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November 6, 1972

Postprandial Drowsiness

JAMA. 1972;222(6):703. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03210060053019

To the Editor.—  The problem of the postprandial drowsiness outlined by Dr. Kleitman (219:1485, 1972) prompted successive letters by Drs. Hauri (220:1135, 1972) and Regenstein (221:601, 1972). I would like now. to introduce another factor for consideration: the possible role of the intestinal hormones.1The presence of food in the gut releases intestinal hormones: cholecystokinin (CCK) and secretin.2 Our observations3 indicated that during the period of release, the incidence of sleep (in the cat) was significantly increased. Also, the intraduodenal instillation of small amounts of releasing agents, eg, corn oil, was followed, after a variable latency, by sleep with rapid eye movement (REM) periods of earlier onset and longer duration than average. Moreover, the intravenous infusion of the intestinal hormones, especially cholecystokinin, was associated, during the one-hour infusion, with long-lasting episodes of deep and REM sleep. This effect of the hormones varied depending on the time of