Sleepy after meal or commonly known as "food coma", is a very normal issue that we often encounter. Sleepiness always kicks in after lunch, and it's undeniably a dilemma for us to make the decision on whether to drink a cup of coffee at this point of time, because it might cause insomnia at night later. Food coma is indeed a nightmare for the white collars! There are few reasons that can lead to food coma, mainly because of the hormones: the increase of cholecystokinin, the decrease of orexin, the secretion of insulin, the increase of melatonin, etc., these are some of the main reasons that trigger food coma!
Lethargy can highly affect our work performance and study, but how can we avoid food coma?
Control your food intake
Most of us are always in rush in the mornings and most of the time we do not take proper breakfast, hence, we might unconsciously eat too much foods during lunch to ease the intense hunger, result in terrible food coma. We should eat slowly and stop eating when we feel full. Do not forget to eat more vegetables and high-fibre foods, and reduce the intake of high-fats and high-sugar foods. Does rice really cause sleepiness? In fact, not only rice, foods with high carbohydrates can cause sleepiness, try to avoid too much intake of carbohydrates and ensure balance diet.
Some people like to take afternoon nap after lunch, but it may become a habit that eventually affects your daily routine and reduce your sleep quality at night. You can try to take a quick 15-minute power nap after meal, it can effectively combat the tiredness and reduce the stress hormones in your body to improve your work performance!
Expose to sunlight
The secretion of insulin after meal can also trigger the increase of melatonin (also known as sleep hormone), if you sleep late during the night before, you will be sleepier during the afternoon next day. However, the level of melatonin can be reduced when we are exposed to sunlight. It does not mean you have to stand under the hot sun, but you can take a walk outdoor or even simply have a chat with your colleagues under the roof at the corridor or balcony.
Peppermint can help to refresh our mind, if you worry that coffee might affect your sleep at night, you can try peppermint tea instead. Also, you may place peppermint essential oil or peppermint scented freshener on your desk to help you increase your alertness.
Avoid energy drink
Some prefer to consume energy drink to keep them awake, but most of the energy drinks are added with excessive sugar and caffeine, therefore, it's not recommended. Moreover, most of the energy drink can only help to achieve temporary result and can cause high-dependency.
Sleepiness after meal is very common and normal, you may try to practise healthy diet and lifestyle in order to ease the condition. However, if you have serious issue of lethargy in long-term, do consult doctor or do body check-up because lethargy might be the symptom of certain disease!