You’ve had those heavy aloo parathas after lunch and all you can think of while sitting at your work desk now is how great it would be to curl up in bed.
The good news here is that this happens to the best of us, the real question is why exactly does this happen.
Is it because of over-eating, the type of foods we’re eating, or is something else going wrong?
The Post-Lunch Dip
Most dietitians and nutritionists believe that it is perfectly normal to experience that sluggish feeling after lunch. In fact, this phenomenon is so universal and common, that there actually exists a specific term for it-‘post-lunch dip’.
There are many factors that contribute to this slump, the most common one being the digestive process itself. During the process of digestion, a number of chemical changes occur in your body. This causes a huge amount of energy to be diverted to aid the process.
As your digestive system works overtime to break down the food you just ate and the metabolic processes kick in, other brain and body functions slow down, resulting in that lethargic feeling.
Feel-Good Hormones Are A Culprit
Another reason for that sluggish post-lunch feeling is a spike in the production of insulin, especially on consumption of fatty and sugary foods. This elevates levels of hormones like serotonin and melatonin. These’feel-good’ hormones are known to have a calming effect on the brain and body and have a major part to play in sleep regulation.
Studies also show that certain foods may increase feelings of sleepiness. For instance, foods rich in carbohydrates and even proteins can trigger the release of hormones that get you drowsy.
Your Sleep Patterns Matter Too
A surprising reason for the post-lunch slump could be your sleeping pattern. In fact, it is pretty natural for us to want to go sleep about 7 hours after we’ve woken up. The internal rhythmic cycles of the body falls into a resting phase at this point and coupled with other physiological processes, it marks the onset of that craving for sleep.
It would be wise to avoid over-eating and consuming too much sugar-rich or fatty foods if you want to keep your productivity at work high. So, it maybe time to cut those cupcakes & rice-curries out of your lunch meal plans, or save them for the weekends when you can afford to take long, satisfying naps!