state through hard times for a longer period of time. One possible explanation would be that they simply had little compunction regarding re-feeding and rest, although that may have been less true of the protestant settlers with their work ethic. It’s hard to believe that this is the only reason though as the food environment simply wasn’t as plush, and foods were still, on the average, whole, unrefined lower caloric density foods. Also, regarding the rest and avoidance of hard excercise, people used work extremely hard. Many native groups frequently underwent extreme tests of endurance running or traveling long distances with little to eat or drink. In fact, they often trained to be able to do so. Among say the american settlers, work was often epic. Try wielding an axe all day, let alone for just an hour, ploughing behind a mule, hoeing acres of ground etc… Lots of endurance exercise and at a level that would put most people’s exercise routines to shame. It seems not unlikely that there are other factors at play today. The first one that comes to my mind is toxic load. Out bodies are after all full of chemicals and metals that didn’t exist 100 years ago. Who knows, but those thoughts might be worth further pondering or investigation.
I am so happy to see this. I had an ice cream cone yesterday and afterward felt so overwhelmingly tired I came home and took a nap. I thought that I was either the worst kind of lazy or had some kind of blood sugar regulation problem. I have been under stress for about a year and a half, so that pretty much explains it.
This probably explains the reason why we feel so sleepy after lunch. But why do snacks or breakfast not induce similar levels of sleepiness.
I guess the heavier the food, the more sleepy you feel,.
We (Palestinians) always say take a nap after lunch and a walk after dinner. For us lunch is the big meal–dinner is light: leftovers from lunch, falafel, or eggs.
Australia is exactly the same as the US, well, at least in the corporate world we are. Trying to pump out a document after lunch on a deadline is murder.
I much prefer the Fiji way. That’s why they say everyone there is on Fiji-time. You can’t help but have cortisol go way down when the expectation of fast pace isn’t there . I met a Fijian man that had to leave NYC after only 24 hours (he was booked to holiday there for a week!). Couldn’t handle the crazy pace/stress/stimulation/wired feeling.
Also, I’ve found that when I’m at home not being such a “hard charger” where I choose my pace, I look healthy, bright eyed, with dewy skin in the evening. After a full day in the office running on adrenalin, my eyes are sunken and my face is pale by the time I get home. That can only be from hammering the adrenals at work like a speed-freak.
Also…….whilst trying to give up my super-strong-espresso-coffee-habit at work, I went down the ‘Dandy Blend’ beverage route. Don’t think it’s any better than doing coffee, even with consumption of protein/carbs/sugar/salty food.
Could it be the potassium-sparing diuretic effect of dandelion root is bad for weak adrenals that actually need SODIUM????
I totally agree with the logic in this post and it accords with my experience. But I have to wonder why my dogs get totally energised after eating, yes they have to poo and so want to go out, but its more than that- a complete mood change.
finally I got the answer I was searching for amongst piles of ”health analyses”. I am fit and healthy but do get sleepy sometimes after meals. Specially after workout breakfast makes me snoozy, so good to know that it is just a natural reaction of my body to feeding.
This is wonderful! I am not worried any more:)
Thank you so much for this post, Matt. It is very freeing to read this. This is exactly what I needed to hear right now.
I’m falling asleep after meals and I’m pretty sure I got the Beetus…
I get a lot sleepier than I used to – I usually need a nap. So something’s different. It’s too dramatic. Why didn’t it happen before?
I think that this makes so much sense!
I had sort of a similar “issue” when I began intuitive eating three years ago.
I always grazed at night. First, I probably wasn’t eating enough calories at dinner anyways. But I realized that when my body is tired, I crave food. Makes sense… my body needs energy! It took me quite some while to realize that if I eat enough filling food, the reason I’m looking to eat is because I need sleep to obtain more energy. Yay, finally :)
It’s a normal parasympathetic response! https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/auto.html
The reason for feeling sleepy soon after a meal is this: When we eat, the energy is diverted to our digestive system for digestion. This relaxes and slows down the rest of our body.