5 Breakfast Foods That Make You Sleepy

5 Breakfast Foods That Make You Sleepy

As a collective population, Americans are tired about as often as a cuddly animal video goes viral on Facebook. So, yeah; we’re tired, like, all the time. In fact, according to leading statistics company Statista, 45 percent of U.S. citizens report feeling sleepy up to three times per week—even those who clock seven to eight hours of shut-eye per evening. (That’s the recommended amount!)

A night of tossing and turning could be to blame, sure. But if you regularly feel zonked, your diet may be the issue. As it turns out, there are a number of popular breakfast staples that have the power to drain us of our energy before we even have the chance to fully wake up. Pretty counterproductive, right?

If any of the foods below regularly show up on your plate, it’s time to make some changes to your a.m. menu with the help of these 17 Genius Breakfast Ideas Diet Experts Love!

1 Bagels
bagel with cream cheeseSave

Try to swallow this: One bagel contains as many nutrient-void carbs as four slices of bread. Carbs give you energy so that’s a good thing, right? Not so fast. Empty carbs, like bagels, are lacking fiber and protein, two nutrients needed to slow down the digestion of carbs and keep you energized long after you’ve finished your breakfast. As a result, a bagel is one of the foods that make you sleepy because you won’t have sustained energy levels for very long after you eat it.

Eat This Instead: If ditching the bagel all together isn’t an option, switch to a whole grain variety and vow to only eat half. Pair your starchy carb pillow with a protein shake, cottage cheese, or two eggs and a few slices of avocado for some much-needed satiating fiber and energizing protein.

2 Flavored Yogurt
berry yogurtSave

Greek yogurt is a protein-filled source of healthy probiotics (live bacteria that cleanse the digestive tract) but if you’re buying yogurt filled with high fructose corn syrup or globs of sugar it could be to blame for your perpetual lethargy. While sugar may give you an initial energy surge, once the sweet stuff makes it way through your body, it can decrease the activity of orexin cells, which regulate an array of mental properties including arousal and wakefulness, according to a Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience review. This may explain why you feel like you need to go back to sleep right after you’ve polished off your morning yogurt parfait.

Eat This Instead: Toss out the sugar-loaded stuff and switch to one of these best yogurts for weight loss.

3 Pancakes
blueberry pancakesSave

Fluffy stacks of pancakes may be what weekend dreams are made of, but if you eat too many they’ll make you want to climb back into bed. The reason: this food that makes you sleepy is basically 100 percent carbs—and void of any fiber or protein. Since our bodies change carbohydrates into sugar, you’ll experience a major sugar crash once the initial high wears off.

Eat This Instead: Look for pancake mixes with equal amounts of sugar and protein and don’t be too heavy-handed with the syrup. Enjoy Life Pancake and Waffle Mix fits the bill and can even be purchased online. Looking for more options? Don’t miss our report best pancake mixes!

4 Orange Juice
orange juiceSave

You may think you’re doing your body good by downing a cup of OJ every morning. But the truth is, there’s more added junk in that cup than there is fruit. OJ is jam-packed with high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, and artificial flavoring, and dyes. In fact, eight ounces of OJ can carry up to 26 grams of carbs, which is more than what you’d find in six sugar cubes!

Eat This Instead: Switch to water and get your citrusy goodness from whole fruit. The pulp, water, and fiber content will help blunt the rise in sugar levels.

5 Turkey Bacon
turkey baconSave

Sorry, bacon lovers, but if the turkey variety (one of these 11 ‘Healthy’ Swaps That Aren’t) is your go-to, we’re going to suggest that you give it up—especially if you’re nibbling more than a piece or two. While opting for the turkey variety in lieu of pork will save you about 13 calories and a gram of fat per slice, it will also add sodium to your plate—not great news if you have high blood pressure or ya know, don’t want to fall asleep on the train to work. According to a new animal study in the journal eLife, excess salt and fat can cause post-meal drowsiness—definitely not what you want at 9 a.m.

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