Feeling Sleepy

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    Feeling Sleepy

    Hi bees,

    I've come to notice lately that I get extremely sleepy after finishing my lunch, which has made it very difficult to get back into the flow of getting work done. I've since started doing something like intermittent fasting where I delay my lunch so that I get all my work done before I eat. However, I'm not convinced that it's healthy to maintain such a long gap between my breakfast and lunch (and then essentially have two large meals in the second half of the day).

    I'm wondering what it is exactly (biologically?) that's causing me to feel sleepy, and if there's anything I can do to prevent it from happening. I've tried playing around with portion size, but it doesn't seem to have an effect, I don't think. Does anyone have experience with something similar? I think it's worth mentioning that I always do my workout right before lunch. Maybe that's the culprit?

    #2
    Do you work sitting ?
    Because it used to happen to me when I was sitting at my desk, doesn't happen now that I have a standing desk.
    Maybe you can look into that

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      #3
      Ryuji That's a good idea! I do work sitting down, and I even have a standing desk, but I haven't used it in a long time. I'll give it a try and I'll let you know how it goes!

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        #4
        Digesting food also requires a significant amount of activity, even though it functions through peristalsis, so you don't have to think about digesting. This activity leads to increased blood flow to the area of the stomach, which includes moving blood away from your brain and muscles. The informal term for this is a "food coma". Probably the fact that your are exercising shortly before is contributing to this, as your muscles are already tired from the workout.

        Unless you are on the verge of death caused by undernourishment, it doesn't really matter when you consume your calories. Even right before bed is not as bad as once thought, though not ideal. If you can wait then it might make sense to consume your calories later. However, it seems like you should maybe focus more on what you are eating, not when or how much. If you told us what your meals consist of then it could help out a bit to give better advice. I am no expert on this subject, but I would think that foods with natural sugar (fruit) would be a good addition, as well as avoiding heavy chunks of protein. Conversely, processed foods would also be bad, because they would likely cause a spike in blood sugar (due to them being easy to digest) but then leave you to quickly crash. Maybe look at a smaller lunch of a salad with some tuna or legumes on it and some fruit and nuts for desert?

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          #5
          CaptainCanuck Thank you for the insight! That answers a lot of my questions. It's also very likely that what I'm eating is at fault here. For breakfast I have oatmeal (sometimes mixed with a banana) and 4 slices of rye bread with margarine (and if I have any, blue or white cheese). Additionally, I have a cup of coffee and sometimes a small amount of müsli (probably less than 40 grams). I'm pretty happy with my breakfast and it seems to provide me with enough energy.

          For lunch and dinner, I boil some potatoes and make something to go along with that. This is usually some sort of processed vegan product such as black bean patties, and sometimes I make a sauce using tomatoes, onions, and carrots, and some sort of oat-based plant protein product (I'm not sure what this is called in English, but it's essentially a meat substitute). I'm not feeling good about relying so heavily on processed foods, so I should take the time to learn some recipes and make do without them. I remember having a really good ginger and carrot soup a few weeks ago, so I've been feeling like making something like that lately.

          I've looked into having a smaller lunch, but it doesn't seem to keep hunger at bay for long enough. Perhaps it would be better than fasting until evening though? Something to look into. Salad sounds good. I used to really enjoy making salads, but I haven't done that in a while now! I'm avoiding sugar, so perhaps not nuts, but maybe müsli or legumes could go along well with it.

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            #6
            Hi fláráðr ljós, I am on IF(18/6) for almost a year now. I work from home, so I have more control over my time than most. My regimen is: get up, have a coffee (black,no sugar), some water, get some work done, work out around 11:00 to 12:00, have a rather well equipped muesli ( ~660kcal) and a protein shake in the afternoon, get some more work done, preparing/eating dinner before 18:00. Thats it. It takes some time to get used to Intermittend Fasting, because we are creatures of habit. Apart from there beeing some scientific evidence that it is really healthy, I am happy with IF. I lost 9 cm on my waist. In addition with the Darebee workouts, Daily Dares and Challenges (did 50 burpees in one go last week, yeeeh!) it made me like what I see in the mirror again. I totally agree what CaptainCanuck said about nutrition and digestion. Spread your proteins a bit over the eating window. Try Ryuji 's tip, but try to stick to the IF, it will get easier. Maybe a small espresso after lunch helps you power through. Check out the Plates section and the Recipes section for some inspiration on what to cook.
            All the best
            Andi

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              #7
              Thank you for the response, Andi64! I also work from home, so similarly I get very fine-grained control over my schedule. Your regimen sounds interesting, so I'll think about it for inspiration. I'm glad you've had a positive experience with intermittent fasting! For me, it's mainly about delaying the getting tired after lunch issue. I've noticed that I get a burst of energy as I go longer without eating, but I'm also often frustrated that I get hungry and can't have lunch at a normal time. I'll see about spreading my protein intake over a longer period of time. I've limited myself to a single cup of coffee per day, but perhaps another cup after lunch could help. I'll look over some recipes tonight and pick something to make for next week.

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                #8
                I practice IF like Andi64 above. Tremendous positive benefits for me, no more sleepiness after meals or any time during the day. I went from 18/6 to OMAD on workdays. I use lunch hour at work to have a 45min brisk walk outside instead of eating. Come back at desk refreshed and full of energy to finish the day.

                For your meal composition, and not get huge cravings between meals, if you do 2 meals a day, make the first one fat+proteins (make SURE to get proteins). Second meal can be low fat + protein (i.e. eat your carbs at dinner). Eating carbs will make you hungry or low energy because get digested faster, so its why you get lower energy 1-2 hours after your lunch in afternoon. Time it at night so that this "down" or any cravings for snacks happens when you go to bed.

                For example, rule of thumb, which you can experiment with: do not mix up in the same meal the fat and the carbs. E.g. your breakfast or lunch can be bacon and eggs with avocade and a piece of cheese, but do not eat toast, bread, potatoes or drink orange juice with it. At dinner, you can have chicken breast, salad and veggies with vinegar and spices, mashed potatoes, rice, etc. but try to avoid fats like oil in the dressing, cheese and similar things.

                I'm not so knowledgeable for workouts/eating windows, depends what you are doing and the intensity I bet. It might be worth looking into strategies to optimize fuel vs energy spent. I know a lot of people online who shared their experiences and strategies. From what I read, many who workout 45min or more, intensively, actually carb up before the workout (so that the carbs get burned during the workout and muscles have fuel for better performance). I've seen other people work out fasted without problems too, but they may not be doing HIIT, or work out as long. Best way to figure it out is to experiment, and then, share the results with us here!

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                  #9
                  Interesting! I will play around with this. Thank you Aghaveagh!

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