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Keep Sleep at Bay on a Working Day

Posted Oct 26 2010 1:19am

You were awake until late last night with your friends, busy partying, chatting, a get together or involved some serious issue. And the following morning, you are late for your work. And even after that your sleep does not fade away. You are spotted by your senior with head on the arms dashed against the desk, your computer showing the screen saver zoom around. And then you are given your don’t-know-which-number warning. And you fear that the next time this happens, you are out of the office.

Sleeping at workWondering how do I know all this? Well, you are not alone to face all this; here’s me too. We all need a power nap between the numerous tasks we perform in a day’s course. I have managed my 10 minute power nap today. I always find myself energetic and fresh in the morning when I set out for work. Breakfast begins to act as a sedative for me, but cannot avoid it – have to survive till lunch. Lunch further takes me into my world of sleep. Sleeping during office hours is bad. They don’t pay you to show your drowsing skills! But it happens with most of us, either in the morning or after lunch (I often call them post lunch hallucinations). Why do we feel sleep after having food? I got the answer with me. Come I’ll tell you.

When one eats cooked food, the body utilizes most energy to digest it. The more the food is cooked; more energy molecules are required to break the complexities added to it due to cooking. While one works after having heavy cooked food, the energy molecules required by the body and the brain for accomplishing the task are used up for digestion purpose. This causes the body to fall short if energy and as a result the person feels exhausted. He feels tired, weary and is in need of rest; and thus the feeling of sleepiness creeps in. 80 % of the energy is used for digestion, at such times, and 20 % is left over to perform the given tasks. This is the main reason one feels dull and drowsy post breakfast or lunch, while at work.

Looking at the current scenario, the best thing to do seems to avoid eating heavy food during breaks at office. But is that the correct way out? I mean I hardly get to eat 2times a day throughout a busy week. My breakfast is skipped out, my dinners are early. Moreover, if I do not fill up myself well at lunch, how am I going to work? I mean we’re talking about loss of energy during digestion of heavy cooked food, but why do we forget that food gives us energy to work? Will avoiding good food be a healthy step? Let’s check out.

Avoid heavy and too much cooked food. This does not mean you cannot eat anything to fill yourself up yourself during office hours. All you need is that hunger must not bother you. You are, after all, working to feed yourself, isn’t it? You have alternate ways to substitute your diet with foods that do not need much energy to get digested. As well as this, they keep you fresh and your brain chilled. There is a full program, right from breakfast to dinner, for your office days. Weekend treats are at your liberty. (Secret: I myself have had a two day weekend treat stuffed up with all kinds of awesome cuisines). Let us get back and have a look at one of the many tips, the diet plan, for staying fresh during office hours.

Breakfast at workBreakfast:

This, first meal of the day, must consist of juices, from vegetables or fruits. As well as a salad of chopped veggies with boiled pulses or grains included, seasoned with sauce, salt, pepper and coriander leaves – yummy, awesome breakfast. You can eat as much as you wish of the prescribed breakfast. Also chip up on dry fruits, on the go.

Short breaks:

Do not misunderstand the use of tea and coffee during office hours. Caffeine, definitely, allows one to relax but are you aware of the energy spent by the body in the service of caffeine? It is a huge amount. So, the more of tea, coffee, chocolate drinks you consume during office hours, them more the things will worsen, which may not show up later.


This is the most important meal to be taken care of due to the rising number of people feeling sleepy after lunch, when at work. 94 % of the population, which suffers from sleepiness at work, further suffers from post lunch drowsiness. If they fancy you and your tummy, thrive on fruits and juices and salads again for lunch. Do not eat heavy, i.e. eat less. Take sandwich, vegetable preparations with least of oil and cooking and some little amount of rice, just to add taste. Hot soups and porridges add greatness to the meal.


Having such a diet during the day will make you feel, what is there in life to live? Well, you can cover up, whatever you missed out during the day, in the evening. This is to say that have a good dinner. Take some well cooked dishes and desserts and your favorites.

On non- working days, as I said earlier, your body has ample of energy and time to digest anything you eat. So that won’t affect your next day’s working schedule. I hope this secret of food and diet management shall be the best solution for your lethargy problems at work. Other methods to keep sleep at bay during work are:

    How to feel fresh at workTaking a short stroll around the office premises when feeling sleepy. Drinking lots of water between working hours. Taking short trips to the washrooms for washing your sleepy face and tired eyes. Reducing the brightness of your computer and having ample of light in the room you work to avoid stress on the ocular muscles and nerves. Listening to active music while working, only if it does not hinder the concentration and proves adverse for the task accomplishment. Performing a little stretching of the limbs on your seat itself. Munching something like chewing gum or candies or fennel grains. Even sunflower seeds are good for chewing, and they also better the dental conditions. Keep reminding yourself of the work you need to finish by the day, the appreciations that you may receive after a good job done and the firing you shall get if the boss saw you sleeping. Exercise also helps a lot. Rising early in the morning, inhaling fresh, pollution- free air into your lungs, and performing some exercises that help you keep active through out the day. Avoid use of sedating medicines during work, like the anti- histamine tablets for allergy treatments. The most important thing is to follow the saying ‘early to bed and early to rise makes one healthy, wealthy and wise.’ Sleep early at night so that you can satisfy your body and brain with the appropriate amount of rest they need. Done this, sleep wont trouble you during the day.

Follow these general advices and keep your sleep at bay, during work.

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