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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why do I fall asleep after eating my dinner?

    Related Topic
    I am a healthy eater and I do not drink alcohol but every night after dinner when I sit down to watch TV and relax I fall asleep for about 20 minutes. This means I am then not able to go to sleep till after midnight and I would like to get into a better sleep pattern.I do not eat sweet treats after dinner.
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  • 23


    Arlene is a registered practising dietitian, with a private practice in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, and has built a strong business over the last … View Profile

    You are probably tired in the evening so should perhaps go to bed after dinner.  After a busy day we should recognise that we do get fatigued and need an early night. The minute your body has time to relax it automatically falls asleep.
    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 people fall asleep naturally at night.

    Many meals contain the L-tryptophan. This essential (cannot be made in the body) amino acid needs to be taken on an empty stomach and without any other amino acids or protein in order to make you drowsy.

    Some people think, however, that feeling drowsy is not necessarily due to this tryptophan. Some Say:
    - Tryptophan does not deserve nearly the blame it gets for making us sleepy.
    - The body wants to focus its efforts on digestion.
    - Drowsiness occurs after any big meal, regardless of the meal components.
    - Digestion of any large meal, whether it's a high-protein, a high-fat or a high-carbohydrate meal, causes the familiar after-meal drowsiness.

  • 9


    Maria Nguyen

    HealthShare Member

    I think that our bodies know better when it is time to be active or relaxed. If you fall asleep right after dinner watching TV, you must be tired to the level that you body simply too tired to stay awake. Try to adjust your lifestyle to you body. May be wake up later or go to  bed earlier.
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  • 13


    Linda Webb-Treglia

    HealthShare Member

    Get your A1c checked in a blood test. You could have pre diabetes or type II diabetes. Even if you don't eat sweets after dinner, many diabetics blood sugar rises after a normal meal...especially if it has any carbs like rice, potatoes, wheat/gluten products, etc. Even sugar in sauces and dressings can raise sauces. Regular blood tests for glucose don't always show a problem, especially if it is a fasting glucose. You need to get the A1c test. Don't delay in getting tested as silent diabetes is devastating to the body. Good luck.

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