One reason is that the body expends a lot of energy by digesting a large meal. Digestion requires the body to work harder, which can cause fatigue. Additionally, certain foods can have a sedative effect on the body. Foods that are high in tryptophan, a protein found in turkey, can cause the body to produce serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate sleep.
Another reason for post-meal sleepiness is food’s effect on blood sugar levels. When we eat, our blood sugar levels increase. In response, the body releases insulin to help regulate blood sugar levels. However, this can also cause a drop in blood sugar levels, which can lead to feelings of fatigue.
Finally, alcohol is often consumed in “large” quantities during the Christmas season, and it can also contribute to feelings of sleepiness. Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which can slow down brain activity and cause drowsiness.
So if you feel extra tired after a big Christmas dinner, it could be due to a combination of these factors.
Don’t worry, though – a little post-meal snooze can be a perfectly normal and enjoyable way to spend a relaxing holiday afternoon. Just get up and move around a bit to avoid feeling too sluggish.