Feeling sleepy and tired after a generous midday meal? You’re not alone.
According to John Douillard, an Ayurvedic practitioner and author of the book ‘3 Season Diet’, this feeling of sleepiness after meals is related to whether you were rushed when you ate, the kind of food you ate, and/or the current state of your digestive system, not with the time of day.
A practical solution to this energy dip after a big meal, as John recommends, is to take a nap lying on your left side for 15 minutes. This is an age-old Ayurvedic technique to improve digestion that has been documented by modern science.
Because of the asymmetrical shape of the stomach, when you lie on your left side after a meal, the stomach is cradled to allow the food to more gracefully exit the stomach and enter the small intestine.
The concept of the siesta in Mexico and southern European countries was not to doze through the entire afternoon, but to let the large meal be digested rather than racing back to work and compromising the digestive process. A nap more than 20 minutes will backfire and may cause sleep inertia and grogginess.
For those of us working desk jobs in a corporate environment, who dont have the luxury of taking a proper nap after lunch, even just leaning to the left while sitting can provide some benefit.
The important takeaway is to relax for 5 to 15 minutes, ideally on your left side, after the main meal so that you can digest it efficiently and avoid the afternoon blues.
Try it and see how you feel!
This article is based on excerpts from Dr. John Douillard’s book, 3 Season Diet.
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