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Monday, June 27, 2005

Since WLS Eating Makes Me Sleepy. Why?

Have you noticed since your WLS and return to regular eating a meal often causes you to become sleepy? Seriously sleepy. Drop your head in your plate sleepy.

This happens to me all the time. And there’s a good reason for it. When we eat the body produces a rise in blood sugar and a surge in insulin production. This chemical activity sends tryptophan to the brain where it becomes serotonin that signals the body “Take a nap!” Here come the nods, the yawns and the blinking eyes. WLS patients are highly susceptible to post meal sleepiness because of the shortened route to the small intestine. From there the tryptophan has a fast ride to the brain shouting almost like Paul Revere “The Sleepies are coming! The Sleepies are coming!”

Now, I don’t want any of you emailing my husband, but quite frequently I dramatically play the “I’m so sleepy” card and go to bed after dinner leaving him with the dishes and evening chores. (Feel free to try this at home!) In fact, he's in the kitchen now doing tonight's dishes!

This is fine for the evening meal, but what about a noonday meal? For example the business lunch. How can we socialize at our mid-day meal and not become a victim of the “Tryptophan Express” to Sleepytown?

A wise nutritional strategy for maintaining a sharp mental edge after lunch is to eat foods that give a gradual, steady release of food energy throughout the afternoon while placing only a light burden on the digestive system. Consider these strategies:

1. Emphasize healthy protein choices, like cold-water fish, beans and legumes, or a non-cream-based main dish soup or stew. Consume 60% of your volume from this group.

2. Choose a minimal serving of low-glycemic-index carbohydrates, like green salad, root vegetables in their skins, mushrooms, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, asparagus, or artichoke. Consume only 20% of your food volume from this group.

3. Be sure your food choices contain healthy fats, such as cold-water fish, flaxseed oil, olive oil vinaigrette (the vinegar helps slow the release of food energy), nuts, seeds, or avocado

4. Absolutely avoid sugary, starchy, or fatty foods like soft drinks, non-whole-grain pasta, fried foods, and rich or creamy sauces and dressings

5. Skip dessert.

Rest assured, (pun intended) by making wise food choices we can be alert, responsive and LivingAfterWLS! Just say no to the Sleepies by making wholesome healthy food choices.

Nighty-night!
Kaye

1 comment:

Kim said...

Thanks for researching this topic. I didn't know what was causing the sleepies, but found out early on in the game that if I took a 20 minute walk after lunch, I was revived and ready for the rest of the afternoon. I get an hour for lunch, so I eat for 30 minutes, chat for 10 and then out the door I go for my walk...rain or shine! I've come to learn that if I have to skip my walk for whatever earth shattering work related reason, I become VERY crabby. Just like a five year old that needs her nap, but is unwilling or in my case, unable to take one. These are also the times when I want to eat more. Probably my body's response to trying to stay awake...more fuel please! So a nice stroll around the block is not only good for me physically, but also for the people that work around me as well.