Lifestyle

REVEALED: This is why you feel sleepy after eating

Many people have experienced extreme fatigue after eating a heavy lunch. After a meal, blood circulation dramatically changes.

This could explain why eating makes some people sleepy.

Dr Tomonori Kishino, a professor of health science at Japan’s Kyorin University confirmed this with Time magazine, citing that as blood is pumped into the gut to fuel digestion, a corresponding drop in blood flow to the brain could trigger feelings of sleepiness.

Researchers found evidence of “postprandial sleepiness,” also known as a food coma, in insects, snakes, worms and rats.

“The conservation of this behaviour across species suggests that it’s really important for something,” said William Ja, an associate professor of neuroscience at the Scripps Research Institute in Florida.

According to Time, Dr Kishino’s recent work found that among people who skipped breakfast, one measure of cerebral blood flow plummeted after they ate lunch.

“Skipping breakfast could therefore place a heavy burden on the body after lunch by causing greater changes in blood flow,” he said.

Ja, who has studied this food coma phenomenon, suggests that meal size is a “strong driver” of post-meal sleepiness. So too are meals loaded with salt or protein. He says that one long-held idea is that sleep somehow aids digestion.

One of his not-yet-published studies, on fruit flies found that sleep changes the way the insects absorbed certain macronutrients, including protein.

“This would support the idea that post-meal sleepiness affects gut nutrient absorption,” he added.

Ja pointed out that his work may not translate to humans.

In 2018, a study published on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Search database website found that a high-fat, high-carb meal led to both sleepiness and an uptick in some inflammatory markers, especially among obese adults.

-daily sun

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