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Is Chinese Food a sedative?

  1. Jan 12, 2006 #1
    On monday, I decided I'd buy some Chinese food, and bought enough to last a few days. I got a quart of Pork Lo-Mein, white rice and a big serving of Sesame Chicken.

    I ate some combination of those for dinner on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday night.

    Each of those nights, I felt like I was drugged.

    Usually, I'll get 6 or 7 hours of sleep, and I'll wake up decently.

    However, on Monday night, I got 9 hours of sleep, and felt horribly tired in the morning. On Tuesday night, I got over 12 hours of sleep, and I was DEAD in the morning. Wednesday night, I got about 9 hours of sleep again, and was super tired in the morning.

    If I'm getting so much more sleep than usual, but still feeling deathly tired, I can only assume that this Chinese food is doing the same sort of thing to me that drinking too much alcohol would...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 12, 2006 #2


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    I take it, this sleeping pattern is outside your norm. There is a potential you have a food allergy or sensitivity to one or more ingredients in the chinese food that you choose. Falling asleep and feeling lethargic the next day is one of a spectrum of symptoms that can occur with allergies.

    I have experienced similar effects when eating asian food prepared with soysauce (a fermented seasoning) and also with fungi (mushrooms etc..)
    I know others who have experienced a reaction to MSG (not fatigue though).

    If you are curious, you may want to ask your allergist to test you for common food allergens. You can also set up an experiment and try some other foods (by themselves) from the same chinese restaurant. With some patience, you may be able to isolate which ingredient(s) causes the excessive fatigue.

    (disclaimer: This is not medical advice, I only offer my thoughts and opinions).
  4. Jan 12, 2006 #3
    MSG! do you normally eat alot of rice and noodles?
  5. Jan 12, 2006 #4


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    Yes MSG brings on cardiac arrhythmia in someone I know. (This is also noted in this reference)

    Are you asking wasteof2 about eating rice and noodles?
  6. Jan 13, 2006 #5


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    I don't like food with too much MSG. It tastes ugly. :yuck:
  7. Jan 13, 2006 #6
    Well, I eat lots of noodles, but in the italian sense of the word. Garlic, salt and pepper are the seasonings I tend to eat. I don't have any Chinese blood in my family, so I don't eat Chinese food too regularly. I'd imagine I'd eat it just about as much as everyone else does, maybe once a month or so. I've never noticed my sleep pattern being thrown off before, but I've never eaten it for several days on end before.

    By the way, last night, Ig ot 13.5 hours of sleep. I woke up 20 minutes before I usually do.

    MSG must've screwed my system over in a major way...
  8. Jan 13, 2006 #7


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    The other responses are all reasonable, but also don't rule out coincidence. It's also cold and flu season, and I know when I'm fighting off a bug, even a mild one, I need a lot more sleep than usual. Or you may have been getting too little sleep for a while and now your body isn't giving you any more choice about getting caught up on rest. I found myself falling asleep for a nap after I got home from work one day earlier this week (and then didn't get to sleep until very late and haven't reset myself from that yet). You really won't know if the Chinese food is the culprit unless it happens again when you have Chinese food next time.

    If you suspect it's MSG, you can request MSG-free food at most Chinese restaurants. It's a common enough problem that they'll make that accomodation.
  9. Jan 13, 2006 #8
    MSG is great on certain foods...VEGETABLES!!!
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