It is common to feel sleepy after lunch. Research has shown that the common time for the energy to dip is 2.16pm in the afternoon when workers feel drained and unable to focus on their work.

Some companies allow workers to take “power nap”. But most companies do not have such a policy nor provide a place for you to rest.

Here are 5 ways you can do to maintain the energy after lunch:

1) Eat the right food

Whether the brain is alert or sleepy after lunch depends on the ratio of protein and carbohydrate you take in your meal during lunch. A high protein, low carbohydrate meal will jumpstart the brain due to the higher ratio of amino acid tyrosine which triggers the brain to be alert. Examples of such food are seafood, soy, meat, eggs and dairy.

On the other hand a high carbohydrate, low protein meal will relax the brain and make you sleepy. Examples of such foods are pasta, pastries, dessert and chocolates.

2) Mid afternoon snacks

Energy from sugary snacks and drinks such as chocolates, biscuits and soda wear off quickly. Instead, go for fresh fruits, whole grains and yoghurt because they are digested slowly and produce long-lasting source of energy

3) Drink enough water

Not drinking enough water makes you feel tired and sleepy. You can actually feel hungry because of dehydration. Don’t wait till you feel thirsty to drink water. By then, you are already dehydrated.

Keep a water bottle at your desk so that you can drink regularly and track how much you are drinking. You should drink 30 ml for every kg of your body weight. Don’t be afraid to go to the toilet often as this prevents you from sitting for too long and forces you to move.

4) Change your work focus

Break the “to-do” lists into small, manageable task and take short breaks after each one. Tackle the difficult jobs in the morning when you are still fresh and leave the less demanding jobs in the afternoon.

5) Stretches

Sitting for too long and hunching over your computer all day can leave you tired and aching. Take regular breaks, at least once every hour. Get up and move about and stretch your legs. Take deep breaths and stretches boost your blood circulation and keep your brain alert.

Desk Stretches

Lift your shoulders up to your ears and gently roll them forward and backwards.

Extend your legs in front of you and point and flex your toes. Rotate your ankle in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.

Link your hands, push your arms out in front of you and raise them above your head.

Rotate your head in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions

Stand up and sit down, controlling your movement.

Try out these methods and let me know how they work for you. Post them in the comment below.

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