Sleep provides adequate rest to the body and energizes and refreshes the body. However, sleeping in the afternoon after lunch has more ill effects than benefits.
Sleeping in the afternoon can interfere with normal metabolism of the body and can lead to weight gain. Though most of us are aware of the ill-effects of sleeping after lunch, majority of us are unable to resists the urge and resort to a quick nap after lunch.
Is it Good to Sleep in Afternoon After Lunch?
Sleeping in the afternoon is not at all good for the health. It causes a lot of ill effects in the body such as:
Weight Gain: Sleeping in the afternoon right after lunch burns lesser calorie and leads to fat deposit. It is advised to give at least 1 to 2 hours of gap between the lunch and afternoon nap. This provides adequate time for the food to burn, and thus lesser possibility to be deposited as fat. Studies have shown that sleeping after a meal is a common cause for obesity.
Heart Burn as an Ill Effect of Sleeping in Afternoon After Lunch: Sleeping after a meal trigger acid production and thus increases the chances of developing acid reflux and heart burn. This is because, the amount of acid in the stomach increases after eating. If we lie down immediately, the acid can travel backward into the oesophagus up to the throat and mouth. This causes irritation and discomfort in the mouth with a burning sensation in the chest area.
Grogginess: Sleeping in the afternoon can cause grogginess and sluggishness. This can affect the productivity and affect the overall mood of the person. The person may feel irritated and extremely moody.
Affects the Quality of Sleep at Night: Sleeping during the day can cause difficulty with falling asleep at night. It can worsen conditions such as insomnia, depression and other psychological issues. Sleeping late at night can, in turn, cause difficulty waking up early the next day.
What are the Causes of Feeling Sleepy in the Afternoon after Lunch?
The causes behind feeling sleepy in the afternoon just after lunch are:
Energy Production as a Reason behind Feeling Sleepy in the Afternoon: The body tends to break down the food after a meal for energy production. This can trigger all kinds of responses in the body including feeling sleepy.
Rise in Insulin Level: It has been noted that the insulin level rise after a meal which triggers the production of ‘happy and sleepy’ hormones.
Over Eating: Over eating often leads to excessive food consumption which needs more energy to break them down. All the energy is directed towards the digestive system, making the person feel sleepy and sluggish.
Ways to Avoid Sleeping in the Afternoon After Lunch
Do Not Skip Breakfast: Having a good breakfast sets the energy standard for the body, making it easier to digest lunch without feeling sleepy.
Having Smaller and Frequent Meals throughout the Day: Bigger meals require more energy to digest which makes the person feel sleepy and out of energy. Smaller meals throughout the day can help in counteracting this issue.
A Balanced Diet: Replacing processed food with fresh vegetables and fruits or other healthier option can help in staying alert and energized. It is advised to avoid carbohydrate and sugary items, to avoid increase in insulin level.
Staying Active to Avoid Sleep in the Afternoon: A brisk walk after lunch can help in staying awake and energized. It also aids in digestion and better absorption of the nutrients.
Consult a Doctor: If the condition feels severe and starts affecting normal functioning and daily activities of the individual, it is advised to consult a doctor for further evaluation and management.
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