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There is something about the post lunch hour, when a sense of boredom creeps in and time weighs so heavy that you can almost hear the clock tick. As the sun shines brightest upon the day, we feel an urge to retire to bed or if we are at work, to put our heads down and catch 40 winks.

The midday tiredness is a by-product of a modern lifestyle that keeps us always on the move, hardly leaving us with time to stop and have a proper breakfast. At work, you’ll see colleagues drinking cups and cups of coffee just to stay awake or engaging in mindless chatter to bide time and ward off boredom. But why are we prepared to give up on the day by noon while pending work mounts, and there is so much more to generally go through?

We talk to experts on the reasons for the dismal energy levels at noon, and how best we can correct it.

No goodnight’s sleep
Most of us bring the office home, continue to talk on the phone, or work on laptops and endlessly watch television till midnight. This takes away from our prime sleep hours that help restore tired nerves and rejuvenates the body. A routine of sleeping late and waking up early, and then rushing to work, leaves you exhausted much sooner in the day. Get at least 7-8 hours of undisturbed sleep. Preferably, turn your cell phones off while you do so.

No time for play
When you have no exercise routine sketched out, you do burn out faster. Agreed, morning hours are the busiest, but it is worth squeezing in a brief workout schedule. Anything from brisk walks, jogging, skipping to running on the treadmill helps, if going to the gym is too far-fetched an idea for you. An evening workout is not half as effective as an early morning warm up sets the pace for the remainder of the day. If nothing else, it secretes ‘happy hormones’ which gives your body the much-needed inward push.

Anxious, all the time
Taking too much stress not only gives you high blood pressure, but reduces your attention span as well. Avoid being restless and edgy, and consciously try to stay happy and hassle-free. Take pride in your work, your family, your house and your surroundings. It’ll keep you going.

No time for breakfast
Most people who feel tired by afternoon are the ones that skip breakfast in favour of a large lunch. If you do not take meals in the designated time frame, it’ll affect your hormonal secretion and leave you lethargic. Not taking breakfast works up your appetite, and subsequently, you overdo the lunch.

Tips to stay vivacious
- Take a timely and balanced breakfast comprising a bowl of oats, or cereals of your choice, fruits, and toast with some butter or margarine on it.
- Avoid drinking too much coffee or tea after breakfast and before lunch. Not only are you ruining your appetite, the excess caffeine makes you anxious as well.
- Don’t overeat at lunchtime as you are bound to feel tired for the rest of the day. However, your lunch should be a right balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. You can take chapattis, a bowl of dal, and a portion of green vegetables. Non-vegetarians can substitute dal with chicken stew, both a source of proteins. Try to avoid rice in the afternoon as it will invariable give you a belly bulge. In fact, if you go for a balanced diet at lunchtime, you wouldn’t require any of the calcium and multi-vitamin supplements.
- Sleep adequately at night.
- Swing into action an exercise schedule. Be it heavy duty gym-ing or a workout at home.
- Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water through the day.
- Avoid snacking between breakfast and lunch. It’s good to indulge in fresh fruits of various hues. From apples, peaches, oranges, berries, pomegranate to banana, fruits have their own distinctive properties, and are an abundant source of Vitamin A, C, potassium and flavonoids among others.
- Potato chips are a total diet killer. Take sprouts instead. You can even carry it in a little box with you to work, and have it when you feel the urge to snack. It keeps you fresh and your body, lighter.

(With inputs from Dr. Sricha Sharma, a Delhi-based Nutritionist and Child Specialist)