Does pasta make you sleepy?

In this brief article, we will answer the question: does pasta make you sleepy and three reasons behind it.

Does pasta make you sleepy?

Yes, pasta can make you sleepy when you eat it in a significant amount. Pasta is rich in carbohydrates, when consumed it increases the insulin level in the body. This sudden increase in insulin level causes the body to metabolize faster, this causes weakness and fatigue; indirectly pasta induces sleep.

Carbohydrates in Pasta:

Pasta is an extruded product made of flour, egg and water. Its dough is unleavened and can be extruded in many different shapes including sheets, macaroni pasta, noodles, spaghetti. Pasta is consumed worldwide in many different ways and recipes.

Even eating eggs for dinner may help to naturally promote sleep.

Pasta is a versatile and inexpensive staple food; it is also high in carbs. A single serving of pasta or a cup of pasta is equivalent to 43 grams of carbohydrates. Out of these 250 grams of one pasta cup the amount of fiber is almost 3 grams. In whole wheat pasta the carbs are almost 37 grams and fiber is 6 grams in a single serving.

Why does pasta make you sleepy?

Often after having a full meal we feel sleepy and tired. The reason why we feel sleepy after a meal is scientifically researched. We usually feel sleepy after eating lunch and just need a quick nap. This tiredness increases after consuming pasta in lunch. The reasons behind that maybe:

Excess of carbs:

Pasta is made of flour, eggs and water with additives like salts and preservatives. Due to wheat it has a large amount of carbohydrate in it. If consumed in a significant amount pasta provides so many carbs in only one meal.

The carbs enter human body breakdown into many sugars including glucose. The glucose in the body is converted into glycogen in our body by insulin. Insulin is a hormone made naturally in body or injected into body (as in diabetic patients)

The sudden spike in insulin level in the body after eating pasta, fastens the metabolic process. This produces too much energy and body and excess of energy makes us feel tired. Also, it increases fatigue in the body due to which we want to sleep a lot.

Production of serotonin and melatonin:

After eating pasta or other extruded products which are rich in carbs, many people feel happy and relaxed. One reason is the secretion of happy hormone called serotonin and secretion of melatonin hormone which is also sleep inducing hormone

The carbs in pasta increase the secretion of insulin in our body; insulin when entering the bloodstream from pancreas causes the tryptophan amino acid in blood to move to the brain.  Once tryptophan reaches the brain it stimulates the secretion of serotonin and melatonin. These two neurotransmitters have a calming effect on the body.

The secretion of Serotonin and melatonin in blood system helps relax the body. Melatonin hormone is also associated with inducing sleep. That’s why after eating a carbohydrate rich diet we feel content and sleepy.

Food Allergies and intolerance:

Many people have food allergies to breads, wheat, eggs and some spices. If they eat a product made of these ingredients the body reacts to it. The common symptoms of allergy is having stomach disturbance after eating something you are allergic to.

If after eating pasta you are feeling drowsy, having nausea and feeling dizzy you might be allergic to it. The allergies are also characterized by indigestion, bloating, constipation and lethargy. Lethargy sleepiness is one of the major symptoms and if you develop these symptoms after eating pasta it is best to consult a doctor.

These are some of the reasons why you feel sleepy after eating pasta. It is normal to feel sleepy after eating a meal, especially at day time. It is because our body is continuously metabolizing while we work that makes us tired. Also sometimes sudden spikes in energy level also causes us to feel lethargic and sleepy.

Other FAQs about Pasta which you may be interested in.

How much does a cup of cooked Pasta weigh?

Tips to avoid sleepiness after eating pasta:

Pasta is a full meal with all the nutrients so its metabolism might take time. You can’t sleep right after eating to avoid this tiredness and lethargy some of the tips you can follow are:

  • Don’t miss breakfast because you are leaving your body hungry for a long part of the day. eating a full meal causes a sudden spike in energy.
  • Do not overeat, it is better to avoid such a significant uptake of carbohydrates at once. After eating a whole meal, our body gets tired of metabolism and we feel sleepy.
  • Take a walk after eating a full meal, this helps the body digest the food. When you consume food energy is produced, using this energy in physical movements won’t cause a spike.


In this brief article, we have answered the question: does pasta make you sleepy and three reasons behind it.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.