How to Stay Awake After Lunch

Do you separate your work day into two parts, before and after lunch? Often, it’s difficult to focus after lunch. The urge to yawn is greater than the desire to cross things of your to-do list. Staying awake doesn’t need to be a chore. Here are some tips that can help make it easier to stay alert and focused during the second half of the day.

Understanding Digestion

Bodies get fuel from food, and our digestive systems do the hard work. Converting the food into energy is the metabolism, and everyone has a different type of metabolism so food impacts everyone differently. Generally, as we digest food, blood sugar levels begin to rise. That gives us energy. Those levels begin to fall naturally about an hour after eating, so energy levels fall as well. Increase that energy level by getting a little exercise during the lunch hour before starting work again. It helps improve blood flow. Getting up and away from your desk can be enough. Walk a lap of the office floor. Go up and down the stairs. You don’t need to do a spin class. Just get moving. Get outside if you can. The boost of vitamin D can relieve stress and boost energy. If you can’t get up and go somewhere, stretch at your desk a bit. Stand up and do some simple stretches. Not only will your energy level increase, but your back, neck, and shoulders might thank you also. At lunch, avoid fast food and lunches with lots of fats, sugars, salt, and preservatives. The refined grains in many processed foods like sandwich buns go through digestion quickly which accelerates the blood sugar spike that makes you feel tired later.

Careful of Caffeine

Coffee or other caffeinated drinks in the afternoon can boost energy, but don’t wait too long to drink it. The caffeine can linger in your body and affect your ability to fall asleep later. Lack of sleep can contribute to groggy feelings the next day. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. Dehydration can cause fatigue. Caffeine can also dehydrate you, so make sure you’re balancing the amount of water you drink with the cups of coffee or other drinks.

Quick Boosts

Keep some gum at your desk. Chewing gum stimulates the facial muscles and increases blood flow to your head. Look away from the computer screen every few minutes to give your eyes a break. Focus on something a few feet away, then come back to the computer. Turn up the lights in your office if you can. Brighter lights can reduce sleepiness and increase alertness. You can also grab a healthy snack. It’s part of eating smaller portions throughout the day to keep your blood sugar levels more constant. Large meals take more energy to digest. Strike up a conversation. The act of talking can keep you from feeling tired. After lunch might be a good time to make a phone call or stop by someone’s office for a chat or brainstorming session. If you’re looking for more ways to improve your office and work life? The experts at Beaux-Arts Group can help. Contact them today for a consultation.