How to avoid feeling sleepy after lunch and stay productive

How to avoid feeling sleepy after lunch and stay productive

Productivity | Career | Motivation

Nia Bennett | Feb, 12 2020

Many of us experience a drop in energy and grogginess post lunchtime. This is often caused by lack of movement. In fact, people all around the world get affected by a sedentary lifestyle caused by constantly sitting at their desks and staring at their computer screens.

Since the majority of office goers spend around 60 to 70 per cent of their time sitting still and avoiding lunch breaks, the effect on their physical and mental health is detrimental.

Researchers have observed that people who spend long periods of time just sitting still in the office are more prone to diabetes and heart-related ailments.

The most simple way to break this habit is through awareness and action.

1. Stand up and walk

Every time you get a chance to stand up.

Set an alarm, time your movement and make sure you stand up once every hour. Next time you get a call or need to call somebody, do it while standing up.

When you have office meetings, make it a regular habit to take the stairs. Always remember that moving is a lifestyle choice and it becomes so with practice.

2. Eat less

One of the most common reasons why people feel unproductive after lunch is because of what they eat.

Work is a place of performance and productivity, let your food choice reflect that. Indulge in salads without dressings or minimal dressing, include more fruit and nuts into your diet and always stay hydrated. Remember that water is your best friend. It makes you feel full faster, flushes toxins, helps you stay calm, releases nervous and stress headaches, so always make sure you have a glass of water every two hours.

3. Reduce caffeine

If you are a caffeine junkie, this could be hard but not impossible. Start by limiting your caffeine intake, to one to two cups. This is the best way to retain productivity and optimism while at work. 

The more you depend on caffeine for a mood and energy boost, the higher is the risk to be susceptible to mood swings, feeling low and being temperamental.

4. Desk yoga

Don’t tell yourself that you don’t get any time to stretch.

Remember adding simple stretches to your routine whilst you are at work can heal your body and avoid you from having sprains and aches.

Ankles - Rotate your ankles in both directions for four seconds. Do four sets of eight reps in each direction. Doing simple ankle rotation every day can strengthen the flexibility of your ankles, making you less likely to suffer from sprains

Legs - Place both your legs on the feet. Slowly tilt your right leg towards the underside of your chair and then do the same with your left leg. Do six sets of eight reps to strengthen your thigh muscles.

Arm stretch - Stretch your right arm towards the left side of your face and use your left arm to hold your right arm elbow to do a nice long stretch. Repeat this with your left arm. Do six sets of eight for a nice stretch.

5. Nature therapy

If there is sunshine, make sure you step outside to get some sun, especially during lunchtime. Remember sun = vitamin D, the natural vitamin to feel good, get radiant skin and be happy.

Fresh air can have a relaxing effect on your brain and body. Not only does inhaling fresh air improve your immune system, it will also help you think clearly - this means more productivity, performance and positivity at the workplace.

So, if you are one of those people who have lunch at your desk, it’s time to start heading out, even if it means for a few minutes, do it to inhale fresh air.

You could also get into a habit of including a ten to fifteen-minute walk with a friend or a colleague and add some light exercise to your lunch routine before you get back to work.

6. Power nap

The health benefits of a power nap are numerous. It makes people feel instantly refreshed, calmer and it does not interfere with nighttime sleeping.

Today more and more companies are investing in resting areas and sleeping pods to help employees release stress, stay calm and improve productivity. If you have such a facility within your organisation, we highly urge you to use it for a 15-20 minute lunch nap.

An average person spends a large portion of their life doing a 9 to 5 job. This means most of us to spend a substantial amount of time at work which is leading us to develop a non-active lifestyle. Implementing awareness and physical movement will not only take away grogginess but also make you more alert, productive and help you stay fit and healthy whilst balancing a 9 to 5 work routine.