Medical Questions > Parenting > Teens Forum

Tiredness - Sever Fatigue.

I'm 17 years of age and I have an issue with tiredness after I eat my lunch every day. I wake up quite early since I'm still at school and I go to bed at around midnight every night, occasionally later. I eat my breakfast at around eight o'clock and I eat lunch at one o'clock. I have a snack at around four o'clock and I eat dinner around seven.

Directly after eating I feel fine for half an hour or so, but after that, a wall of tiredness seems to hit me and I can barely stay conscious for the next half and hour to an hour. I would just sleep at this time if I were able, but since I'm studying in school I have to pay attention. It often worries me since I miss basically the whole lesson straight after lunch and my notes are illegible - I have to copy from someone else later on.

I have mild asthma, a nut allergy - treated by piriton - and excma.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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First Helper verne01

replied July 22nd, 2013
Extremely eHealthy

The first striking thing is the amount of sleep you are getting or not getting...
Some people can survive on three or four hours of sleep per night and others need considerably more. The eight hours that is often spoken of as being ideal, especially for the young, is really an average as some people will need ten, eleven or even twelve hours sleep at least a few times every week.
Being young you probably feel you don't need as much rest as that but I urge you to think again...

I suggest you go to bed earlier and earlier in increments until you find yourself waking naturally half an hour before the alarm clock is supposed to wake you.
Don't make instant or short-term judgements about the success or otherwise of such changes as they could take several weeks to bear a complete harvest...

Digesting food takes a lot of energy and feeling drowsy after a normal meal is a sign perhaps of low general stamina levels. Older adults and very young children often feel drowsy after a meal but a fit and strong young person can usually find the energy needed for digestion without depriving other functions and so do not often suffer from drowsiness.

If better rest and improved eating habits do not provide relief from irresistible drowsiness after meals it could signal a need to work on your general level of fitness and perhaps visit the medic for a check-up.

It is important to eat a balanced diet that contains fats, oils, carbs and protein as well as copious vitamins and minerals and dietary fibre. The emphasis at lunchtime should be on foods from your diet that produce energy until the next meal without being heavy. Salad is important but avoid eating lettuce at lunch as that can cause drowsiness. The majority of protein from your diet should be reserved for your evening meal to help your body grow and repair itself while you sleep.

It is important to chew food thoroughly and to coat every piece with saliva to kick-start the digestion process and minimise the amount of work the stomach needs to do.
It is important too to be properly hydrated in order to feel alert. Drink enough clear unsweetened fluid so you produce urine that is almost as clear. I suggest you avoid soft drinks with caffeine added. Becoming addicted to high levels of caffeine will not help you and in the longer term can be the cause of early morning withdrawal symptoms as well as causing mild dehydration.

I think piriton is supposed to be a low-drowsy formula anti-histamine. Something that is low-drowsy for most people most of the time doesn't necessarily mean it will not cause you drowsiness. It could be wise to experiment with the when and how you take this medication, whether there is a better alternative and whether when pollen and spore levels are low you need to take it at all. Again, perhaps a chat with your family doctor.

I hope this helps you.
Good luck!
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