Happy Monday everyone! Today’s Strala Yoga Blog post is about – you guessed it – that sleepy feeling you get after eating a heavy and thoroughly satisfying meal.
Like my last post on starting your day with a smile, today’s post comes from another recent question I received from a co-worker. She suggested I look into what puts us into a “food coma” after having a big meal (Thanksgiving, Chipotle burrito…) and why it happens. You know the feeling, eyes start to get droopy, mellowness and the feeling of full (pun intended) satisfaction kicks in and all you want to do is undo the top button of your pants, put your feet up and take a little snoooooozzzzzzzze. I wasn’t entirely sure, so I researched a bit. If, like my co-worker and myself, you are interested in why sleepiness sometimes occurs after a meal, here are some factors that might be contributing to your involuntary nap time.
So I’m going to get a little “scientific” up in here as to why sleepiness after a meal occurs. Some say that Postprandial Somnolence (the technical term for food coma) is caused by blood flow that rushes around the stomach and small intestine after a big meal, leaving less oxygen in the brain therefore making you sleepy. Though, this is really not the case. A food coma is brought on by stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS). The parasympathetic nervous system regulates all involuntary organ function, in this case digestion, and occurs when the body is at rest to facilitate proper digestion, which is how all meals should be taken. When you eat a meal that is larger than your body is used to, the PSNS effect increases. This uses up a lot of energy resulting you feeling tired. After all, digestion in itself uses up about 10% of the calories ingested per day. Your body is involuntarily working hard to breakdown and absorb the heavy meal you just ate.
For some tips on avoiding a food coma or how to work through one, check out the rest of the post on the Strala Blog.
I hope you all had a great, relaxing weekend. Love!!! 🙂