Why Do I Get Tired After Eating? An RD’s Causes and Solutions

Ever wrap up your lunch break and end up struggling to focus in your work duties an hour or two later? (It is me, hello.) Equally, throughout holidays and particular events, nothing slaps fairly just like the juicy nap I take after I’ve piled my plate with all my favourite consolation meals and just-so-happen to get tremendous snoozy properly earlier than bedtime.

Whether or not you expertise them frequently or every now and then, “meals comas” (or mini, fleeting variations of them) are a very frequent and sometimes totally innocent phenomenon. And for essentially the most half, so are the causes of them. However what are the exact the reason why you get drained after consuming? Forward, with the assistance of Kimberley Rose-Francis, RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD, we’re unpacking three of the more than likely contributors.


Specialists In This Article

  • Kimberley Rose-Francis, RDN, Hey there, I’m Kim. For near a decade, I’ve had the pleasure of helping others increase their total well being by instructing personalised diet abilities. I’ve all the time believed why give a person or girl a fish, when you’ll be able to train him the way to really fish? My mission is to information others to grow to be extra educated and conscious of the way to navigate their well being points. Vitamin is a vital factor of all points of well being and I do know what it feels wish to be out of your factor. In my apply I’m devoted to serving to you discover what works for you by offering evidenced-based assets and dealing with you and your family members to succeed in your diet objectives. Subsequently, it’s not unusual to obtain an e-mail, textual content message, and postcard from me to encourage you in your well being journey.

Why do I really feel so drained after consuming? An RD’s three key causes:

1. The timing of your meals could possibly be contributing—it is fully anticipated

Get drained after lunch? Maybe your workload isn’t so stimulating, but it surely’s extra seemingly that your circadian rhythm (aka sleep-wake cycles) is behind your post-lunch, noon hunch. “Feeling sleepy after a meal, or postprandial fatigue, may be attributed to a number of components, together with the circadian rhythm,” says Rose-Francis.

A 2019 evaluation within the Yale Journal of Biology and Medication notes that our circadian rhythm dips round 2 to 4 p.m. earlier than selecting again up within the early night. On this case, it’s completely regular to really feel a bit snoozy after lunch—however the trigger is linked extra to your innate organic rhythms and when you eat lunch than the meal itself.

“Feeling sleepy after a meal, or postprandial fatigue, may be attributed to a number of components, together with the circadian rhythm.”
—Kimberley Rose-Francis, RDN, CDCES, CNSC, LD

2. You’re consuming meals that encourage sleepiness

When you attempt to hack your sleep by way of weight loss program and way of life, you’re in all probability conscious that sure meals and drinks can work in your favor to advertise ZZZ’s. Whereas this may be immensely useful when it’s time to hit the hay, generally these meals can lead you to really feel sleepy throughout the day, as properly. A few of these meals embrace:

  • Tryptophan-rich meals, together with lentils, salmon, spinach, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, cheese, and turkey (therefore the notorious Thanksgiving meals coma)
  • Melatonin-rich meals together with pistachios, eggs, and salmon
  • Tart cherry juice, which packs each melatonin and tryptophan
  • Milk, which additionally packs melatonin and tryptophan
  • Chamomile tea

“Vitamin D-rich meals like fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified meals could straight and not directly regulate sleep,” Rose-Francis provides.

“Vitamin D-rich meals like fatty fish, egg yolks, mushrooms, and fortified meals could straight and not directly regulate sleep,” Rose-Francis provides.

3. You’re consuming extra high-fat meals than traditional—which can imply extra or much less steadiness in your weight loss program

An older examine revealed within the journal Physiology & Habits investigated the results of a high-fat, low-carb breakfast and a low-fat, high-carb breakfast in 18 women and men. Members who ate the high-fat, low-carb breakfast reported feeling extra sleepy two to a few hours after consuming, and considerably extra fatigued after the three hour mark in comparison with the opposite group.

The researchers found that concentrations of cholecystokinin, a hormone within the GI system that stimulates the digestion of fats and protein, had been considerably greater after the high-fat, low-carb meals. Cholecystokinin is linked to each satiety and sleepiness—with fatty acids and amino acids specifically triggering its launch—so a meal wealthy in these elements may lead you to really feel snoozier than traditional.

It is essential to keep in mind that wholesome fat and protein are essential to incorporate in a well-balanced weight loss program, and failing to get in your macros and micros alike can take their toll in your vitality ranges and total well being. Learn: Don’t skimp on them for the sake of mitigating post-meal fatigue.

It is essential to keep in mind that wholesome fat and protein are essential to incorporate in a well-balanced weight loss program, and failing to get in your macros and micros alike can take their toll in your vitality ranges and total well being. Learn: Don’t skimp on them for the sake of mitigating post-meal fatigue.

The underside line

Simply as sure meals can gasoline your physique with extra vitality, some may find yourself leaving you feeling extra drained than traditional. There’s an opportunity a few of your go-tos to advertise ZZZ’s at nighttime may go sooner than you’d like—however, all issues thought-about, Rose-Francis says extra sturdy analysis is required to grasp how totally different meals influence the sleep-wake cycle.

As well as, once more, minor post-lunch fatigue is pure and sometimes received’t be trigger for concern. However in case you get so fatigued that it’s exhausting to remain awake or carry out your work successfully, she advises in search of steerage out of your healthcare crew.


Properly+Good articles reference scientific, dependable, current, sturdy research to again up the data we share. You may belief us alongside your wellness journey.


  1. Wells, A S et al. “Influences of fats and carbohydrate on postprandial sleepiness, temper, and hormones.” Physiology & conduct vol. 61,5 (1997): 679-86. doi:10.1016/s0031-9384(96)00519-7

  2. Romano, Fiammetta et al. “Vitamin D and Sleep Regulation: Is there a Function for Vitamin D?.” Present pharmaceutical design vol. 26,21 (2020): 2492-2496. doi:10.2174/1381612826666200310145935

  3. Pattnaik, Harsha et al. “Dietary Parts in Sleep.” Cureus vol. 14,12 e32803. 21 Dec. 2022, doi:10.7759/cureus.32803

  4. Valdez, Pablo. “Circadian Rhythms in Consideration.” The Yale journal of biology and drugs vol. 92,1 81-92. 25 Mar. 2019

  5. Okonkwo O, Zezoff D, Adeyinka A. Biochemistry, Cholecystokinin. [Updated 2023 May 1]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan-.


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