Are you sleepy after a meal? Now if you had a massive fatty meal or lots of meat and double desert after then it is normal to feel a bit tired and sleepy as your body is working hard to digest all the food you just ate.

However if you are extremely sleepy after a normal meal then it means you probably have some issues. There could be many different reasons for this and I definitely urge you to do something about it as it not only affects the quality of your life but it could also lead to more serious medical conditions.

It strikes me when you see people who clearly have some medical issues and yet they shrug them off as if it is not their concern. It is your life and your body and you have to take care of it. If you don’t feel 100% try to find a reason what is not optimal and what could be the reason for it. If you neglect clear signals from your body for many many years small issues might turn out into serious medical conditions.

Feeling sleepy and tired after eating lunch

Going back to the topic of this article, as already mentioned there could be several different reasons for feeling extremely tired after lunch. First you have to figure out for yourself if it is immediately after you have eaten or about 30-60 min after your meal.

If it is immediately then it is a different issue, there is a chance that you have low digestive enzymes issue or weak stomach acid.

Now if you are sleepy 30-60 min after lunch than it could be that the reason is  hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is medical term that describes that your blood sugar drops below normal range.

When this happens you start feeling tired, dizzy or shaky.

Here is a quick quiz for you, if you answer yes to majority of this questions then it is highly likely that you have hypoglycemia. Sometimes hypoglycemia occurs after meals because the body produces more insulin than is needed.

This type of hypoglycemia, called reactive or postprandial hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia vs reactive or postprandial hypoglycemia

Difference between hypoglycemia and reactive or postprandial hypoglycemia is that reactive hypoglycemia  occurs after a meal, usually within 4 hours after. It is the same thing, only the trigger in this case is the meal you had. One probable reason for this could be insulin resistance when your body has to produce higher amounts of insulin which results in sudden drop of glucose levels in blood stream.

food cravings

Symptoms of hypoglycemia:

  • Sleepy after meals?
  • Abnormal craving for sweets?
  • Chronic fatigue?
  • Can’t start in morning before coffee?
  • Crave candy or coffee in afternoons?
  • Afternoon headaches?
  • An irregular heart rhythm
  • Weakness, dizziness?
  • Allergies (tendency to asthma, hay fever, skin rash, etc.)
  • Awaken after a few hours sleep/difficulty getting back to sleep?
  • Aware of breathing heavily?
  • Bad dreams?
  • Blurred vision?
  • Brown spots or bronzing of skin?
  • “Butterfly stomach,” cramps?
  • Can’t work under pressure?
  • Chronic nervous exhaustion?
  • Can’t make decisions easily?
  • Convulsions?
  • Cry easily for no apparent reason?
  • Feel faint if meal is delayed?
  • Fatigue relieved by eating?
  • Depressed?
  • Dizziness, giddiness or light-headedness?
  • Get hungry or feel faint unless eat frequently?
  • Eat when nervous?
  • Get “shaky” if hungry?
  • Hand tremor (or trembles)?
  • Inward trembling, feels better after meals?
  • Irritable before meals?
  • Lack of energy?
  • Heart palpitates (beats fast) if meals missed or delayed?
  • Highly emotional?
  • Nibble between meals because of hunger?
  • Insomnia?
  • Moods of depression, “blues” or melancholy?
  • Poor memory or ability to concentrate?
  • Reduced initiative?
  • Sleepy during the day?
  • Worrier, feel insecure?

Now even if you answered yes to half of this symptoms chances are pretty good that you have hypoglycemia and I would advise you to see an expert.

Also, just FYI, sometimes hypoglycemia can be a precursor to Type 2 diabetes. So this is not just a small inconvenience as it can lead to some serious health issues.

What to do if I have hypoglycemia

One of the first things you should do is consult your doctor and he will examine you as an expert.

What I would do is that I would start testing what triggers drastic drop in your blood sugar. Start by eating a smaller meal and skipping a desert. If you have any alcohol I would definitely avoid it.

I would also try and eat a meal with less carbohydrates and more fibre. This lowers the Glycemic Index (GI) which results in slower release of glucose into your bloodstream and effectively decreases the crash afterwards.

If you regularly drink coffee on an empty stomach I would urge you to stop this habit immediately. I had many digestive problems myself when I was drinking coffee on an empty stomach.

Foods that should be avoided:

  • Too much caffeine or alcohol
  • Highly processed food (if you can’t tell what it’s made from than it’s highly processed)
  • Lots of added sugar
  • Fast food and fried foods
  • Sweetened drinks
  • Refined grains
  • Big meals of white pasta or rice without anything with some fibre in it

To summarise

Hypoglycemia is a condition identified by abnormally low blood sugar (blood glucose) levels.

Common symptoms of hypoglycemia include hunger pains, dizziness, shakiness, irritability and fatigue.

Some of the causes of hypoglycemia might include cutting calories, skipping meals, a poor diet, nutrient deficiencies and not eating after exercising, but there are also other factors.

Severe hypoglycemia symptoms affect people with diabetes who are taking medications more often and are sometimes referred to as insulin reaction or insulin shock.

Some of the natural treatments for hypoglycemia symptoms include eating on a regular basis every few hours, consuming a healthy balanced diet, refuelling after exercise and being careful about medications that could interfere with blood sugar regulation.


I am happy father of two and a health and fitness enthusiast.

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