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Why You Feel Sleepy After Eating

If you feel sleepy after eating, particularly after sweets or bakery products, you are normal. Eating sugary foods causes your brain to make large amounts of the neurotransmitter, serotonin, that makes people fall asleep naturally at night.

Eating sugary foods or those made from flour, such as bakery products or pastas, causes blood sugar to rise higher than normal. This causes your pancreas to release large amounts of insulin, which drives one of the protein building blocks called tryptophan from your bloodstream into your brain, where it is converted to serotonin that makes you feel sleepy.

Many people can avoid feeling sleepy after eating by restricting foods that are high in sugar and flour. When it is important for you to be alert, eat foods that do not cause a high rise in blood sugar, such as vegetable salads, nuts, seeds, fish or chicken.

Checked 1/13/16

May 12th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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