A Food Coma Is the Best Sleep You’ll Get

Living life fully sometimes means living life so fully you fall asleep with a plate on your lap

Scott Woods


A young guy in checkered pajama trousers falling asleep with a slice of pizza in his hand in bed next to a pizza box and open laptop. He has the itis.
Photo: yacobchuk/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Update 6/7/22: Level has a new home. You can read this article and other new articles by visiting LEVELMAN.com.

While I was speaking with a class of college students recently, one of them told me that she was interested in becoming a child anesthesiologist. I told her my experiences of being under general anesthesia, and how it was the best sleep I’d ever had. There were no dreams, no concerns, no care whatsoever for the waking world. It was as close as I have ever come to biological bliss.

Except when I am experiencing the itis.

I feel compelled to qualify the forthcoming hedonism with an obligatory note about the impact of obesity on Black communities, how nearly 50% of Black people are obese compared to nearly 33% of Whites. Yet, if we must do away with the concepts of “big-boned” and “healthy” we must also set aside body-shaming, which has only served to drive most of its targets into depressive states rather than gyms. Mothers telling their children that they’ve put on a few pounds since their last visit have done more damage than the occasional bout of itis ever could.