Sleepiness at work might be a mild symptom of Adrenal Fatigue

Sleepy After Breakfast? 20 Things You Can Do To Stop It

After a long night’s sleep, we all wake up expecting to be energetic and productive. However, for some people, the moment breakfast is over, fatigue takes over. So, why do I feel sleepy after breakfast? You might be wondering especially if you’re one of those people struggling with this challenge on a day to day basis.

And as our research has uncovered, there are quite a few reasons why you might be facing that situation. The 20 things you can do about are covered right after these 8 reasons.

Reason 1: Your Breakfast Is Too Sugary

Who doesn’t love a scrumptious breakfast? But pumping too much sugar into your system by eating sugary stuff can significantly contribute to early morning sleepiness.

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One thing that happens when you indulge on a sugary meal is that your blood sugar level rises sharply and then drops at the same rate leading to what experts refer to as an energy crash.

Breakfast cereals, juices, canned fruits, and even spaghetti sauce are notorious for this. And besides your breakfast, you might want to reduce the sugar levels in your after-dinner dessert.

As it turns out, digging into that bowl of ice cream before going to bed can affect the quality of your sleep. And even if you don’t wake up fully in the middle of the night, this can reduce your chances of getting a deep sleep which can further make you feel exhausted on the next morning.

Related: Best Reddit Nootropic for Quality Sleep Reviewed

Reason 2: Sleepy After Breakfast? You’re Eating Too Many Carbs

Even though carbs are an important part of your energy source, they can actually reduce your energy levels. Here’s how.

A heavy meal of carbs puts a great strain on your digestive system. Usually, this requires more blood to be pumped to your digestive system. This can lead to the brain being deprived of the essential nutrients.

With that said, it’s important to ensure that your breakfast meal is made up of a balanced diet. Avoid the temptation to overeat the carbs because even though they’re a source of energy, too much of them can easily lead to residual grogginess.

Reason 3: You’re Allergic to some of the Food You Eat

Food intolerance and allergic reactions have the potential to put a greater strain on your digestive system. This, unfortunately, puts a strain on your entire body system.

Normally, the body responds by redirecting more, oxygen-rich blood to the body organs facing the strain. Of course, that means less blood for your brain, the eyes, legs, hands and so forth.

Therefore, you’re likely to feel extremely drowsy or as if you’re drugged after taking certain foods that you might be allergic to.

If you have a blood sugar level tester at home, you’re likely to notice that your levels will remain pretty normal despite the drowsiness. This confirms that blood sugar isn’t the culprit and, therefore, makes it necessary for you to have a doctor conduct a food intolerance test for you.

There quite a few kinds of food types most people are intolerant to yet they may not even know it. Some of these include:

  • Broccoli
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Amaranth

To name but a few.

Reason 4: Your Body Is Producing a “Feel Good Hormone”

Serotonin is one of the three popular happiness hormones (the other two being dopamine and endorphins). But how come a hormone that’s supposed to make you feel rejuvenated ends up making you sleepy after breakfast?

To understand how this happens, it’s important to note that, serotonin is mainly found in three parts of the body. These are the brain, digestive tract lining, and blood platelets. Also, the hormone is mainly found in foods rich in an amino acid commonly known as tryptophan.

Some examples of food rich in this amino acid include:



Dried Cod


Cottage cheese




Red meat





When you eat anything that has too much of tryptophan, an article from the Columbia University reports, you’re likely to have more serotonin within the body.

And unfortunately, this can lead to a feeling of satisfaction. In fact, experts agree that serotonin can promote relaxation and also promote sleep.

This can happen especially if you barely get more than 8 hours of sleep or if you can’t remember the last day you took a vacation from your job.

Reason 5: You’re Eating A Bit Too Much

When your tummy is too full, it’s easy to get sleepy. That’s because your body needs lots of energy to break down the food.

What’s more? The food can also increase the levels of melatonin in the brain which plays a huge role in post-meal drowsiness.

But don’t blame yourself for it. In fact, research shows that it takes an average of 20 minutes for the brain to alert your stomach that you’re getting full. Therefore, it’s all too easy to eat until you exceed the desired point of fullness.

Worth keeping in mind is that the minute you overeat, your stomach also tends to expand beyond its normal capacity.
And believe it or not, this can push some of your internal organs leading you feeling uncomfortable. Discomfort can cause sluggishness or drowsiness.

On top of that, your stomach might end up producing too much gas which, once again, would make you grossly uncomfortable.

At the same time, research is still ongoing to draw the link between drowsiness after eating breakfast and the metabolic action. It is thought that when you eat a little more than the body needs, your metabolism speeds up as the body tries to make use of the extra calories.

And for that reason, it’s quite normal to become sweaty, abnormally hot or even dizzy.

Reason 6: You’re facing a Candida Overgrowth

The sixth reason why you feel sleepy after taking breakfast is that you might be having a candida overgrowth. Wait, what is candida? Well, this is actually a type of yeast that’s naturally found in the human body.

It’s, however, found in small amounts and hardly causes problems.

However, in some cases, Candida might grow uncontrollably leading to an infection commonly known as candidiasis. Unfortunately, candida overgrowth is associated with nutritional deficiencies. For instance, it causes poor absorption of:

Vitamin B6

Fatty acids


A lack of magnesium can cause fatigue. One quick thing you need to note is that scientists believe that the weakness attributed to magnesium deficiency comes from the loss of potassium in muscle cells.

So, if you’ve been feeling fatigued despite your blood sugar level being normal, eating healthy and doing everything it takes to live a healthy life, you might want to have a doctor carry out a few tests.

These would help determine whether or not you’re having too much candida and also, whether or not you need some antibiotics for it.

Reason 7: You’re A Vegetarian

The vegetarian diet is probably one of the healthiest there is in the world. Unfortunately, if you stick to this lifestyle for too long, you might end up depriving your body of an important vitamin known as Vitamin B12.

One thing to keep in mind is that this vitamin is only found in animal-based food items. Unfortunately, there’s no plant in the world that makes it.

Indeed, this water-soluble vitamin is required for the nervous system and the brain to function properly. Some of the earliest symptoms of its deficiency include:





And, therefore, if you’ve been feeling abnormally tired even after taking your morning meal and you’re a vegetarian (or vegan for that matter), you might want to have your doctor examine you. Past studies have observed symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency in more than 60 percent of vegetarians.

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20 Things to Stop Feeling Sleepy In the Morning Hours

(1) Make sure you’re getting enough rest

(2) Be drinking lots of water

(3) Consider taking a wakefulness nootropic (Read: Best nootropics review)

(4) Reduce your meal portions (but don’t starve yourself)

(5) Reduce the amounts of carbs you take per meal

(6) Load up on fruits and veggies if you aren’t doing that already

(7) Avoid taking sugary juice in the morning

(8) Reduce your dessert, ice-cream treats

(9) Start working out, but don’t overdo it

(10) Get tested for vitamin B12 deficiency

(11) Get tested for the coeliac disease

(12) Consider taking a vacation to rest and break the monotony

(13) Get your Dr. to conduct a candida overgrowth test

(14) You can also have a food allergy or intolerance test done

(15) Go slow on food containing tryptophan (see list above)

(16) Do more of the stuff that makes you happy

(17) Listen to your favorite music

(18) Avoid taking alcoholic beverages along with your meals

(19) Take a nap after the midday meal

(20) Go to a room full of bright light (bright-light therapy)

Final Thoughts

Although it’s normal to feel sleepy after having a meal, feeling so after taking your breakfast can be quite worrying. If you’ve been facing this challenge lately, we’d recommend putting any of the 20 recommended solutions above to use.

In most cases, an investment in wakefulness promoting supplement should get the problem solved. Take a look at some examples here.

Most importantly, don’t compromise, if you notice that this is becoming too much of a bother, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about it.

James Kerry

James is a skilled scientific researcher & fitness enthusiast with 10 years of extensive research in the use of nootropics, herbs & earth-grown products. He holds a Bsc in Public Health. Medically Reviewed by Dr. Dawn Clifford, MS, RD

1 Comment
  1. Justin

    Good article! But the sting on vegetarians and vegans is unnecessary. While b12 is very very important it is in fact made by bacteria, not animals. So while non animal sources of b12 are limited (water filtration and sterilization, vegetable washing, ect.) there is no reason to suggest that vegans and vegetarians are the only ones at risk of deficiency. 40% of meat eating Americans are deficient in b12. So it’s safe to say matter what your diet is, everyone should supplement b12. Besides, nearly all the b12 found in animal flesh came from supplements anyways. Might as well just skip the middleman and take a far more bio-avaliable cyanocobalamin b12 supplement.

    Reply January 14, 2021 at 11:04 pm

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