How to Get Rid of Drowsiness or Sleepiness After Lunch
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How to Get Rid of Drowsiness or Sleepiness After Lunch

What are the reasons for drowsiness or sleepiness after lunch? Here are some of the reasons and the corresponding solutions.

Almost every person experiences sleepiness or drowsiness after lunch. This becomes a problem especially if someone is having a regular 8-12, 1-5 work routine. There are many reasons why this phenomenon happens. Hereunder is a list of the reasons and suggested solutions.

Reason 1: Lack of sleep. When there are just too many things to accomplish during the day and you have to extend your work til nightime, you will most likely feel the brunt of extra work the previous day at noon time the next day. As your body needs at least 6-8 hours of sleep, it tries to compensate for lost sleep time through autofeedbacking, i.e., by making you sleepy.

Solution 1: If you can find a good place to sleep in the office at noon time, then do take a 15-minute or longer nap. A Harvard study found out that a one-hour nap is best to reenergize your body. Drinking coffee (with caffeine) might spoil your sleep time during the night so avoid it.

Midday sleep time is called siesta by the Spaniards and has been a common practice in countries like Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, India, Iran, Italy (southern), Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, North Africa, Pakistan, the Philippines, Serbia, Slovenia, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Reason 2: Insomnia. This is a sleep disorder where people affected have difficulty sleeping at night.

Solution 2: The underlying reasons must be identified with the help of a medical professional. Some people may be disturbed due to an unpleasant or traumatic experience. Hypnosis can help alleviate the problem.

Reason 3: Tiredness. If the body is too tired, sleep-inducing chemicals are produced.

Solution 3. Tiredness is a bodily response to stress or damage. The appropriate solution would be to give the body enough time to recuperate by sleeping. Recuperation can be hastened by drinking lots of water. Water enables the body to speed up the healing process.

Reason 4: Metabolic problem. The rate of metabolism is associated with alertness. Those who metabolize food slower tend to feel tired and sleepy. The digestive system has to work harder to oxidize food taken during lunch.

Solution 4: Since metabolism is genetically dictated, the person affected cannot do anything about it. To avoid the problem of sleepiness, a sensible way is to eat less during lunch time; and compensate later in the day when hunger sets in. Washing the face with cool water may be necessary to wake the senses up. If you are working in the office, you might try walking around and converse with people for a while.

Exercise can also speed up the metabolism. Regular exercise is therefore a must for people who have slow metabolism.

Reason 5: Drugs. There are drugs that induce sleep.

Solution 5: If required to take a drug that induce sleep, consult your doctor if it is possible to take the drug at nighttime.

Reason 6: Boring lectures. Some people yawn when they listen to a boring lecturer. But some people just yawn during the unholy after lunch hours. When people yawn in a gathering, almost everybody yawns. And the explanation to the phenomenon is that there are just a lot of carbon dioxide in a room filled with people. Yawning, according to one explanation, increases the amount of oxygen taken by a person. 

Solution 6: While the reason may be too much carbon dioxide in the air, some suggest holding the breath for as long as you can. The longer you can hold it, the better you get rid of sleep. Or you may just leave the lecture hall and get some fresh air outside.

There may be other underlying reasons for sleepiness or drowsiness not identified above such as narcolepsy, which is an unexplained disorder. It is characterized by extreme daytime sleepiness and may cause muscle weakness.

Further, lengthened waking hours due to the invention of electricity may have disrupted the normal sleep patterns of the modern man. It appears that sleepiness is a problem hounding the civilized man, and the ultimate solution may be to live life as naturally as possible and get back to the basics. The rule is: sleep when you need it. Take the cue of yawning.

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Comments (7)

Great article, Patrick! I wouldn't have thought of it, but your comment is very true about extending our day with electric lights. I'm notoriously yawning mid-afternoon, and what I've also found helpful is to watch what I eat at lunch, as well as how much. Things like pasta, bread, and simple carbohydrates will lead to a crash about 1 hour after consumption. Once I started limiting my lunch to fruit, vegetables, and fish, I found I could make it through the afternoon much better.

Excellent article Patrick looking into sleepiness. Very true for all of the above, although I have never contemplated why so many people yawn when in one room together, very interesting concept!Great work you have my vote and buzz!

Ranked #17 in Sleep

Thank you dear Friends for your comments. @Sharla, yes it takes some discipline eating the right kinds of food to avoid that afternoon drowsiness. @Tanya, yawning is a phenomenon that puzzles scientists. But a good yawn coupled with teary eyes is refreshing.

The article"s heading promises a remedy fore those who drowse after lunch. While it suggests ways of avoiding drowsiness at he same time it show that drowsiness is inevitable As such one has to take an hours nap. Is this the way of avoiding drowsiness. I think the heading of the article should be revised.

Yes, I've experienced this. This was an excellent account of the causes.

Ranked #39 in Sleep

Practical and very useful information. I have to get up early in the morning (at about 5 am) for early morning pray, and then getting ready for the day long activities (teaching). When I come back home at about 3 pm it it almost a duration of 11 hours and after a light lunch I take a nap of half or full hour to regain my energy level.


Thank you so much for this article. Because of this, I have change my way of living. Thanks a lot...