We have all been there, everything has been fine for most of the day then comes lunch and the moment we eat we want to take a nap. It’s no wonder that for centuries a siesta, which is effectively a short nap taken after a meal has been so common, and in many countries, particularly those which are warm the tradition has continued.
In most hot countries the warm temperature and the heavy intake of food at midday meal contribute to the feeling of post-lunch drowsiness. Of course if you are not in a hot country, the main reason is primarily the heavy lunch, and quite possibly a warm room. So the question is when you do not have the luxury of a nap, how do you go about not feeling sleepy after lunch?
1. Have a light lunch
Believe it or not remaining slightly hungry does keep you feeling alert. This is however quite difficult to do when you are actually hungry but if you keep busy your body will forget about the hunger and you will find yourself being more focussed. Have a mid-afternoon snack to keep you going if needed. Of course don’t starve yourself and keep a track of your calories, sometimes we think we are hungry when we are not and chances are with the light lunch and mid afternoon snack you have probably had the right intake of food you need.
A word of caution, if you think a heavy meal is ok and caffeine will help you out then you may be disappointed. A strong cup of coffee does help sometimes but not enough to keep you going. However a cup of black coffee after a meal is also good on the odd occasion.
2. Skip lunch but have snacks
Another option is to skip lunch and instead have mini meals throughout the day. This is the perfect way to keep your sugar spikes in check and your digestion in track, your body is slowly digesting the food throughout the day giving you the energy it needs while keeping things moving.
We have however been ingrained with the thought that we must always eat 3 times a day, although I am sure many have questioned who invented 3 meals anyway.
3. Go for a run or a walk
A walk is a wonderful idea after any meal but why not take some time out of your day and take a nice scenic walk. Not only is it relaxing and will break up your day but also good for your health and your body will slowly start to digest the heavy food you have eaten.
Of course if you are one of those that likes to run then that is an option, it isn’t typically advisable to run after you have eaten for at least 20 minutes but it is an option pre-lunch or post lunch providing you wait 20 minutes minimum.
4. Make sure you are not nutrient deficient
Another thing that could be causing tiredness is if you were nutrient deficient. Lack of iron is a common problem for many causing them to be sleepy. If this was the case it is likely that you would be tired throughout the day, however don’t overlook this and speak to a doctor if having tried everything else you are still sleepy as soon as you have eaten.
Post lunch slump is common and everyone has those spells but a combination of healthy lunch meals and a walk is the perfect way to overcome the post lunch slump.
Regardless of the approach you use, keep an eye on your food intake, even small snacks can end up with you over consuming food so try to avoid as much as you can.