Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Narcolepsy, post-meal sleepiness, and what to eat to stay alert

image

For years, I’ve struggled with a strange problem: eating in the morning makes me really tired.  Tired as in I might just have to go back to sleep tired.

Version 1 goes like this: I wake up after my eight or so hours of sleep feeling okay but not as refreshed as a “normal” person.  I drag myself out of bed, take my medicine and am awake and ready to start the day. 

I eat something, ANYTHING, and WHAM, maybe 10 or 20 minutes later I AM IRRESTIBLY TIRED.  I do my best to resist the sudden (and continuing) urge to return to bed, but I often lose the battle and go back to bed.

(Just to clarify, because if you tell someone about this they often will go on to ask: yes, ANYTHING includes a healthy breakfast like oatmeal with nuts.  It also includes the “low carb” breakfast.)

Version 2 is a bit better, but still not great: I wake up and get ready but leave without eating anything.  I eat breakfast or something wherever I am, and sometimes I feel about the same afterwards or only slightly tired.  (For some reason, I sometimes can eat and be okay when I eat somewhere other than at home.) 

However, other times I will feel very tired and if I’m in a situation where I am unable to take a short nap, I might struggle to stay awake, kind of half asleep and half awake.  (I suspect that this second situation generally happens when I eat and then do a non-stimulating and sedentary activity, such listening to a lecture in school).

For years this half asleep, half awake version used to happen to me in 1st period classes, regardless of how much I used to struggle, and I never knew what was going on.

Unfortunately, my problem was so strange that it took me over 10 years to figure out that I even had it.  I just never quite made the definite connection between the food and the sleepiness. 

I suppose I must have thought I just had a problem with wanting to sleep shortly after getting up…

It was only in my last years of college that I finally realized what was going on.  But I never understood why this happened to me – or how to stop it (other than skipping breakfast, which is hard when you wake up hungry).

Five or so years later, I still don’t understand it completely, but a few days ago I found an explanation while doing Internet research for this article.   

It turns out, my experience is a documented medical phenomenon (!) – not for Narcoleptics – but for people in general.

I suspect that I may just be more sensitive to it than your average person because of Narcolepsy, although I still don’t understand why this happens to me in the morning.

My experience is called Postprandial somnolence, which is a fancy term for a state of drowsiness or fatigue following a meal.   

Basically, postprandial somnolence has two components, both of which causes one to feel sleepy after a meal.  First, there is a general state of low energy and a desire to be at rest related to the activation of one part of the nervous system (and decrease in activity of another part) in response to the arrival of food in the stomach and small intestine. 

And second, there is the sleepiness “caused by hormonal and neurochemical changes related to the rate at which glucose enters the bloodstream and its downstream effects on amino acid transport in the central nervous system.”  As Wikipedia explains, when you eat foods with a high Glycemic index, this ultimately results in increased brain serotonin and melatonin levels, which makes you feel sleepy.

What can you do if you want to stay awake but don’t want to starve yourself all day?  Well, some of the research I found was a bit conflicted, but I’ll share with you what seemed to me the best answer.

Apparently, what is important when it comes to staying awake after a meal is not how much you eat but what you eat.  Although eating almost anything can cause this sleepiness, the worst things to eat are simple carbs, food high in tryptophan, and high fat foods. 

The nutritionist in the video above suggested eating foods high in tyrosine when you need to stay alert, with her ideal meal being a low to moderate amount of lean protein, a half cup of veggies, and a half cup of rice (to give some carbs to “keep the brain happy”).

image

I also read a few places that supposedly staying active after eating (as opposed to lounging on the couch) and drinking water can help to prevent this sleepiness, although there seems to be a lot of conflicting advice surrounding how to deal with this (for instance, some people say it matters how much you eat, others say the opposite).

Perhaps the staying active advice explains why sometimes I do okay when I do something stimulating immediately after eating.

Here are two excerpts from another source that had good advice:

“Two factors influence whether the brain perks up or slows down following a meal: the ratio of protein to carbohydrate, and the ratio of the amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine. High protein, low carbohydrate, high tyrosine foods that are likely to jumpstart the brain are seafood, soy, meat, eggs, and dairy. High carbohydrate, low protein, high tryptophan foods that are likely to relax the brain include: chocolate, pastries and desserts, bean burritos, nuts and seeds (e.g., almonds, filberts, sunflower and sesame seeds), and legumes.”

“Brain performance following a meal is also affected by the carbohydrates consumed with the protein. Carbohydrates stimulate the release of insulin, which helps more tryptophan to enter the brain where it makes more serotonin. The more simple sugars in the meal, the more serotonin is produced, and the more the brain is sedated. Complex carbohydrates - slower insulin-release sugars - on the other hand, will cause less drastic serotonin production. … So, to perk up the brain, eat a meal that is:

  • High in tyrosine-containing proteins.
  • Moderate in the amount of sugars, containing mainly complex carbohydrates.“

Although I still don’t understand why this happens to me mainly in the morning, I will have to try this advice and see if it works.  I don’t know how much of this can be attributed to Narcolepsy, but perhaps I am  just unusually sensitive to the changes in the body caused by food. 

Considering how sensitive I am to food in the morning, I think I will have to try eating food with a very low Glycemic index or high in tryosine, while at the same time staying active and drinking water.  I know I previously have tried eating a low carb breakfast without noticing any benefits, but I am going to try to reserve judgment and hope for the best.

What do you think?  Do you get post-meal sleepiness, and if so, do you find that anything helps?  I’m curious to see if this happens to many other Narcoleptics… 

61 comments:

  1. Hi Ellie,
    I came across your blog for the first time today, and wanted to thank you so much for writing about your experiences with narcolepsy.
    I think I've been narcoleptic since I was 18, but wasn't officially diagnosed until I was about 26.
    Provigil kept me in a fog of head & back aches, so I've been trying to control my symptoms in unconventional ways.
    I learned early on that stress greatly increases my difficulty with cataplexy and hypnogogic hallucinations. Once I quit teaching to stay home with my kids, those symptoms became greatly reduced.
    Last year, I came across an online reference to gluten sensitivity and narcoleptics. I decided to try a gluten-free diet six months ago. Since going gluten-free, I have been able to stay completely off the Provigil. (I can tell if I have eaten something with gluten, because I have a very sudden onset of sleepiness.) So, although I used to have post-meal sleepiness, that is not often a problem now.
    Thanks again for sharing!
    Shayne

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had the problem of falling dead asleep after every meal for years, and turned out to have Celiac disease- basically gluten really screws me up. I found out about Celiac's before being diagnosed with narcolepsy, and since going on the gluten-free diet my narcolepsy, aside from my general health, has been better. I still get drowsy after meals but it isn't nearly as bad as it was, pretty much the same as what Shayne said. I know from experience that food sensitivities can definitely make narcolepsy symptoms worse. You might keep an eye out for specific foods that make you drowsy- and maybe avoiding them in the future could help.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Food intolerance is not understood well and you may find that is the real ause of your Narcolepsy being overwhelming to need medication.

    Symptom of food intolerance ( that includes additives and chemicals ) is sleepiness. What Wolfie said about avoiding them in future is better then the elimination diet approach.

    Food combination is a factor too. One real good sign that you are intolerant to a food is your desire for it. When we eat something that our bodies is intolerant too we really get a kick out of the way our body reacts to it.

    Kind of like a drug high as our bodies stimulate the defence system to fight it. You really can get off on that. Food is for nutrition not for fun or to feel good.

    The body can retain up to 8 litres of fluid to dilute what you are eating. If it can't purge it then diluting is another way to deal with it.

    So if you are carrying lots of fluid or being overweight you are puffy or spongy rather then solid you maybe eating the wrong foods.

    Takes about 5 days to begin to free the body of intolerances and about ten to be free completely of any one problem.

    No one really can do it 100% but you can get close. Meat has so many drugs in it and it goes on with other foods. If you really want to be drug free you have to go back to how they ate before refridgeration.

    Everything or most things are treated otherwise its shelf life would be 24 hours.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi,

    Great post!

    In one of many mistaken diagnoses, a doctor told me that he thought I had "Reactive Hypoglycemia", and that basically I should avoid sugar (especially processed sugar, i.e. junk food..).

    I know exactly what you're talking about not only with the breakfast-sleepiness, but also the more general post-meal sleepiness.

    If I eat junk food in general, I'll get tired soon after. But, if I eat junk food (or a large meal) on an empty stomach - forget it! I'll be a total mess and will definitely pass out.

    Only other thing I'd add is that Narcolepsy is clearly not a perfectly understood condition, and there are many, many overlapping and correlated issues. You need to experiment with dietary changes, habitual changes, and also medical changes/dosage alterations (of course with your doctor's supervision on all 3).

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the comments about food intolerences! At the moment my diet is already pretty restricted because I am on this migraine diet thing (which doesn't allow a lot of stuff), but I will have to think about looking for intolerances. I have tried before to go gluten free for a few days and never noticed much of a difference, although i think i may have a gluten sensitivity issue, as opposed to celiac. i'm not sure.
    the comment about eating like in the old days is also a good point; so much is done to our food these days, it's amazing how many chemicals are in our food!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have this problem very, very badly -- not just with breakfast, but with food in general. I've tried all sorts of things, personally -- eating smaller amounts more frequently, experimenting with excluding certain stuff, so on. Doesn't seem to matter what or when or how much I eat, I will be on the verge of immediately passing out afterward (and sometimes with muscle weakness or twitching, too).

    To be clear, I'm not diagnosed with anything yet; might be narcolepsy, might be something else, and I'm seeing a sleep doc to look into primary sleep disorders but haven't had any test come back positive for anything yet. Still, thought I'd point out that if current thinking is correct -- that hypocretin is hugely involved in narcolepsy, especially with cataplexy -- it's worth noting that hypocretin is also called orexin, and is also involved in appetite and feeding behavior.

    Point being, sleep and eating are almost certainly chemically linked in the brain, so I'd not be surprised if narcoleptics often feel effects from food. Everybody does tend to get a little sleepy after eating anyway, but the severity is pretty incredible, in my experience.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ellie,
    You've struck a chord! I'm also a narcoleptic writer. I've had narcolepsy and cataplexy since my earliest memories. When I was young, sleep science was in its infancy. No diagnosis was possible. In fact, nobody that I knew had heard of sleep science. Besides, my disability didn't always present itself as a "sleep disorder," and to this day, I don't think of it that way.

    We lived in an area with many excellent medical facilities. Yet probably none had a sleep center. When I was 28, I finally received a diagnosis of narcolepsy and cataplexy. A second diagnosis at 40 confirmed the earlier one. After both diagnoses, doctors tried me on several medications. None of these medications worked well. Instead, all worsened my symptoms and added new problems.

    I decided to give up the snake oil and strike out on my own. Over the years, I carefully assembled a new means of coping: A diet and exercise program that removes irritations to my biorhythms. This program also shifts and regulates my bio phases. The program syncs my personal rhythms with those of the general society. I have what amounts to an artificial circadian clock.

    Many others have succeeded with similar programs. On the Web, I've found links to both anecdotal evidence and medical research. Both support what I'm doing. Because of these links, I know that I'm on the right track. Better yet, my method works!

    You've also found connections between narcolepsy and jet lag, diet, and exercise. Congratulations. For more about my system, see... www.wakeupdiet.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. OH MY GOSH! I LOVE you guys. I love hearing from other people with Narcolepsy. I've had Narcolepsy at least since my college days, at about 19 or 20. I wasn't diagnoised until I was about 27, and I'm now 31. Mostly my Excessive Daytime Sleepiness was in the afternoon (after lunch) or evenings (basically after dinner). My mom kept telling me that I needed more protein, until the sleep study proved I had a medical condition. (I'm not a vegitarian, but I'm certainly not a meat lover.)

    Anyway, just in the last 3 months or so, I've been having a terrible time in the mornings. Terrible, terrible, terrible. And an awful, awful, awful time at work in the mornings. I found if I did something a bit more physical (like filing) it seemed to help. I've tried gum, hard candy, music, coffee - but nothing seems to work. Lately I've been trying my mom's more protein advice.

    And don't get me started on weekends. If I don't have somewhere I have to be in the morning or early afternoon, my whole day is shot. I try to keep to the schedule and wake up early. But I always go back to sleep after breakfast. If I don't have anywhere to be for the whole day, then I pretty much sleep and eat all day.

    Anyway, I didn't understand why this whole morning thing is happening to me. I take my Rx an hour before I need to start moving, I usually take a shower in the morning, I try to eat healthy breakfasts.

    You guys make me feel so normal, so okay, so not a freak! (Well maybe I'm still a bit off my rocker - LOL!)

    Thanks for sharing everyone. Thanks Ellie for starting and keeping with this blog!

    Sincerely,

    Danielle
    dmstorrs2@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Danielle,
    I'm glad that you are enjoying my blog and that my article was helpful for you. Personally, if I had to be somewhere and needed to be absolutely 100% no doubt about it awake then I would not eat breakfast at all. I also find - and this is weird - but if I had to go to work it would be better for me if I didn't eat anything until after I got there. I haven't found the whole protein thing to help much - maybe better than cereal or something with carbs but it doesn't get rid of the problem. My body just seems to work differently in the morning, beyond the whole food thing. for instance, I find I don't have the energy to work out in the morning - my cataplexy acts up when I do.
    Also, if you're at work, something I used to try was sniffing a few drops of peppermint oil on a kleenex for a (very short term) alertness fix. I used to think that it helped me stay awake in class and such, but I haven't tried it in awhile.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I realize this might be a wee bit of an older post but when searching for "pass out after eating" it came up via google. I simply cannot eat anything anymore without passing out. It isn't a "oh I'm so tired", it's quite literally passing out. Most times I manage to at least make it to the sofa. If I didn't, I'd be on the floor. It doesnt seem to matter what I eat. Last night for example, I made veggie burgers/stick type things (wierd I know but they're very yummy) with a filler of rice and a little breadcrumb the other bulk of it is mashed up lima beans, ate that with tomato and avacodo using a large leaf of iceberg lettuce as a wrap. I dont even remember when I went and laid down. I woke up at 2AM. I think it was around 6-7 PM when I passed out. The only real common denominator that I have found for me at least is salt. I was naughty and used a pre-seasoned rice mix as the filler and that had salt in it. Im planning to do some reasearch myself to see if salt might be part of the problem for me. I am lactose intolerant but that hasn't ever resulted in passing out. It just makes me get all bloaty and uncomfy.

    I'm still trying to figure out what the heck my problem is. It hasn't always been this way and has certainly been aggravated and made it worse with the beginning of premenopause.

    Thanks for your post!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Deenakwennig,
    I'm sorry, I don't know what your problem could be. I assume that you are seeing a doctor/ doctors about this? It sounds like it could be serious. Just off the top of my head, it does sound like it could be food allergies or a stomach problem... or it could be something else entirely. I don't know, maybe even a blood sugar thing? Like I said, I really have no idea, but it sounds like a question to ask the doctors in addition to the internet.
    Also, I suppose you've probably already done this, but if it was me I would try a few variations of your search on the internet: for example, "fainting eating", "passing out food", food allergies exhaustion, food allergies passing out... perhaps you might find something like that.
    good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Interesting blog. I have had problems waking up and being drowsy as long as I can remember. Years ago, when I first tried the Atkins diet to lose weight, I was amazed at how my alertness level increased. Since then I have tested positive for the narcolepsy gene dbq1*0602, and have spent a good deal of time researching narcolepsy. I think it is highly likely that the carbohydrate content of a meal is what creates much of the sleepiness, and although it is hard to follow, when I can stay low carb my alertness, esp. morning alertness, is much better. You mention here on your blog that research shows orexin is blocked by insulin (or glucose, can't remember which). That's the basic mechanism right there. I used to get up on a Saturday, eat pancakes or whatever, and go right back to sleep. If I eat cookies at night, it's guaranteed I will oversleep and be late to work the next day. I have a number of linked articles at my blog- redtailblogger.blogspot.com. I also found a lady with a blog on narcolepsy, called "the kitchen table hypothesis", who arrived at many of the same conclusions I did. The comment above about veggie burgers, rice and breadcrumbs made me sleepy just reading it! Bread makes me the sleepiest, I think. I try to keep a journal of what I eat and how I feel the next day.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh My GOD!!!!

    I've been passing out after each and every meal for such a long time. Anything I eat will get me down in the next 10-20 mns.

    As I snore, I was pretty convinced that I have sleep apnoea, until the doctor told me last week that my sleeping exam results show that I have not sleep apnoea.

    Now I need to see another doctor for a narcolepsy test. I'm taking food intolerance tests as well because I couldn't understand that urge for sleeping after eating.

    I'm waiting for my food intolerance results. I think they are the key thing to look into as narcolpesy might just be a consequence of food intolerance.

    The funny thing is that my brother is suffering from exactly the same thing.....

    ReplyDelete
  14. I am amazed and comforted to know that there are others suffering from the same thing I am! I have been under the impression that I have reactive hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or maybe Celiac/Gluten intolerance, as it's worsened by breads and carbs.

    It is sheer torture trying to function when in this state of sleepiness/muscle weakness/fatigue! And people think you're nuts. My eyes want to roll back and my arms become so weak I can't even button my shirt during one of these "attacks".

    When I went on Dr. Furhman's "Eat to Live" cleanse (mostly fruit/veg/beans/limited grains)
    I noticed a major decrease in symptoms.

    For over ten years I've literally lived on smoothies and fruit/yogurt during the day because it's the only thing that doesn't make me crash or fall asleep after eating.

    I am a vegetarian, so it's hard because I can't alter my diet much (i.e., adding meat and eating less legumes, which crash me badly).

    Anyway, I'm sooo grateful to have found this site and to meet others suffering from the same thing!

    ReplyDelete
  15. OMG! I thought I was the only one. I just ate 2 slices of peperoni pizza and a can of Coke. Its been 10 mins. I just kicked my feet up on the computer table, and they felt like they weighed 300lbs each. I am noticing my neck is getting tired, time to lean back a bit more to touch the headrest. My eyes feel a bit "sticky" and I am starting to see "floaters in the eye". Brain fog is setting in. lol, Same stuff, different day. The thing is, I will be on the computer for awhile, because I doubt I even have the energy to get out of this position and plop myself on the bed. I crave, and I mean CRAVE red sauces. But thanks for the post and the info!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have no food allergies, I'm not a narcoleptic and I have no problem with gluten. Yet for the past 5 years or so I've had the problem of practically passing out after breakfast.

    It started gradually. First it happened after a large slice of watermelon. Then I had to stop eating cereals&milk in the morning. I also switched to eating "breakfast" at around 11, that REALLY helped.

    Then after a while I got pregnant and even though I was careful what I ate, the day came when I woke up at 8, ate ONE medium apple at around 8:30 and then went to bed again until 11... It was the day I knew I had a huge problem and insulin resistance had gotten me.

    The insulin resistance tests I took after switching my diet around were ok. And yet this is the only thing that helps me:
    1. eat small meals throughout the day
    2. don't eat breakfast until at least 2 hours after you wake up
    3. low glycemic index! Especially for breakfast. I usually make mushrooms with an egg.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for writing this post in your blog! It really helped me better understand what I am going through. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, narcolepsy with cataplexy a few years ago. My main struggle is staying alert during typical work hours (8am-5pm). I always need 1 or 2 short naps to make it through the day. I do worry how I will function once I finish school and get a job. I do notice that I feel drowsy usually 10-30 minutes after I eat a meal. I'm gonna take your advice and try changing my eating habits. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am overcome with sleepiness after my first meal of the day. Doesn't matter how large or small the meal is, it's still like taking a knockout drug. Same thing happened after I drank a bottle of Ensure. This never ever happened to me in my life until I had a thyroidectomy 4 years ago. Before that, for 55 years I never once got sleepy after a meal. When this sleepiness after eating first started happening, it came in spells. It would happen every day for months, and then it would suddenly disappear for months. I had no idea why. But this time around, it hasn't disappeared. It seems to a permanent problem now. I do wonder why it doesn't happen after I eat dinner. Sometimes I eat the same thing for dinner that I ate for my first meal of the day. So what's the difference? I've noticed that before I succumb to the sleep after eating, my vision gets blurred. But when I get sleepy at night before bed, I don't have blurred vision. I also usually have very vivid dreams when I sleep after my first meal of the day, and after I wake up I'm extremely fatigued for many hours. It ruins my day. What a relief to see on this blog that other people are having extreme difficulty staying awake after they eat breakfast!! I thought for sure there must be something terribly wrong with me. I just wonder why it's been happening to me for the last 4 years and never happened before that during my first 55 years.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I am not narcoleptic to my knowledge but i suffer from the same disorder as other posters on this page. I cannot eat during the day or I am overcome with fatigue and brain fog. My heart rate is usually around 60 but after eating goes to 100 or more. I can have sugary things like Coke or candy, but anything that has protein or fat in it will totally ruin my day. So I have not had breakfast or lunch in 3 years. I have to eat late at night so that I can go to bed immediately. I don't sleep well because of the tachycardia. I am on beta blockers for it but it doesn't seem to help. I am very interested in talking more to the people who also suffer from this, because i have seen every doctor in my city and they have all given up. I would really like to feel well. How do we get in touch with each other on this site? I found it by googling "postprandial somnolence" and do not have an account here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just so you know, you are not alone. I have gone the last 39 years only eating before going to bed, although I drink several cups of coffee during the day.

      The upside to all this is that I have discovered I have fantastic endurance as a result; I can walk, bike, run, etc., for hours and never hit a wall. At 51 now, I have single digit body fat and blood work as good, and even better than, most teenagers.

      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. i recently started dealing with the symptoms of the cataplexy. it started off by what i refer to as baby head. i would laugh or cough and my neck wouldnt be able to hold head up. thought it was strange but i thought nothing of it. shortly (very fast) there after it got worse. within 3-4 weeks it had turned into top half of body losing all motor functions. i couldnt stop my girlfriend from tickling me. this sent up a flare in my mind. i went to my doc and told him something is up lets fix it. we did many many tests and he sent me to a nuerologist. durring this time im getting worse. the lose of control had taken its tole on whole body. you could tickle me and i went down.
      i am known for being big and tough but now i am a week little time bomb. if i get mad at dog for chewing up favorite shoes i go down. when i laugh i go down. when i cough hard i go down....
      the attacks last about 20-45 seconds and durring this time i cannot move any part of me other than blinking odly. but i go into a paralized state.
      then the sleeping thing after eating. wow is that hard to deal with. i eat anything and it sends me into a fight with sleep. my eyes want to close so bad that its like a slow closing garage door. no fighting it. most days i choose to eat at a very late time just so i dont have to deal with it.
      the worst thing ive had to deal with is the "day tripping" where i will be asleep but feel as though im awake. the doctor said its cause im skipping the first steps of sleep and going directly to dream state. so i can be sitting there asleep on couch but think im watching tv. most things stay the same like room decor and such but when i wake up some things will change since im now awake. i often see shadows that arent there but when i go to move or talk i cannot. then moments later they will go away and ill notice a change (time to pinch self ).
      the doc tried me on provigil or something but it made things seem 10x magnified. and at the cost of 300$+ a month i didnt think i wanted to deal with more and stopped it.

      Delete
    3. Anthony, I started cataplexy the exact same way! But I take Adderall XR for the daytime, plus a low dose of Effexor XR for controlling cataplexy symptoms & Xyrem at night. Supposedly the Xyrem controls the cataplexy & patients can get off the SSRI's (Effexor) but I can't seem to do that. I am now researching what I can take instead of Xyrem. Even with insurance, the cost is outrageous. You should try looking at the Stanford Center for Narcolepsy website.

      Delete
    4. Anthony, the brief paralysis is explained by the fact that our brains do this to us naturally, and as I recall it is so we sleep better. I recall having nightmares as a child and, when I would wake up, I couldnt move for a short time - very scary especially for a little kid. But this happens to adults too. What I cant explain is why being suddenly awakened doesnt leave a person briefly paralyzed.

      I wound up here in Ellies blog from researching the post-breakfast sensation of being extremely sleepy yet not tired or exhausted. It's all I can do to keep my eyes open. I do have OSA and I need to be tested to see if the oral appliance I am using is fully therapeutic. I just cant tolerate the BiPAP machine I have. But many of you have indirectly encouraged me to get checked for narcolepsy and to look at more things about breakfast than just the carbs being consumed.

      The other oddity is that I feel like crap if I take a nap late in the day AND yet I have trouble getting to sleep. Once asleep I am out like a light so at least I am not waking up all nite. One reason I have trouble getting to sleep, even if I am tired, is gastroparesis, where the stomach doesnt empty properly. It seems to cause pressure of some sort in the upper GI tract. If I can burp that is often all it takes. I also use a med calles motillium (domperidone) which helps with gastric motility without the side effects of Reglan.

      I will stop by from time to time to shsre anything I found and to see if sny of you have found new things that work. Maybe I should take some (was it) tyrosine as mentioned above.

      Delete
    5. I don't understand why I'm not seeing anyone on this thread discussing insulin resistance or diabetes. The symptoms most of you are expressing are easily recognizable by the diabetic.

      I suggest you buy a blood glucose testing kit and test your self before and after meals. Test yourself when you are alert, test yourself when you feel sleepy or drowsy. Keep a log. My guess is for many of you you will see a pattern. Discuss the pattern with your doctor or buy a good bock on diabetes, metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance. I'll bet you learn something and can get the drowsiness under control.

      Delete
  20. Comment is the easy ways to create large networking……

    ReplyDelete
  21. I really liked your article.
    http://www.angelslimoservice.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. I like your article so that I read all of your articles in a day. Please continue and keep on writing excellent posts.
    2012 Eid gifts to Pakistan

    ReplyDelete
  23. Excellent article! I just got done with a food coma just now.

    Although I've lost weight eating eggs, I was unaware of how Tryptophan affects the body. Even my nutritional supplements contain Tryptophan. So of course even my no carb meal of eggs and nutritional supplements containing Tryptophan put me into a food coma.

    Thanks for the tip on Tyrosine. Looks like I'll be drinking coffee and chewing on seaweed to avoid a food coma. Excellent insight, keep up the good work :D

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for this blog post. I have dysautonomia, which is really a term for several things lumped under that one heading. I ended up here because I am having terrible trouble staying alert and awake, but it doesn't appear to be related to my BP as it used to be, but now it seems to be related to food. (I am celiac and have been gluten free for 8 years. I recently went soy free as well.)
    At first, I thought it was from the energy needed to digest. Now, I am not so sure. Sometimes, I get this way when I don't eat and need to...other times it is when I DO eat. I guess I should keep a diary of sorts. (again)
    Anyway, I recommend to the others here to look into dysautonomia. It was the one diagnosis that fit all my symptoms. I had a tilt table test, a sweat test, and some other autonomic nervous system testing done. I still need to get a sleep study. That is next on the list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’s a great site to see. That will help for improvisation of me. Will definitely marked as Bookmark.

      business phone providers

      Delete
  25. Wonderfull site. For me, sleep disturbance seems to follow consuming red wine, red grapes, red grape juice, red wine vinegar or pomegranate or guava juice. It is always accompanied by ugly dreams of physical injury. I wake with very shallow breathing and racing pulse. As soon as I consciously start deep breathing my pulse drops back to the usual sixty-plus and the fearful dreams evaporate. I think some kind of reaction to those foods depresses my breathing and the rest is a response to that.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love that people have been commenting for years in this post. Just shows how important it is! I was diagnosed with narcolepsy about 5 years ago, its decently controlled by nuvigil but I still experience similar episodes of food coma. This issue has been so central in my life that I've made major life choices to accommodate this. But I guess that goes for narcolepsy in general. I'm always looking to see what ideas others have come up with so I found this post. I just wanted to share a few strategies that have worked for me.

    Big meals = guaranteed food coma because the stretch of your stomach promotes the "rest and digest" parasympathetic response. Smaller meals help a lot e.g. greek yogurt, protein/fiber bars. My general rule of
    thumb is if i can eat it while walking, its not "too much". In particular I eat smaller lunches, as that's when I am the most susceptible. If I eat out with others for lunch, I make certain not to feel too "full" , but still get my calories snd nutrition. That's a sacrifice (satisfaction of feeling full), but I make sure my dinner is "satisfying". It's good for the soul. FYI, the physiologic sleep cycle also hits a natural low during mid-day, so even non-narcoleptic people feel drowsy around then.

    I also will take a nap before meals to prevent the food coma. That works great for me when I have the opportunity to do so and is better than succumbing to the food coma nap which takes much longer. Napping is crucial for narcolepsy. I find that just hitting one two REM cycles (which doesnt take long for me) gives a restorative feeling that can fend off narcoleptic symptoms for a few hours. Short naps take lots of practice. Doctors will sometimes say to have scheduled naps but my daily life isn't always consistent so practicing napping was crucial. While there's no scientific evidence, I personally feel that short naps work much better when you are on some medication for narcolepsy. I know in the past I def couldn't take a 15 min. nap and feel okay with it.

    As you mentioned, the glycemic index is the other major culprit for food coma. High index means faster absorption. I make conscious choices about what the carbohydrate content of my food will be. Sugar packed juices and soda are digested very quickly; soda is basically like anesthesia for me.

    When I started becoming conscious of how food was affecting my ability to stay awake, I tried to fend off "hunger" as best as I could. You cant get a food coma if you don't eat. Coffee works wonderfully for this and doubles as a stimulant to keep me awake. I keep the sugar away from coffee to
    stop the sugar crash. Coffee suppresses hunger but it all comes back very quickly. Then you want a carb heavy meal and boom, food coma again. Studies show that caffeine increases fat metabolism so if you eat a meal with more fat content before you start drinking coffee (say for breakfast), you can delay the feeling of hunger much better than if you eat a carb loaded meal and drink coffee. By the way drinking coffee before eating is also a good way to curb the food coma because remember caffeine like any drug needs time to kick in, so that coffee you drink with your meal might not help you against the food coma.

    The last comment I hoped to make was to point out that "gluten" is not the same as "carbs". Celiac disease is "gluten-insensitivity". Gluten is found in wheat, grains, and anything that uses it during processing, which unfortunately is a lot of items (food and non-food). If you are talking about post-meal somnolence, ie food coma, you should try to control carbohydrate intake. You could have Celiac as some posters have expressed, but you would show other symptoms beyond sleepiness after eating.

    Food coma is just another part of the complicated life with narcolepsy. I employ all the strategies I listed on a daily basis. You just have to do whatever you can. To the OP, Thanks for making a great post.

    ReplyDelete
  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I get it really bad, i can not even stay awake, like i lost all energy
    in evey part of my body, i don't even have energy to say i am tired,,... or to keep my eyes open, many of times i nodded off in cafes etc. ,

    I found if i had ready meals, or meals on the go, after a couple of days in a row, it hits me really bad, the worse I can sleep for a couple of hours almost instantly after a meal,

    couple of my family and friends, thinks it's in my head because they never seen anything like it,
    I didn't use to be like this up to several years,
    if I had fresh foods made from scratch with nothing added i can be ok, but due to my disabilities since my injury, it's eaier said then done,

    It is really weird because if i eat sugar based food like treats,sponge cake or cookies i not falling a sleep with no energy to move, , so only really happens after main meals,

    i would say its carb meals but i seem ok with jacket potatoes,odd sandwich as a meal on the go. or even soup, as long as i do not have them regular.,
    how ever even eating meat and veg with gravy, unless the gravy or meat was pumped with added preservatives of some kind, i can't work out why it happens,

    in my own sudies of my own eating habits, i I have to try and avoid supermarket foods including their meats from delia counter,, or anything that been handled in a factory,

    when i do avoid them completely going to farmer markets I tend to be better,

    so my advice would be, stop all buying all foods from supermarkets including the friut and veg and get as much stuff direct from the farmers market, only use butchers who can rpove their food has not been via a factory, asI found many butchers will say it fresh to get the sale but you know the quality of food is far better when it never seen inside of a factory,
    it also improves you health too and stops you sleeping after meals, how ever it not happen over night it take a few weeks to get your body flushed off the rubbish your body eaten in the past, even though you think its healthy from the supermarket or butchers, it isn't don't be fooled, becasue what you ask a butcher for doesn't mean its really what your getting,
    you will find they tamper with it at the factory before sending it to butchers or supermarkets too,



    ReplyDelete
  29. may i also add, this can happen with or without a good sleep pattern, reguardless if I stressing/worrying or not, so, it can still happen,

    ReplyDelete
  30. OH am I glad this blog is here ��
    I have Sleep apnea & getting a sleep study done changed my life!! I got a cpap & sleep fine, But about a month ago when I ate breakfast Bam!! Barely could make it to bed. Passed out.I tried not eating and that was great till eventually I had to eat again. One day I decided I would stay awake with a massive dose of two zero calorie m*****r energy drinks two 4 shot lattes and 3 200mg caffeine tablets. Nope.. Bam.. out like a light and it just gave me a stomach ache, and dia- you know rhea..medical terminology for Bad Flow...
    I had given up Nuvigil, because it was costing so much, but one of the posts pointed out how it had helped. Might go back to using it despite the cost. THANK YOU ALL especially you Ellie. Now I have some directional ideas. Last time I saw the doctor he actually said “ it is normal to get sleepy after eating “ it would be fun to go to his office & say “ watch this “ eat something and pass out in his office. ��

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have quit eating whenever possible during the day, unless i am feeling sick because um so hungry. It got to the point that i literally passed out driving home after dinner one night. I have never been tested for narcolepsy because i never would have thought that could be the cause. It all started 6years ago when i was pregnant and had gestational diabetes. I was pregnant once after that and had the exact opposite,,,hyperglycemia. Lost weight during my entire pregnancy because my blood sugar stayed so low. But since then i have went back to feeling like death after eating. I have went to doctor after doctor and the first thing they always test for is diabetes and its always negative. I also test myself at home occasionally and it is NEVER high! I think most doctors just give up and label it as 'eat better, eat right' instead of really searching for what the heck is wrong with me. I have an appointment with a neurologist next week for the first time, im glad i found this article so possibly we can figure out whats going on!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I randomly came across this blog and it speaks directly to what I have been suffering from since the middle of college when I first noticed it. If I eat something, pretty much ANYTHING (including a handful of almonds or a bag of vegetables), no matter how big or small of a meal or snack it is, about 20 minutes later, I will become so overwhelmingly tired that I can hardly function. From there, I just need to lay my head down on my desk (or recline the seat in my car if I'm driving), and go to sleep. I never set an alarm, but will wake up approximately 12 minutes later, fully refreshed. The only time that I sleep longer is if I eat right before bed time, then my body knows that I will just continue in my sleep as normal. When I fall asleep in these instances, I feel like I enter REM almost immediately and can actually feel myself going through the stages of sleep in a bell curve-like situation. If I am active afterwards or talking with someone, then I can often fight it off, but sometimes it only delays the inevitable. If I have to drive, it gets very dangerous, and I have almost fallen asleep at the wheel multiple times. It's not uncommon for me to pull over and take a quick nap so that I can avoid it. I've tried to stave the effects off in the car by singing, but sometimes my brain is so insistent on shutting down that I'll literally stop being able to form my mouth to the words because I'm about to fall asleep. It will also happen if I'm standing up but not doing much otherwise physically, which is unfortunate because that's part of my job. I always thought that maybe it was something like reactive hypoglycemia, but now I have something to look into a little more. I've never been diagnosed as narcoleptic, and this is the only issue that I ever have with sleepiness, although in doing some research, it might be something for me to look further into as a possibility. Thanks so much for this blog!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. So glad I found this! I thought I was just a weirdo with a unique problem, but apparently I'm not. It was so wonderful to read all the posts and realize I'm not alone. Cuz I certainly have felt very alone with this. Even wondered if it would kill me. You know, either pass out and never wake up, or fall asleep while eating and choke to death. Right now there's leftover pizza in the oven which I really want to have for dinner, but I'm just not ready to go to bed. Just another day...

    ReplyDelete
  34. I live in Greece now since April, born and raised in the UK at university back 10 years ago and now, also at work I kind of had the problem of falling asleep during lectures if they were not stimulating enough for me e.g posing questions, but more so after eating this caused me problems, I would eat chocolate and things that would raise my glucose etc but now in Greece in Athens I have been here for almost 4 months and the same issue is happening, this for me though is mostly after lunch....

    I have sleeping issues which I need to sort out due back and muscle pain which will affect my sleep waking me up and only getting partial sleep and trying to massage my muscles while half awake to get more sleep, trying to get into a regular routine also which still not 100% successful to attain 8hours sleep eventually at the moment very interrupted ... once I sort that I will be able to see what the issue is, i have slight scoliosis, Greeks tend to suffer with this or Thalassemia from what a chiropractor explained to me. Anyhow... if I sort that I will come back to you all,
    Basically I have been ok with breakfast but not always and have been experience this problem on and off for a long time, the odd occasion, recently though I do feel sleepy after breakfast once I sit at my desk at my place of work but the last few weeks this has happened due to lack of sleep at night again.

    The following used to happen in various ways, normally this is after 30-50minutes. After eating lunch, so a walk after I eat is not helpful as it has to happen during the sleepy period, work program is like a university research centre so it is flexible but I feel that I should try to soldier it on, cope and stay awake(MISTAKE PEOPLE, especially if you feel a little lazy to get up), I rarely win and this is even with light meals.

    ReplyDelete
  35. continuing from above ..If I am beginning to feel tired, I feel a sensation, it travels up from the mid point of my back and then heads to the base of my neck, even in an air conditioned environment I start to sweat, then the sensation goes to the rear of my head then slowly slowly but discreetly so that I think I can deal with it at which point that is already too late as I should get up no matter how little I feel that and before I realize it I am in dream/awake mode thinking I need to be awake and not actually being alert to my surroundings and also being asleep, other things happen during this during the sligght onset which involve my muscles becoming weaker, almost paralysed if I am holding a paper for research and reading I feel the weight and find it very difficult to hold it up with my fingers and hands, then at some point you might as well say I am asleep, not sure for how long, hour, 30 mins 20 mins, I then wake up with a drowsiness that takes about 20minutes to go, sometimes less, It would have been better me sleeping without fighting sometimes as this would not draw out the whole length of time me fighting and getting work done, not sure what to do, once I do excersize regularly I am hoping this will reduce.
    It is a bit embarrassing but makes me feel inspired that if I have my own company one day I will encourage my employees to have naps when they need it, encourage them to sleep and lead by example :-) zzzzzz , and also to have a games room, there has been companies showing a vast productivity where this is the case. I am now 29 and trying to figure out what to do with this Siesta syndrome in me , have not had lunch yet it is 16.16 in Athens at this point of looking at the clock, breakfast this morning was ok and had a greek coffee, I was ok, but it normally is the lunch that is the killer for me. If only it was around the evening when I wanted to get sleep it might make is more pleasant in helping me get my needed sleep :p .

    I am thinking of going to a sleep centre to see what they can find out, maybe we should all go to one to assess our blood levels when we are feeling this way and brain activity since doctors can only do so much and maybe we can ask them to recommend us to attend one.

    Back 2 years ago I had a blood test after lunch but I was a bit disappointed because I was not feeling the usual dip or tiredness that I normally did on that rare occasion period, so kind of felt a bit pointless since the blood test did not show anything.

    reading these posts kind of make me appreciate you all struggling with life and other commitments and that my difficulty is minor so I kind of feel a bit shamed saying this is my only difficulty because you all suffer a lot more than me but maybe my experience and all yours will be beneficial in that I can appreciate it is not as bad as I think and you all might find something useful in this.

    All the best to you all

    Harry Georgiou

    ReplyDelete
  36. check these out if you find them useful, all research sites on sleep
    http://www.esst.org/links.htm
    http://www.esrs.eu/home.html
    http://www.esst.org/index.htm
    All the best

    Harry Georgiou

    ReplyDelete
  37. I have the diagnosis Narcolepsy. 2/4 SOREMP within 1 min on the MSLT, 7 min average sleep latency, and I have the genetic marker.
    But, I do not have cataplexy, at all, and I do not have hypocretin deficiency.

    It kind of bugs me that I do not have the Narcolepsy which is the most common and studied.
    Really, I don't think I have the same pathology at all, that is, it's not the same disease.
    Though clearly I'm happy that I do not have Cataplexy, but in turn I have a really bad EDS at times, I.e. hypersomnia.

    I experience much of what you describe.
    It really seems to be some kind of food intolerance.
    I feel I get sleep attacks after eating, no matter the diet.
    But still, there's a difference in type of food
    Thanks for the article, really good.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hello people

    1. have all the narcolepsy sufferers got their BMI under 25; this will help a lot
    2. Have they established whether they are carbo intolerant;
    3. I am and have moved onto a protein and fat diet with not more than 5gms of carbs every 5 hours.
    4. However, my mid day meal from a deli which apparently comprises only protein (meat and cheese) and veggies excluding pumpkin and potatoes and no fruit - still knocks me for six 20 - 30 mins later.
    Suspect they are cooking the meat with a lot of sugar and may have sugar in the salad dressings. will find out if yes then pretty sure that is the problem

    ReplyDelete
  39. Being somewhere other than home, and feeling less tired, have you come to any conclusions on this Ellie?

    I've slept rough after parties or when travelling, in bus stations or at friend's houses, and I feel much better when I wake up than I ever do sleeping in my own bed.

    What could be the cause of that, do you know?

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi, great blog, I'm one of them postprandial somnosomethings. I fall asleep after every meal, sometimes I fight it and I can be awake after a 20 min nap or so, sometimes I sleep for hours. I go running three times a week, and last week, I noticed my eyes closing as I was running after 45 min or so. So much for exercise to help keep you awake. I wonder if this is not something very natural though. I mean, imagine if you were a hunter-gatherer and you'd been actively seeking your food for hours on end, the only safe time to fall asleep would be after having consumed a meal. I don't know, it's all just speculation. Thanks for sharing everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I have several things going on but the one that is th most aggravating is the falling asleep after a meal. I have narcolepsy and sleep apnea. and I concur with all of you it is very hard to deal with. i also have a depression issue happening and i don't know how much of that is what and how i eat or if it has to do with my other things or if in fact it is a totally seperate deal., thanks so much for the blog , it has helped my feeling of anger and hopelessness etc. thanks again
    nann9802@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Been fighting this for 3 months now. Fully knocking out for an hour to 3 after eating even half a muffin and it was only at work. I sit at a desk infront a computer. Tried a liquid diet, no carbs, soup, lots of coffee and NOTHING works except not eating but that makes me weak and nauseated. I have noticed that it is kicking in at home now if I eat and lay on the sofa after. I am worried about my employment as you can imagine this does not look good on an employee. I have no sleep apnea and am being referred to a sleep specialist. Until then I have been prescribed Ritalin which I started yesterday and my whole body is buzzing, my head is throbbing. I did not fall asleep until 3 am and was up for work at 6. My heart is racing and I feel I am in a state of a panic attack since starting this drug. I don't know what to do. Then add Crohns and a couple more auto immune issues and I am so done. If it were not for my kids still needing me I would be so out of here.

    ReplyDelete
  43. I just don't eat all day until bedtime. I'm losing weight but it's the best way to keep me up all day. I try to eat as much as I can before bed. But, I got a disease and need to treat it the best I can. I sometimes get another meal in during the day but it makes me sleep 3 hours. So I wait until bedtime most of the time. But, you are right. I've tried high protein, low carbs, vegetarian, everything and nothing diet wise works!!! It has to do with sedation from hormone release like leptin or whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  44. I'm so glad to see the blog going on for years and years. I have had this same problem my entire life. It happens for both breakfast and lunch. In college I would fall asleep in any class after lunch. Just like everyone else, it didn't matter what I eat or how much, first meal of the day and I am so drowsy. I haven't been diagnosed with sleep apnea, but the minute I brought up getting sleepy in the daytime and get drowsy after eating, the doctor said she was going to pull my driver's license. I have two children so there's no way I can be without a car. I've done the same as a lot of you, if I need to be someplace, just don't eat. Otherwise, I've spent my life standing, walking, writing letters, anything I can to keep my brain and/or body active at work so I don't nod off. Thank you so much for all the helpful advice here. I will try to find another approach to managing it!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Have just had lunch, and within 30 minutes needed to crash. Having just learnt how to use the internet in my old age, I decided to google "cheese and drowsiness" and selected your site - thankfully. There are so many similarities to my case (ever since schooldays) mentioned in previous comments that I now feel encouraged to research further. Thanks everyone.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I am getting this somnolence effect very regularly following meals. For instance I have just eaten chicken, a baked potato and green beans for lunch and it was frustrating to wake up and find the whole afternoon had gone. I am gluten sensitive and unable to tolerate any grains at all and I react badly to any foods with a high glycaemic load. I have followed a Paleo Diet for two years, which has been helpful, but the truth is to stay free of somnolence I have to avoid all grains - particularly gluten ones, all dairy, all sugars and refined carbohydrate, and also foods with a higher glycaemic load such as potatoes, sweet potato and banana, which is really tough. As other people have mentioned, foods can be easier to tolerate at different times of the day. In my case, I find I am always OK with a breakfast of fruit, such as blueberries, grapes or melon and I can sometimes get away with a little potato or sweet potato at lunchtime if it is accompanied by a lot of fibre (for example jacket potato with chilli). However, I am far more sensitive in the evening and virtually go unconscious after many evening meals. I can avoid the somnolence completely if I eat meat and vegetables with no potatoes or sweet potatoes, fish and salad, or some sort of stir fry (i.e. low carb meals), but this often leaves me feeling a little hungry. The Japanese apparently have a saying that it is best to feel only 80% full after a meal. I find it helps to go outside in the fresh air, and is also helpful to to some exercise during the day. The Paleo view is it is best to follow a natural pattern of sleeping at dusk and rising with the dawn, but this can be difficult to keep to, so I find it useful to put up both blackout blinds and blackout curtains together and try to keep the room as dark as possible if I go to bed late, so that I am not woken up too early by the light. Establishing a regular sleep pattern seems to be helpful and I am looking into getting some form of blood sugar monitor to try to find out what is going on with my blood sugar after a meal. I also find my somnolence is triggered by being on a bus, and often find I have missed my stop. I suppose this is similar to the way in which a baby falls asleep when being rocked. My doctor says to call it somnolence, rather than narcolepsy, and I don't know whether or not I have the narcolepsy gene.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Thanks for you post and as you can see it's still being read today. I just happened to stumble across it. I've had a problem with crashing 20 to 30 minutes after any meal for years. As you mentioned, the only time this does not happen is if I'm actively (physically) doing something. If I sit down, I'm out. This is most disturbing and it doesn't matter what I eat, though some foods do seem to cause me to crash quicker, all foods have done it. I was told try just salads - didn't work. Try just light soups - didn't work and so on. Try smaller portions - nope, no good there either. The only time that this issue became almost non-existent was when I went on veg. juice diet for two weeks. With in the first few days I noticed the sleepy feeling drastically dropping. By the end of the two weeks and over 17 lbs lost, I almost no longer had the issue. Switching back to regular food, with in a 3 weeks the problem returned and slowly became worse. I wasn't overly heavy before the diet, yet dropping the weight and juicing helped a great deal. I plan on going on another juicing after labor day week as I've gained much of the weight I had lost back, plus I just had lunch (a Ruben sandwich) and bam, I was just about out like a light. Not a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I have been wondering recently if my sleep crashes are triggered by meals, and was really glad to see this blog!

    I have narcolepsy (no cataplexy) and my mom also had narcolepsy (with cataplexy). Smaller more frequent meals seems to be better for me. I hate getting up and having breakfast only to feel like I have to go back to bed again, never put 2 and 2 together before.

    I'm trying to do the FODMAP diet, that might be helpful for others. It's hard because it seems like there is nothing I can eat that won't give me a problem! After years of drinking soy milk, I am now intolerant to it, that was helpful. I also take probiotics and that helps too.

    I do have the puffy spongy thing going on, so I'll be relieved if some diet changes and more attention to smaller meals & content will help. Thanks everyone!

    ReplyDelete
  49. It's interesting that the genetics of narcolepsy are related to Coeliac Disease and so gluten and to Type 1 diabetes and so carbs and sugar. This would tie in well with Dr Perlmutter's book "Grain Brain", which makes the case that gluten, carbs and sugar and responsible for a lot of neurological disorders.

    I've been to see a neurologist and am being tested for gluten sensitivity, but I haven't yet had the results. I do have a lot of food intolerances, which were causing me symptoms like migraine. The somnolence seems to be more connected to my blood sugar level. It's good to hear that there are a lot of people finding that there somnolence symptoms are related to the same sort of thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy, I haven't heard about the genetics of Narcolepsy being similar to those of Celiac, however I was told by one of my past sleep doctors, who I highly respect, that Narcolepsy is an autoimmune disease that is thought to be triggered by a flu-like virus (which explains what happened in Sweden and Finland with the children developing Narcolepsy after being given an influenza vaccine...). Celiac is also an autoimmune disorder, so perhaps that is why it was mentioned as being similiar... I do still believe that each of us needs to listen to our own bodies and figure out what works for us, but I myself do not avoid carbs or believe that carbs are bad like this book which I have heard of talks about... I believe that a moderate amount of carbs, preferably whole grain ones is fine, but I'm not obsessive about it... I think that is actually a fad, the whole bread and grains are bad for you - in ancient times, bread was one of the staple foods if not the food that people would eat - if you recall the last supper where Jesus ate just bread and wine for dinner with his disciples...

      Delete
  50. Dear readers, this feeling sleepy after I eat actually doesn't happen to me anymore since I changed my medication regime from Concerta to Adderall about four months ago. Apparently changing stimulants has altered the way my body reacts to food in the morning, as I no longer struggle with going back to bed after eating in the morning. I also used to feel sick to my stomach sometimes after I would eat in the morning when I was taking the Concerta and especially if I tried to exercise intensely after eating. However, since I stopped taking the Concerta and have been on the Adderall, I have been able to eat without a problem in the morning. However, it is really God who gets the credit for doing this for me and he just happens to have used Adderall to do it, as I had been praying for God to help me with my sleepiness which was making life extremely difficult and he did that by having the Adderall work so well for me. Praise Jesus. I know that the Adderall working for me is God's work, and I am very grateful. I really feel for all of you who are struggling with this, but I encourage you to never give up on feeling better, to do what you can to pursue traditional treatments for Narcolepsy that may help (I stay far away from the "alternative" ones), and leave the rest to God.

    ReplyDelete
  51. God still heals. I have been healed from cataplexy, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations. Study the word of God and trust in the Lord. I no longer fall asleep while driving, eating, teaching, or having conversations. I am learning how and when to eat. I appreciate the comments of others and the resources listed above.

    ReplyDelete
  52. 5 years and still going strong ... !! I had been searching on the internet about this drowsiness I felt after lunch and happened to stumble upon this article. I went through this whole thread and would like to say that I found although physical exercise did help me to some extend the problem has stood unresolved. Now m on my way to weight reduction to see if thing could be warded off ...would really be nice if you guys could comment if you feel body weight is any way related to this feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Thank you so much for this, over the 30 thirty years I could
    not understand why I'm a very lively energetic person but
    after eating I can't think straight, feel incredibly heavy-lidded
    and sleepy, so I have to lie down immediately, and once I
    lie down I'm asleep in less than 20 seconds.
    This has nothing to do with a sleep debt as I sleep very well,
    And, as I have been on the keto diet for more than a year
    ( very successfully), I have not eaten sugar or grain for months..
    If I eat ANYTHING within 10 to 20 minutes I am in trouble.

    I am never tired - I just get very very sleepy - which is not the
    same thing at all! I have many friends who can be very
    tired all day but not sleepy...lucky them...

    A complete mystery to me, this problem has really impacted my
    career and life...and it is so frustrating as I'm quite a driven person and
    suddenly all control is taken out of my hands.
    so reading this article and everybody's contribution has made me
    feel much better even if I still can't control it.

    ReplyDelete