How to Avoid Sleepiness After Lunch

Afternoon marks a period of drowsiness for many people, especially with a full stomach. Feeling sleepy after lunch decreases your productivity and makes it difficult to stay on task, a problem particularly if you are at work. There are strategies to reduce the sense of drowsiness as you get back to work after lunch. Experiment with various methods to keep awake and alert.

Step 1

Get a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night to give your body the proper amount of rest. Wake up at the same time each day so your body gets into a routine. Waking up earlier or getting too little sleep can throw off your schedule and make you feel more tired in the afternoon.

Step 2

Limit the processed sugars and fat you consume at lunch to avoid an energy crash. While sugar may give you a boost initially, it wears off quickly and leaves you feeling exhausted. If you want a sweet treat with your lunch, choose fruit that has natural sweetness.

Step 3

Consume foods for lunch that include iron, protein and complex carbohydrates. Iron enables the body to produce the hemoglobin necessary to carry oxygen through the body for increased energy. Carbohydrates deliver glucose to the body that serves as a fuel that helps your body function.

Step 4

Limit the size of your lunch to avoid overeating. Digesting a large meal leaves your body feeling tired. Try eating a smaller lunch with snacks in the morning and afternoon to keep your blood sugar levels balanced.

Step 5

Wait 15 minutes after you eat and then take a brisk walk around the block before heading back to work. Other options include exercises in your office like pushups and jumping jacks. Finish with a set of breathing exercises to increase the oxygen levels in the blood to boost your energy.

Step 6

Take a short nap if possible. If you are at work, a nap is not always possible. If you do slip away for a short nap, set an alarm on your cell phone so you don't sleep past your lunch break.

Step 7

Drink water after lunch to hydrate your body. All of the organs in your body require water for proper functioning. Sleepiness is a sign of dehydration so if you don't drink enough after lunchtime your fatigue may seem worse.


Keep track of the foods you eat at lunch and your energy level afterward. Use this to help determine which foods leave you feeling more energized and which ones slow you down.

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