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Avoiding Post Lunch Lethargy While Working from Home

Bonny Shah

Bonny Shah
8 June 2020

This article is authored by Bonny Shah. Bonny is a Registered Dietitian and a Certified Diabetes Educator.

You’re working from the comfort of your home. You’ve just ordered-in a pizza for lunch and followed it up with a bar of your favourite chocolate. All of a sudden, you feel the temptation to nap or perhaps lie down on your bed that’s just a toss away. What’s the harm, right? That right there, the afternoon slump, is a phenomenon known as the ‘post-lunch dip’.

Why does this happen?

It’s an amalgamation of 3 things: your body’s circadian rhythm or the 24-hour cycle, which is naturally in a resting phase at this time; another physiological cycle - known as homeostatic - that measures the amount of time spent awake which pushes for rest around this time; and the effects of the wrong type of food, which can induce drowsiness. Add these 3 factors and you can feel an overpowering desire to sleep.

We’ve put together a few simple steps that can help you work through this temptation and focus on your tasks, especially as you continue to work from home, with your bed always in close proximity.

Start Right

Eat Breakfast

Start your day with a nutrition-rich breakfast. Ensure that your breakfast is a combination of carbohydrate and protein like vegetable moong dal chilla or paneer paratha or a bowel of dalia accompanied by a fruit and some nuts. It helps you moderate your hunger levels at lunchtime, which could otherwise lead to unhealthy lunch choices. The fibre and protein in dal-based breakfast options gives a good start to the day.

Pack in the Pulses

The refined grains in processed and fast foods get digested quickly, which leads to a sudden spike and then dip in blood sugar, contributing to low energy levels. Meals packed with nutrition from pulses and legumes, whole grains, leafy green veggies or lean protein in dals are a better bet for lunch. There’s nothing like a healthy meal made from Tata Sampann’s range of organic and unpolished Dals.

Not So Sweet Dreams

Radish

Your sweet tooth is what tends to make you drowsy. Sugars may give you an initial energy boost but will wear off quickly leaving you extremely tired and fatigued. So, if your sweet tooth is persistent, satisfy it with a fruit or a nibble of dark chocolate or anjeer (dried fig) or a piece of date.

Think Small

Eat better, eat small. Have a balanced meal comprising of fibre, protein, complex carbohydrates and maintain the portion sizes. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable or bloated after lunch because of an over-sized meal, which slows down digestion and leads to lethargy. Keep a healthy, nutrition-rich afternoon snack for later instead of going all in at lunch.

Here are some added tricks to help you tackle the untimely Zzzzzzs:

Splash Away the Drowsiness
Cold water is a mind invigorator that causes our bodies to release noradrenaline, an energizing hormone. Give it a good splash as our faces are full of nerve endings, but if you’d rather not splash up a mess, running your wrists under cold water does the trick too.

Chew on This
Chewing gum, especially a minty one, can be quite stimulating and help you increase your alertness. Pop one in for a quick 10 minutes to help you reduce the weariness while sitting on your laptop, post-lunch. Don't overdo it though, as anything longer than 15 to 20 minutes can actually decrease stimulation.

Tune in to Your Favourite Tunes
There’s nothing better than some of your favourite high-energy or sing-along tunes to wake you up and boost your mood. Make yourself a post-lunch energising playlist to help you fight the urge to nap.

Still need a nap? Walk it away
Take a short 10-15 mins walk around the house as that will help you stay alert.

How do you get rid of post lunch lethargy while working from home? Leave us your suggestions in the comments below.



DISCLAIMER

The views and opinions expressed, and assumptions & analysis presented in this content piece are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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