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Is Feeling Tired After Eating A Sign Of Diabetes?


After eating, you may feel sleepy. However, many people without diabetes experience a drop in energy.
It usually comes down to your blood sugar response to your food. Everyone is different, so there is no single-size-fits-all approach to nutrition.

ZOE’s at-home test will tell you what foods are best for you. This could help you to feel less tired after eating. Take a quiz to learn more about how you react to food.

Learn why you might feel sleepy following a meal.

Why do people with diabetes get sleepy after eating food?

People with diabetes often feel tired throughout the day, not after meals in a recent study, which involved more than 42,000 people living with type 1 or 2 diabetes, about half reported feeling tired.

Although fatigue is a common symptom of diabetes, the exact cause is still unknown.

Explore what could be contributing to fatigue or tiredness in people with diabetes.

Blood sugar control

We’ll show you below that feeling sleepy is often due to changes in blood sugar levels.

For people with diabetes, however, the relationship between fatigue and blood sugar control may not be clear.

Researchers have found that fatigue can be related to blood glucose levels, but only in cases where diabetes is uncontrolled.

The research is ongoing, but an increasing body of evidence suggests that fatigue may be caused by factors other than blood glucose control.


At least in part, diabetes complications and symptoms are thought to be caused by chronic inflammation, a long-term immune response.

One small study found that people with type 2 diabetes showed more inflammation and fatigue than those with Type 1 diabetes.

Evidence suggests that controlling inflammation in diabetes and other diseases may reduce tiredness after eating.

Other causes

Many lifestyle factors and others can contribute to the fatigue that people with diabetes experience.

Researchers suggest that fatigue may be linked to type 1 diabetes.

  • Sleeping problems
  • Lack of physical activity
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  • Pain

Scientists found that fatigue is associated with multiple factors in people with type 2 diabetes. These include:

  • The overall quality of Life
  • sleep quality
  • Pain
  • Body mass index (BMI).

What causes sleepiness after eating?

Feeling sleepy after a meal is not necessarily a sign of diabetes, although it’s possible.

After eating, everyone’s blood glucose levels will change. These changes can lead to a decrease in energy when they are significant.

Your body converts the simple sugar glucose from carbohydrates. Your cells absorb sugar as it increases in your blood and convert it to energy or store it.

Your blood sugar level decreases as your cells absorb sugar. Average, gradual increases and decreases in blood sugar levels are nothing to worry about. Not all foods will affect blood sugar in the same way.

The body generally takes longer to digest complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and vegetables. This allows glucose into your blood to be released more slowly.

Simple carbohydrates are quickly broken down. These include fruit juices, baked goods, and sweets. The glucose in your blood is rapidly absorbed. This means an increased spike in blood glucose, which can cause a dramatic fall, also known as a “blood sugar crash.”

After eating, you may experience a slump in energy and concentration problems.

In a study, participants who consumed foods that increased blood sugar gradually felt less tired than people who consumed a diet that caused drastic changes in blood sugar.

Some studies have shown that feeling tired 30 minutes after eating may be due to a change in blood sugar levels.

Feeling less tired after eating

Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. Many foods high in carbohydrates are also rich in vitamins and minerals.

As we have seen, carbohydrates do not affect us similarly. You may feel more energized after consuming suitable carbohydrate sources.

Focus on high-quality complex carbs to prevent blood sugar spikes.

Some of the best sources of complex carbohydrates are:

  • Whole grains like quinoa and whole wheat
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Whole fruits
  • Beans, lentils, and peas

Limit foods that are high in simple carbohydrates, such as:

  • Packaged cookies, crackers, and snacks
  • Baked goods and pastries
  • Sugary drinks like soda, sweetened fruit juice, and tea

ZOE does not believe in restricting diets or eliminating foods. Some foods should be enjoyed occasionally. The foods you deem best for yourself may not be the best choices for others.

Right food for you


There are a few general guidelines that you can follow to avoid blood sugar fluctuations.

You need to know your unique metabolic rate to ensure you are eating the right foods. Your blood sugar levels do not determine it alone.

The trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms living in your gut are known as the gut microbiome. It is essential for your health and how your body reacts to food.

When your microbiome is dominated by “bad” bacteria, it can negatively affect how your body manages energy.

We are running the most extensive study on nutrition and gut microbiome ever conducted globally. Over 15,000 people have participated. Our data shows no “one-size-fits-all” approach to nutrition and that people respond differently to food.

ZOE’s home test allows you to understand better how your body reacts to different foods. It analyzes your blood sugar levels, fat, and gut microbiome.

We give you personalized food recommendations based on your results.

According to our unpublished research, 82% of those who adhered closely to their ZOE nutrition plan reported feeling more energetic.


It’s possible that feeling tired after eating is a sign of diabetes, but not always. About half of those with diabetes feel tired, not just after eating.

It is unknown what causes it, but the cause could be related to how well you control your blood sugar or inflammation.

After eating, anyone can feel fatigued. This is due to how your body reacts to certain foods.

You may feel fatigued after eating foods that cause blood sugar to rise and fall, such as packaged snacks, sugary drinks, and baked goods.

Everyone’s metabolism is different, and it’s vital to know yours if you don’t want to feel tired after eating.

ZOE’s home test lets you learn about your body and how it reacts to different foods. You can then determine which are best for your health and overall well-being.

Learn more about ZOE by taking a free online quiz.

Frequently asked questions about sleep and diabetes

The side effects of sleeping after eating include negative digestion symptoms, possible weight gain, and disrupted sleep patterns. But some food, such as kiwi or protein shakes, were proven to benefit sleep quality.

Frequent urination, thirst, fatigue, and blurred vision are common signs of prediabetes. If these symptoms apply to you, consider seeing a medical professional and taking preventative steps.

10 important and common signs of diabetes are:

1- Frequent urination
2- Increased thirst
3- Unexplained weight loss
4- Fatigue and weakness
5- Blurred vision
6- Slow-healing wounds or infections
7- Tingling or numbness in hands or feet
8- Increased hunger
9- Recurring skin infections
10- Darkened patches of skin

Tiredness and feeling weaker than usual are common among diabetic people. Also, getting easily irritated and having drastic mood changes was reported. If you have any of these signs, consider having a blood sugar measurement at a medical clinic.

Insulin is important for the body’s energy levels. When blood sugar levels are high, the body struggles to use glucose as an energy resource.

Sleepiness and low energy levels may be caused by various factors. Firstly, fluctuations in blood sugar levels of diabetes patients can make them feel tired. Insulin resistance may impede cell glucose uptake, leading to reduced energy stock. Also, diabetes can cause nutrient deficiencies, further affecting energy levels.

Laying down right after eating can slow the digestion process. After a full meal, it is recommended to spend at least 2-3 hours in a more active mode.

Spend at least 2-3 hours before going to bed after eating. But the best is to avoid eating after 6-7 pm and practice intermittent fasting as much as possible.

A power nap should give you the energy boost you need but should not take you to a deep level of sleep. 10-30 minutes is ideal for a daily power nap.


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