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One Small Change

The Curious Case of After-Nap Munchies


Have you ever experienced a phenomenon known as “after-nap munchies?” For me, it goes like this: I awake from a longish nap (I’m talking hours, not days) and am ravenously hungry. I usually crave something sweet like cookies, or something cool and delicious such as ice cream or fruit. The eating that results is comparable to a John Deere thresher working its way across a grain field. Occasionally, it even borders on becoming out-of-control. I mean, I’m half-awake and before I know it I’m elbow-deep in a box of Nilla Wafers.

I’ve often wondered what causes this. Although there’s not much specific research on the subject, Dr. Michael Breus, a clinical psychologist, suspects it’s a glucose or metabolic issue. In other words, my blood sugar is probably low to begin with, thus I feel tired, fall asleep and then awaken a few hours later with an even lower glucose level, which causes me to binge on sugars. The solution would be to shift to a more protein-based diet in order to supply slower-burning fuel that will balance out my mood swings. However, Dr. Breus encourages anyone who is experiencing this phenomenon regularly, including me, to consult with a doctor just in case it’s a more serious metabolic issue.

I’ll heed his advice, but to be truthful, I’m not absolutely certain I want to get rid of the after-nap munchies. They’re kind of like icing on the cake, so to speak. You have this wonderful indulgence of a nap and then, even better, you get to snack!

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About The Author

Joe Kita – Joe Kita is a noted writer, editor, motivational speaker and teacher. He authors the blog "One Small Change" for CorePerformance.com.

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Tags: Leisure Time, Rest, Sleep, Energy, Snacks