Sleepy After Eating? 5 Ways to Re-energise Yourself
Published | 5 min read
Eating greasy food, lack of water and having insufficient sleep will make you feel sluggish throughout the day. Consider following these steps to prevent feeling sleepy after eating.
Nevertheless, a healthy routine can get you feeling better throughout the day and thankfully, there are plenty of ways to do this.
1. Work Out Regularly
Exercising in the morning before food is a great way to burn off stored fats in your system, get your heart rate up, and wake up your mind and body.
If you have the time, going for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or even a short stroll after breakfast is an excellent way to get moving.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners recommend practising
By doing so, your mind and body will feel awake throughout the day, and you are unlikely to feel sluggish after lunch.
2. Don’t Skip Breakfast
People tend to skip breakfast for many reasons – rushed mornings, not feeling hungry and different types of fasting. It goes without saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s the one thing that fuels you up throughout the day.
If you are not a breakfast person, you will most likely eat a heavy lunch, which will bring on lethargy or fatigue later in the afternoon, hence you’ll feel sleepy after eating. Try and have a light (and healthy) breakfast consisting of whole grains, fruits, and some protein to keep your blood sugar levels consistent.
3. Get Enough Sleep
According to TCM practitioners and Western medicine, your body functions to eliminate toxins when you are asleep. Sleep deprivation will cause toxins to accumulate in your body, and that can cause fatigue during the day, especially after lunch.
If you can’t get enough sleep at night, take a short afternoon nap or a power nap after eating. That can help restore your energy levels and allow you to concentrate better throughout the day. However, limit your naps to only 15 to 20 minutes. Napping for hours can potentially make you more tired.
On the other hand, if you find it difficult to sleep early at night or fall asleep easily, then try to meditate before bed or find something to relax your mind at night. In any case of insomnia, you should consult your doctor.
According to TCM practitioners, getting enough rest can cultivate your yin (passive energy). When you can, especially in the evenings, do some quiet reading, enjoy nature or even take your dog for a walk to calm your mind.
4. Choose Your Food Wisely
Now comes the golden question: what should you eat to prevent food coma? What you decide to consume during the day will play a significant role in your concentration, especially after lunch.
Deep-fried fast food, white rice and bread, pasta, and greasy finger food will slow down your metabolism, and you will feel sleepy after eating them. These foods might taste extra scrumptious when you’re super hungry, but they will also delay your body’s ability to process carbohydrates. In TCM, foods like these can cause dampness in your body, making you feel extra tired, lose concentration and feel sluggish.
Instead, opt for healthier choices like salads and grilled, roasted or steamed meats that are not too greasy. As for carbs, opt for less starchy rice like
5. Use Chinese Herbs
Herbs are often used in TCM to reduce fatigue while increasing energy. For instance, Astragalus root (huang qi, 黄芪) can help boost your qi, nourish blood, and strengthen the Spleen. You can add them to your soup or brew them as tea.
Ginseng is another Chinese herb that can strengthen your qi (vital energy). Keep in mind that different types of ginseng address different needs. Panax ginseng embodies warming particles suitable for cold and weak body constitutions, while
Although some herbs and supplements can help with concentration, you should still watch what you eat during lunch to improve your overall health and concentration throughout the day. In addition, always consult a TCM physician before using any type of herbs.
If you often feel sleepy after eating or tend to get the afternoon slumps after a heavy meal, it’s time to change the way you eat and what you eat on a daily basis. A well-balanced diet, healthy lifestyle habits, and exercise definitely help to restore your energy levels and improve concentration during the day.
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- National Library of Medicine. 2010. Traditional Chinese Medicine for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. [online] [Accessed 1 April 2022]
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