Tired of Eating

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We Normally Eat For More Energy

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Food should activate cells to give you vitality. Do you fall asleep short­ly after eating? Issues may include decreasing oxygen to the brain, over­eating, or a chemical within your foods. Tryptophan is used by the body to create serotonin. Serotonin is a neuro­trans­mitter that helps re­gu­late sleep. It is possible that increased production of serotonin is responsible for post-meal fatigue.

According to recent studies, Dr. Tomonori Kishino, a professor of health science at Japan’s Kyorin University suggests that as blood is pumped into the gut to fuel diges­tion, a correspond­ing drop in blood flow to the brain can trigger feelings of sleepiness. A separate 2018 study found that a high-fat, high-carbohydrate meal led to somnolence.

The National Academy of Sciences recommends a tryptophan daily dietary allow­ance (RDA) of 5 mg per 1 kg of adult body weight. An adult weighing 150 pounds (68 kg) should consume about 340 mg of tryptophan per day. A 200-pound (91 kg) adult aims for 455 mg. A 250-pound (113 kg) adult aims for 570 mg. The tryptophan RDA for pregnant women is 7 mg per kg of body weight.

FoodTryptophan
per 100 grams (g) of food
Spirulina (dried)930 mg
Cheddar cheese550 mg
Parmesan cheese (hard)480 mg
Pork tenderloin (broiled)390 mg
Turkey (roasted whole with skin)290 mg
Tofu (fried)270 mg
Tempeh190 mg
Turkey breast (low-salt luncheon meat)190 mg
Eggs (hard-boiled)150 mg
Spinach (raw)40 mg
Potato (baked)30 mg

Dr. Artour Rakhimov explains that overeating produces a biochemical shock on the whole organism due to factors related to heavy breathing. Falling asleep and tiredness after eating (usually in 20–60 minutes afterwards) are frequent signs of biochemical shock. The solution he recommends is to chew food very well. Becoming sleepy 1.5–2.5 hours after eating, when food has left the stomach, may suggest a Candida yeast overgrowth in the small intestines.

Sometimes you begin eating when you are tired—perhaps following a restless night’s sleep or after working a long shift. The combination of tired and hungry (unofficially: “tungry”) can make your head nod and eyelids droop after a few bites of food.

Basic remedies include maintaining regular rest periods, consuming food slowly, not overeating (beyond satiation limit), decreasing alcohol consumption, maintaining a consistent fitness routine early in the day, and not exceeding daily recommendation of tryptophan. If you still experience issues with fatigue, schedule an appointment with a nutritionist (registered dietitian) to get A Bit More Healthy.

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Kevin Williams is a health advocate and writer of hundreds of articles for multiple websites, including: A Bit More Healthy, KevinMD, and Sue’s Nutrition Buzz.

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