Sleeping After Breakfast: Why do you Feel tired after eating?

beautiful breakfast on a plate

The first thing my 85-year old grandparents always do immediately after breakfast is to take a nap. I thought it was something that only happened to senior citizens until I noticed that a similar habit in my college roommate.

There could be multiple underlying reasons why you may feel the need to take a nap after breakfast. It can be a side effect of a disease or infection. Many poor lifestyle choices could also result in that. Shall we take a look at a couple of possible explanations for your sleepiness after eating in the morning?

10 Reasons Why You May Be Dozing Off Immediately After Breakfast

1. Overeating

If you’re overloading your plate with big portions of food during breakfast, that could be why you always feel the need to sleep after. Note that the digestive processes kick in immediately after you finish eating.

But big food portions make digestion more complicated. This takes a heavy toll on your body and leads to fatigue.

Also, the arrival of food in the stomach stimulates the brain to promote melatonin, a hormone that causes sleepiness after a meal. The higher the amount of food consumed, the higher the amount of melatonin the brain produces.

And of course, a higher probability of feeling the need to snooze after eating.

2. Too Many Carbs

pasta on a plate

Carbs are a good source of energy. Eating as much as possible should boost your energy levels and make you more active right? Well, not exactly.

The digestive system responds according to the composition of your food. Eating excessive amounts of carbs can be too demanding for your body. It forces the heart to divert more than usual amounts of blood to the digestive system. This can starve the brain of vital nutrients and resources.

Besides, eating too many carbs probably means you neglect other healthy nutrients. The result is a weaker body that falls asleep with ease.

3. Allergic Meals

The body always responds to what you eat whether good or bad. It reacts negatively whenever you consume anything bad for your health. This response does not only impact negatively on your digestive organs but the entire body as well.

Eating foods you’re allergic to can cause a lot of strain on the digestive organs. The brain reacts to this by making those organs the main recipient of the body’s critical resources. Since other parts of the body receive fewer blood nutrients than they’re used to, you start dozing off from the exhaustion.

But how do you know which foods to stay clear of to prevent allergies? The first step is to pay attention to your body. If you feel sleepy every time you eat certain foods, that could be a sign that they are not good for you.

The next step is to speak to your doctor about your concerns over those foods. He or she will likely order a test to confirm your tolerance levels to each food in question.

4. Sugary Breakfast

Sugary foods are more common at breakfast than in any other period. However, if your meal contains too much sugar then you could end up feeling sleepy even before the day starts.

Many of us are used to sweetening certain meals. But excessive sugar can cause a rapid rise and fall in your blood sugar levels. Popularly called an energy crash, it can make you feel so weak that staying awake becomes a battle.

Sweetening your breakfast cereals with honey instead of sugar is a great tip. Also, avoid consuming late-night snacks which are sugary as they can make you toss and turn all night and feel weaker in the morning.

5. Vegetarian Meals 

400 million people follow a vegetarian diet across the globe. While the majority shun meat products due to religious influences, others do it for the proven health benefits associated with the diet. But, skipping meat products can cause Vitamin B12 deficiency.

Unfortunately, there are no sources of Vitamin B12 in plants. Consuming meat or some form of meat product is the only way to supply this important food nutrient to the body.

A lack of Vitamin B12 inhibits the optimal functioning of the brain and the nervous system. This can lead to anxiety, depression, and ultimately, fatigue.

If you’re a vegetarian consistently experiencing immediate sleepiness after your meal in the morning, you should test for Vitamin B12 deficiency.

6. Exhaustive Morning Sex

Morning sex is one of the best ways to start your day. It can relax your brain and put you in a great mood.

However, the brain releases Serotonin during sex. Known as the happiness hormone, Serotonin can make you feel sleepy and that explains why the majority of us sleep better after getting bedtime sex.

The combination of serotonin and food can supercharge your sleepiness. Eating foods rich in amino acids such as fish, meat, and almonds also stimulate even more serotonin production.

Additionally, the physical demands of sex can cause fatigue. If you’re fond of exhaustive frequent morning sex, it could explain why you doze off soon after breakfast. We recommend switching to morning quickies to reduce the exhaustion.

7. Hangover

man hangover after drinking

If you’ve ever had a little too much to drink, you probably have a couple of hangover tales to share. The effects of a hangover include sleep disruption and the resulting fatigue in the morning. Thus, your body wakes up with a mission to offset the lost sleep from the previous night.

The headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and other hangover signs also make you feel sleepy. As soon as you eat something, it adds up to all the other factors to induce sleepiness. This is why many of us only go binge drinking during weekends when we’ve got the next day off work.

8. Sedentary Lifestyle

Undertaking regular exercise is one of the best ways to increase your stamina. It can boost your energy levels and make it harder to tire.

Living a sedentary lifestyle can weaken your body to the point where the least amount of pressure makes you tired and sleepy. This is probably the reason why many senior citizens spend a lot of time in bed.

Unfortunately, the energy levels required for digestion can be hard on your body when your stamina is low. This makes sleepiness in the morning inevitable even after a good night’s rest.

9. Sleep Deprivation

Few things have as much soothing effect on the body as a long and rejuvenating shut-eye after a hard day. Sadly, there are times when therapeutic sleep becomes impossible and that robs you of the chance to get the necessary rest.

This can cause sleepiness in the morning, especially once you’ve had something to eat.

Also, the body studies your sleeping patterns and finds the best ways to work around it. If you usually get 7 hours of deep sleep every night then that is what your brain would expect. Anything less, and the brain starts looking for ways to make up for the sleep deficit. 

Thus, if you’re dozing off immediately after breakfast, chances are you did not get enough sleep the previous night.

We recommend the article we wrote on how to sleeping less and be more productive at work or in school.

 10. Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of poor sleep. High blood sugar is a common symptom of diabetes and since it prevents you from good rest, you’re more likely to doze off after eating in the morning.

Besides, a third of Diabetics suffer from Sleep Apnea. This condition manifests through short-term halts in your breathing for 60-120 seconds. Those temporary stops can lead to sleep loss and tiredness in the morning.
Once you get something to eat, dozing off becomes the next natural step.

21 Tips To Stay Awake After Breakfast

Tired of your body moving into Snooze Mode a couple of minutes after breakfast? Here are the top 21 ways to buck that trend and stay awake after breakfast.

  1. Eat healthy portions: There’s a fine line between eating too much and too little. For maximum energy, try to strike a balance in terms of food portions so your body receives the right amount of nutrients.
  2. Take a walk: An immediate walk after breakfast can help you stay awake no matter how tired you may be. Just get up on your feet if all your attempts to stay awake isn’t working.
  3. Cut down on the Carbs: Excessive amounts of carbs is one of the leading causes of daytime sleep. Trying to get a good mix of all the right nutrients can ensure many positive results including the ability to stay awake.
  4. Ditch the sugar: Consuming too much sugar can be bad for your health. Doctors recommend reducing the quantities you eat or alternatives such as honey.
  5. Workout: Regular workouts can boost your energy levels, enhance sleep, and protect you from feeling the need to take a nap after breakfast. Just be sure not to over exhaust yourself especially as a beginner.
  6. Take time off work: Too much stress can build up fatigue levels and increase the probability of seeking a nap after breakfast. Some time off to rest should allow you to return energized.
  7. Cut down on the alcohol:  It is time to quit or at least cut down on the alcohol. This should promote better sleep and a higher chance of staying awake after breakfast.
  8. Take a Vitamin B12 test: Knowing whether your body has healthy levels of Vitamin B12 can help you eat the right combination of meals. This can improve your energy levels significantly.
  9. Get tested for Sleep Apnea: Sleep Apnea can be a barrier to good sleep at night. Getting tested for the condition is the first step towards treatment. After all, you deserve as much sleep as you can get.
  10. Seek Treatment for Diabetes: The right diabetes treatments can help stabilize your blood sugar levels. This should allow better sleep so you can wake up energized and ready to go.
  11. Eat green vegetables: Green vegetables contain vitamins and other critical nutrients that promote the production of red blood cells. This prevents anemia which has been linked to low energy levels and daytime sleepiness.
  12. Take a nap after morning sex: A quick nap after morning sex can reduce the probability of feeling sleepy after breakfast. It helps level off Oxytocin and Serotonin: 2 hormones that promote sleepiness.
  13. Sleep on your left side: Lying down on your left side supercharges the quality of your sleep and skyrockets your energy levels in the morning.
  14. Avoid dark rooms: Sticking to brightly lit rooms can be effective in the quest to stay awake. This is because dark environments can trick your brain into thinking it is bedtime.
  15. Allergy test: If you suspect a bad reaction from certain foods, this test can confirm that.
  16. Stick to regular sleep routine: Sleep is essential to your health. If you’re used to 8 hours of shut-eye every night, reducing it by 1-2 hours can disturb your sleeping patterns. This increases the need for a nap right after your morning meal.
  17. Eat Early: An early breakfast allows you to control your portions and get the day off to a good start. As long as the food is healthy, you should derive lasting energy to go about the day.
  18. Quick nap during lunch break: Sleeping after breakfast can slow down your brain and reduce your productivity. A quick nap after lunch is much better as it can re-energize your brains to continue staying productive for the rest of the day.
  19. Listen to music: Listening to your favorite music or podcast after breakfast can help you stay awake. The sounds can improve your mental alertness and eliminate signs of sleepiness.
  20. Avoid mundane tasks: Boring tasks such as reading topics you have zero interest in can make you feel sleepy after breakfast. If you must read, choose something that piques your interest.
  21. Skip Breakfast: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But for some people, skipping breakfast is the only way to avoid sleeping after. If you’re one of those, eating later in the day may be the best option for you.

Is sleeping after breakfast harmful?

Sleeping immediately after eating any meal can be bad for you and breakfast is no exception. The effects can range from indigestion to sleep deprivation, and even more fatigue.

Is Feeling Sleepy After Breakfast Normal?

Dozing off after eating breakfast may not be OK for your health. But is it normal? Again, the answer is yes. Eating can put the body into rest and digest mode which makes you feel like taking a nap.

However, if this is happening more frequently especially while you’re on the move, it could be a sign of a complicated underlying reason.

Related: 21 Popular Breakfast Foods That Make You Feel Sleepy Immediately


If you always feeling sleepy after breakfast, this is your lucky day. Getting to know the current state of your health can help immensely in curbing the habit. You can achieve this by choosing healthy diets, eating healthy portions, sleeping on your left side, and regular exercise.

Lying down on your left side is one of the best ways to get a great night’s rest and stay awake in the morning. Check out the article we wrote of left-side sleeping here.

Undergoing routine tests for insights into your blood sugar levels, Sleep Apnea status, and foods you may be allergic to can also help you stay awake after breakfast.

With this information in mind, you should have no problems making the necessary lifestyle changes to improve your ability to get a good night’s rest. Sleeping after breakfast could finally be a thing of the past.

Gabriel Smith

Hello, my name is Gabriel and I LOVE to sleep. Okay, you’re right, a lot of people do like sleep. But my passion is actually not sleeping. My interest lies in the “theoretical part”. What to do before bedtime. What a good night’s sleep is. etc. In short, how to sleep well. I hope you share the same interest as me, and enjoy reading everything about sleep.

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