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11 Tips to Overcome Post-Lunch Drowsiness at Work

6 min read
Last Updated on 07 March, 2024

What could be the hardest task between 9-5? It’s not the work but keeping post-lunch lethargy at bay. Especially when you get back to work after lunch, you've finished your delicious meal, and now you don't feel like working. But, there is a fear of meeting deadlines, so you have to work.

Don't worry; You're not alone if you're suffering from a post-lunch slump. We all find ourselves sleepy after lunch, but we cannot do so since we are at work. But you can try a few tips to overcome this. This article discusses a few reasons for post-lunch drowsiness and suggests ways to maintain the necessary energy levels in the afternoon.

Why do you feel drowsy post-lunch?

The body's response to chemical changes throughout the digesting process causes sleepiness. As you consume food, the pancreas secretes insulin to keep blood sugar levels in check. As a result, the bigger the meal you consume, the more insulin is produced in your body, which results in a spike in blood sugar levels. With an increase in insulin, your bodies generate serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain, causing you to sleep more soundly.

A circadian rhythm causes your midday slump, normally resting in the afternoon and post-lunch digesting.

  • Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that operate in the background to carry out key tasks and processes as part of the body's internal clock. The sleep-wake cycle is one of the most significant and well-known circadian rhythms.

Causes of Post-lunch tiredness

A little fatigue after eating is quite natural, and everyone faces it. Some foods and the time of meals might make people feel particularly tired after eating. There are several factors that contribute to drowsiness after meals.

1. Food choices: Though all foods are processed similarly, not all have the same effect. Some meals are more sedative than others.
Foods that can cause drowsiness:

  • Pasta
  • Candy and Sugar
  • Rice
  • Cakes, cookies, and all baked goods
  • Turkey

2. Physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle does not provide enough energy to make you feel energized. On the other hand, being active helps you preserve the energy you need to go through your days.

3. Certain health conditions: Being fatigued after a meal or just tired might indicate other health concerns. The following conditions can exacerbate post-meal drowsiness:

  • Diabetes
  • Insomnia
  • Celiac disease
  • Anemia
  • Hypothyroidism

Tip: Consult your medical practitioner if you need help.

4. A food allergy or food intolerance: Another reason for post-meal sleepiness is intolerance or allergy to particular meals. Food allergies and intolerances can cause problems with digestion and other body processes.

11 tips to avoid sleepiness after lunch

You obviously cannot skip the most important meal of the day, but you can surely limit your drowsiness. There are a few things you may do to reduce the impact.

Here are some suggestions for overcoming post-lunch drowsiness:

1. Get proper sleep at night.

Get proper sleep at night

When you do not get enough sleep at night, you usually feel sleepy. Ensure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to avoid fatigue. If you get enough sleep, you'll have the energy to go through the day.

2. Consume a well-balanced diet.

Your meal must sustain you throughout the day. Eating a well-balanced meal will

  • Activate your metabolism
  • Regulate your blood sugar levels
  • Prevent weight gain.
  • Increase your attention

Consume a well balanced diet

Balance your carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals while avoiding processed meals that temporarily raise your blood sugar. Complex carbs (brown rice, whole grain wheat, barley, lentils, chickpeas), lean protein (fish, poultry, green peas, tofu), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado) are also good choices (nuts, eggs, avocados, olive oil).

3. Avoid Processed Sugars.

Any health specialist will tell you that processed sugars are extremely harmful to one's health. Especially when living a sedentary lifestyle and spending most of your time seated at a desk, staring at a computer screen.

As a 9-5 employee, you frequently go for coffee, tea, or an energy drink whenever you become drowsy after lunch. Instead, you can go for herbal or green tea breaks. And you must avoid or lessen the sugar intake in your drinks.

4. Go for a Walk After Lunch.

If you find yourself sleeping regularly after lunch, try adopting a more active office lifestyle. For example, you should go for a post-lunch walk instead of immediately returning to work. According to health experts and dieticians, office workers should take a 15-minute brisk walk.

After Lunch Go for a Walk

A little walk around the office building or stairwell may kickstart your metabolism and digestion. End your stroll with deep-breathing activities to increase your body's oxygen levels. This regimen will improve digestion and energize you during post-lunch work hours.

5. Chew Gum.

According to a study at St. Lawrence University, chewing gum may reduce weariness and boost alertness; however, overdoing it might reverse the results.

Chew Gum

Chewing gum can assist since it keeps you busy and boosts your mood. You can chew mint gum for at least five minutes for a quick energy boost.

6. Combat Anxiety.

When you're anxious, unhappy, or uptight, your digestive system doesn't work properly, leaving you tired and sluggish. Short breathing exercises and short post-lunch walks boost oxygen flow to your brain and body and make you feel more active and energetic. Fighting the yawns and regaining attention is as simple as taking a little walk or stopping by a colleague's desk.

7. Tune in to Some Music.

Tune in to Some Music

Music can improve job performance and help you avoid crashing in the afternoon. According to studies by Teresa Lesiuk, an associate professor at the University of Miami, listening to music enhances the quality of work and the time it takes to accomplish tasks. So make a playlist and relax.

8. Schedule your Coffee breaks.

Coffee is an excellent energy source, but don't wait too long after lunch to have it. Many people believe that caffeine is safe as long as it is consumed before supper, but caffeine can linger in your body and interfere with your ability to fall asleep at night.

Schedule your Coffee breaks

According to studies, this creates a vicious cycle that might leave you exhausted the next day. Half of the caffeine consumed takes most individuals three to five hours to eliminate.

9. Practice portion control.

Overeating can cause sluggishness by delaying digestion and feeling bloated and unpleasant. Instead, eat smaller meals to prevent feeling drowsy and sluggish and keep blood sugar levels.

Have your waiter pack up half of your lunch before bringing it. If your meal includes a side of chips or fries, see if you can swap it out for vegetables or fruit. Wait 20 minutes before taking another bite.

10. Drink Plenty of Water.

Dehydration can result in weariness, irritability, and difficulties concentrating. Assure that you drink enough water throughout the day. So drink more water to keep your body hydrated and avoid the post-lunch slump.

11. Take a power nap.

Power naps have become the new business buzzword, particularly among international firms with various hours and time zones. Many studies have shown that power naps can help workers relax and rest to perform more productively. If you decide to take a power nap, make sure you set the alarm to sleep beyond your bedtime.

Read: 15 Minutes Power Nap At Work: What You Need To Know

Wrapping Up

Try these tips to get your result if you want to avoid your post-lunch drowsiness. These tips might seem very simple, but these are some of the most effective ways to prevent a post-lunch slump.

This article is written by Daina Barman who is a content writer and marketer at Vantage Circle. Besides being an epicure trying to cook every dish possible, she likes to dance her way around everything. To get in touch, reach out to

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