May it be weekday or weekend, after having a delicious lunch I usually feel little drowsy and fall into state of stupor. In my office it reduce my productivity, and at home i am halfheartedly available post lunch. Many of us feel the same problem of drowsiness after lunch. To overcome this problem of afternoon slump, it’s important to focus on what you are eating and ensure that you are taking enough care of your overall health. Taking enough sleep and taking good quality food will help you to sustain your energy in afternoon. Here i will share my personal experiences where i overcame the problem of drowsiness after lunch and injected more energy into my body that is sustaining throughout the day.
Don’t Skip Your Breakfast
There are several benefits of starting your day with healthy breakfast, you can find detailed benefits of taking breakfast in my previous post “Don’t Skip Your Healthy Morning Breakfast“. Gist of all discussions is to have healthy and good breakfast every morning. You should never skip your breakfast because it will pump up energy that will keep you moving for the rest of the day. In breakfast, include healthy food such as whole grain breads, frutis, yogurt, cereals and juice. This will start your day with full of energy. Taking heavy breakfast in the morning will make you less hungry at lunch time and for rest of the day hence you will eat less for rest of the day. Unhealthy and heavy food in lunch time and for rest of the day will put extra load on your digestion system and it will have adverse impact on your mental health, and physical well being. As per research, taking a healthy breakfast regularly will reduce hormones that produce stress.
Find out reasons for Drowsiness after Lunch
There could be several reasons for drowsiness after having lunch, you have to find out the reason that is causing problem for you.
- When you eat any food, it will divert your blood for the digestion process. And this can sustain longer depending upon what you eat. This is one of the reason you feel low energy level after taking heavy meal.
- Another reason is, when you eat food with high sugar, it will raise sugar level in your blood. This will cause your pancreas to release more insulin and that will trigger tryptophan production. Tryptophan will be converted into serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that will make you feel sleepy.
- If you aren’t taking enough sleep, that could be another reason. Improper sleep will affect your digestive system functioning and your energy level throughout the day.
- Physical fitness and wellbeing is another reason for feeling drowsiness in daytime. If you are not physically fit and not doing your workouts regularly, or you have certain medical conditions or illness or unhealthy eating habits could be a cause for low energy levels.
Focus on What You Eat in Lunch
You must know and realize what you eat. Type of food you eat in lunch will drive your energy level in next few hours and for rest of the day. Hence you must take take healthy contents in your lunch. Below are some tips which will help you to make your lunch habit healthy that will help you to kill drowsiness after lunch.
- During work hours people usually prefer fast food and junk food which is full of fats, flavor enhancers, preservatives, sugar and salt with zero or very less nutrition value. Such food will taste great but will not add any energy to your body, you will feel tired and energy less for rest of the day.
- In lunch, you should avoid eatables containing flour and sugar. Items like buns, muffins, cakes, pasta and croissants will not provide much energy and make you feel heavy in your stomach. Sugar and Flour contents will bring drowsiness. You can choose unprocessed foods as it’s healthier choice compared to processed food.
- Include food items which are high on protein, minerals, and vitamins. This will make you feel more awake after lunch. You should also avoid carb-rich food as it will ignite production of insulin that will be required to process such carb-rich food, this will add more drowsiness. Eating potatoes, pasta, white rice or any food which are high on sugar will cause rapid rise of insulin, which will increase serotonin in your brain, which is associated with sleep. Such food gives perfect reasons for feeling sleepy after lunch.
- You should add low-carb and low-fat vegetable food into your lunch which are light but very healthy and energy boosters. Add sprouts, bok choy, cabbage, mushrooms, sea vegetables, green beans, mustard greens, lettuce, radishes, avocado, celery, broccoli, cucumbers, bell papers, cauliflower, zucchini, summer squash, bamboo shoots, tomatoes, onions, carrots, artichokes, water chestnuts, pumpkin, nuts, whole grains, soy, beans etc. These are very healthy food that will add health to your body and boost and maintain your alertness.
- You should eat less if you are going to work in afternoon. Eating little bit less then your need will make you feel fresh. If you eat large meals in lunch, more bllod would be required and allocated for digestion process and this will result in less oxygen and nutrition reaching to your brain, which is major cause of drowsiness.
- Avoid alcohol in lunch if you want to work post lunch. Alcohol will make you feel tired and add fatigue to your body and you will not get back your energy level for rest of the day.
Post Lunch Precautions
Just taking care of your lunch is not enough, if you want to feel fresh and energetic for rest of the day then you have to take care of what you consume for rest of the day. Take care of the following things
- You should control your intake of caffeine post lunch. Caffeine is known for enhancing alertness but increased consumption after lunch will will do the negative. Consuming caffeine too much by means of tea or coffee will develop addiction for caffeine and your body will become prone to caffeine and caffeine will start losing it’s effectiveness on your body. Instead of tea or coffee, you should choose non caffeinated drinks like fruit juice, flavored milk or just plain water.
- Keep yourself well hydrated throughout the day, drink plenty of water, eat fresh fruits in evening snacks or take fresh fruit juices in daytime. This will boost your energy level.
- Develop a habit for having healthy min-afternoon snacks. This low quantity min-afternoon healthy snacks will diminish your mid day hunger and keep yourself away from temptation of unhealthy foods like chocolates, pastries or fried foods.
- After having your lunch, it’s good idea to go for a short walk, do some basic stretches or climb the staircase of your office. Some physical activities will ensure proper blood circulation in your entire body and this will avoid chances of drowsiness during daytime. Proper blood circulation will also eradicate chances of fatigue during day time.