Food comas are real. With all the ramen hacks, to-die-for avocado pastas, homemade mac n' cheeses, and who knows what gorgeous recipes all over the internet, it's fair to say that eating a good meal makes you sleepy.

The notorious "food coma" makes you want to trudge to the nearest couch and finally close those eyelids. But what is really causing the strange inclination to sleep your responsibilities away after eating your heart out?

The state of feeling sleepy after eating is scientifically defined as postprandial somnolence, and it turns out that there are several underlying theories as to why it occurs. 

1. Insulin

After eating food, your blood sugar levels will rise and your body will break down and control these sugars by producing insulin. To put the process simply, it's kind of like Tarzan (insulin) taking down a bunch of enemies (sugars). And as a result of all that fighting, the body becomes fatigued. So, if you increase your intake of food, your body will have to work harder to create more insulin (aka a bigger food coma). 

2. Alcohol

I'm sure most of us know from experience how much of an effect alcohol has on our bodies. Because alcohol is a depressant, drinking a few (too many) drinks will magnify the food coma that you're about to fall into. 

3. Energy Output

Digestion is a hefty process, and if you physically stress your body after eating quite a bit of food, then your food coma can be even greater. Heavier foods take longer to digest, and it's not going to help if you're trying to swim or chase your dog around the house. 

With our busy college lives, it sometimes seems impossible to avoid the inevitable dining court food coma, but a solution to end this tragic pain could be closer than you think. 

Instead of swearing off food for a week or going on an intense juice cleanse, try lightening the load you eat every meal. Eating too many carbs, calories, and sugar is a direct, dwindling path down to food coma madness.

If you get hungry every two hours like I do, then portion your food out to five meals a day. If you're eating out with friends, wearing jeans or pants with buttons might help you to suppress the devouring monster within (avoid the yoga pants). 

If you're reading this article, you're either genuinely interested in food comas or you're looking for a way out of one (like Boo here). 

There's not much to do once you have a food coma but to let your body go through the process. If you're feeling groggy and need to stay up, then do some stretches or take a brisk walk outside. If the urge is too strong, lie down on your left side so your stomach doesn't get too much pressure placed on it. 

If you're really adamant about avoiding the slump, try drinking a cup of coffee to refocus your nervous system on some other task. It's not the healthiest of options, but it helps. Tea can serve as an immune boosting alternative. 

May the odds of having a food coma be ever in your favor.