After a lunch, especially a nutritionally dense one, one might drift off into a drowsy state, sort of a "I sure could use a nap" feel, likely due to the breaking down of the foods in the digestive tract.

Is there a specific, common word or phrase for that drowsy feel/condition?

Example of a relatively dense meal:

  • First course: artichoke (2 helpings)

  • Main course: steam cooked blood sausage (2 helpings); garlic/parsley flavored shiitake mushrooms and potatoes cooked in duck fat (2 helpings)

  • A portion of camembert accompanied by a half glass of red wine

  • Dessert: a handful of walnuts; a square of dark chocolate

  • Hot beverage: green tea to wash down the whole thing

  • 1
    I would suggest the word food coma, though it is very colloquial.
    – jera
    Feb 18, 2016 at 13:47
  • +1 but are you looking for a technical term or a colloquial one?
    – Skooba
    Feb 18, 2016 at 13:52
  • I've never heard the two following words/phrases in the answers below used to describe this fatigue. Doesn't mean they are not used but I've never heard them. The common reaction/expression to over indulgence I witness is a push back of a chair followed by an breathy "I'm stuffed." A nap follows.
    – user116032
    Feb 18, 2016 at 17:00

2 Answers 2


This is sometimes referred to as a 'Postprandial dip'!

In medicine and specifically endocrinology, postprandial dip is a term used to refer to mild hypoglycemia occurring after ingestion of a heavy meal.


It can also be called the 'afternoon slump' or 'post lunch dip'


The Itis is what it is called!

Postprandial somnolence (colloquially known as a food coma, carb coma, or in the African-American community the itis) is a normal state of drowsiness or lassitude following a meal.


Perhaps derived from the suffix "-itis" which is a suffix largely associated with illness and diseases.

Also, as @jera suggests, food coma seems to be a widely used and recognized term.

a state of sleep or extreme lethargy induced by the consumption of a large amount of food.

[Google Definition]

  • That sounds like 'ictus'..... He had an 'itis' soon after lunch...
    – user66974
    Feb 18, 2016 at 14:05
  • @Josh61 - You mean it could also be called "ictus"?
    – BiscuitBoy
    Feb 18, 2016 at 14:17

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