Friday April 10, 2020

Do You Feel Sleepy Post-Lunch? Well, Take a Look at the Possible Reasons!

Feeling sleepy after lunch. Wish to take a nap. Heavy lunch makes you feel lethargic.

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Post lunch siesta in office hours . Pixabay.

New Delhi, August 22, 2017: Have you ever wondered that from the total office hours, why is it only post-lunch that you feel like slugging away? What could possibly be the reason behind these post-lunch slumps?

Most of the people tend to grab a bite from outside eateries. They eat anything that they feel like such as pasta, bread, burger etc., without even giving a thought to what kind of food they are in-taking. Is it high in protein, carbohydrate or fat? This thought never comes to their mind.

The main reason behind this drowsiness is not the lunch but what we consume in the lunch. It is basically due to the chemical changes in the body during the digestion process that you feel sleepiness.

After the meal, our body generates insulin to regulate blood-sugar levels. The amount of insulin released primarily depends on two main factors. First, the type of meal i.e, whether it is rich in protein, carbs or fat. The other factor is the size of the meal.

Heavy lunch in the office hours. Pixabay

If we have a large meal, then the amount of insulin released will be more and vice-versa. With the secretion of insulin, our body also produces Serotonin and Melatonin. Similar is the case with the protein-rich diet. The protein contains Tryptophan amino acids, which is used by the body to produce Serotonin.

Serotonin and Melatonin are basically neurotransmitters that have a calming effect and help regulate sleep. When they get metabolized in the brain, they induce drowsiness.

Moreover, the body streams more blood to the digestive system to digest food. If you opt for a heavy lunch, then post-lunch, your body would stream more blood to the digestive system. And for that period of time, most of your body’s energy would be used by your digestive system and not by your brain. This makes you feel lazy and forces you to go for a siesta.

So, do not opt for heavy lunch. Instead, have a heavy breakfast so as to set good energy level for the day and then eat small meals throughout the day. This is the way to adios to the post-lunch sleepiness.

prepared by a Shivani Chowdhary of NewsGram. Twitter @cshivani31

Next Story

Role of Sleep and Melatonin in Enhancing Your Beauty

Sleep: The most underrated antioxidant

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Maintaining good sleep hygiene and a good sleep quality has many advantages. The sleep wake cycle governs two hormones- Cortisol and Melatonin." Pixabay

Have you ever wondered what is the importance of day and night, what is the role of sleep, how do we set a good circadian rhythm? Well all this revolves around the hormone melatonin!

Setting up the circadian rhythm helps in production of good amounts of melatonin hormone. Melatonin does help in reducing the pigmentation, anti-ageing and also reduces hair fall so on and so forth.

Dr. Pallavi Sule, Dermatologist and Aesthetic Physician, starts by first explaining the meaning of Melatonin: “Melatonin is a hormone primarily secreted by the pineal gland which is known to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Usually it is consumed in the form of tablets to help people in jet lag, shift works by regulating the circadian cycle as a short term treatment for trouble in sleeping”.

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She explains:

How does melatonin get secreted?

sleep melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone primarily secreted by the pineal gland which is known to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Pixabay

The pineal gland is sensitive to light. When it is dark the body secretes more melatonin and prepares the body to sleep and when it is day/ light (artificial lights) the production of the hormone decreases. Low levels of the hormone give brain signals to stay awake.

So what’s new about this hormone and why is it studied in more detail than before?

Sule said: “The hormone is also known for its antioxidant benefits!! We all are living in a very stressful environment, be it the external or internal stressors like pollution, food consumed (adulteration), solar radiation, sleep patterns, work environments and so forth!! Any kind of stress releases free oxygen radicals in the body, which damages our DNA, causing degenerative diseases and autoimmune diseases. Oxidative damage also leads to aging and hair fall which we know is one of the major causes.The hormone serves as a potent antioxidant, presumptive anti aging substance and anti cancer agent.”

Let’s understand how sleeping according to the body clock helps our body in general health and well being!

sleep melatonin
When it is dark the body secretes more melatonin and prepares the body to sleep and when it is day/ light (artificial lights) the production of melatonin decreases. Pixabay

Sule further elaborates on this imperative subject adding, “Maintaining good sleep hygiene and a good sleep quality has many advantages. The sleep wake cycle governs two hormones- Cortisol and Melatonin.”

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Release of Human Growth Hormone: Experts estimate that 75 per cent of this hormone is released during sleep. It is released in the Stage 3 of sleep cycle which is usually 1-1.5 hrs after one falls asleep. Sleep deprivation or altered cycles affects the release of this hormone. In children it will affect the growth and health.

Sleep and its relation with Liver: There is a great relationship between sleep cycles and liver functions. Scientific studies suggest that most patients with advanced liver diseases have disturbed sleep patterns. The liver has its own clock for detoxification and regulation of hormones. Disturbed sleep results in raised cortisol levels (stress levels) and vice versa. This hampers the regulation of hormones by the liver. Here, now the liver is overworked and cortisol levels in the body are high during daytime. This circulating cortisol hampers the liver’s regulations of melatonin and so the melatonin hormone levels are also high during daytime. Resulting in day time fatigue and drowsiness, and night time alertness.

Also Read- Stressed Due to Lockdown? Heartfulness can Help you Out

Lastly, how can we increase melatonin levels?

“Many formulations are available in the market in the form of tablets and gels for topical application. But we must not forget the most important factor in production of the right amount of melatonin hormone in the body is sleep.” (IANS)