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Sleepy After Meal & Wine

Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 07:02 AM

Just curious if this is a problem for anyone else?

I have a 9 to 5 job and if I eat dinner at home, it happens around 6:30~8:30. I go to bed usually at 1AM. I don't have children. So as you can see with that much time between dinner and bed time, I'd like to use it for something productive. But I found that if I eat a scrumptious meal, especially with half a bottle of wine, I enter a state of euphoria and just want to lie down and do nothing (probably end up watching a movie, worse would be taking a nap on a recliner). This is in turn bad because I'd probably drink even more wine at that point. This is problematic because the euphoria is such that I'd even rather lie down and relax than have sex.

Anyway, I thought it's worth sharing because I'd imagine many chowhounds eat very well on a daily basis, so I'm curious how you stay productive after dinner, especially if you drink alcohol with dinner?

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  1. BobB RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 08:00 AM

    Dinner around here is generally between 8 and 9, and we go to bed 11 - 12. Wine is de rigeur, and we never plan on being productive after dinner. After dinner is for relaxation and entertainment - conversation, watching TV/movie/ball game, reading.

    Why is this even an issue? Unless, as you imply, your mate would prefer sex and post-prandial euphoria puts you out of the mood. In which case maybe a bit if research into aphrodisiac foods is in order. ;-)

    5 Replies
    1. re: BobB
      Dio Seijuro RE: BobB Aug 18, 2010 08:08 AM

      The issue is that I feel too unproductive if I am relaxing for the whole time after dinner...usually a span of 5 hours. I'd like to study something or go to the gym for at least 2 out of the 5 hours.

      I would like some "self-improvement" time everyday, instead of just work, eat, and relax. And I resist with all my power to wake up and do anything in the morning...I wake up and go straight to work.

      1. re: Dio Seijuro
        c
        Cathy RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 08:26 AM

        It is one or the other. Wake early and have things accomplished before you go to work, which means going to sleep earlier...or leave work, get other things done, then eat (light- one glass of wine, not a half bottle every day...) and go to sleep early.

        It is difficult to change habits, but sounds like you want to. Do things in 15 minute segments-study/read, clean, gym...wake 15 minutes earlier so you can eat and relax before work. If you give yourself permission to stop after 15 minutes, or continue on if you feel like it, a *lot* can be accomplished. Telling yourself you won't do anything unless you have a two hour block of time will result in nothing being accomplished.

        Always remember you are working so you can live, not living to work.

        1. re: Dio Seijuro
          d
          Dan G RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 10:45 AM

          Buy a treadmill or elliptical machine. Plan on doing something useful right after eating,even such as cleaning the kitchen, etc, and then an hour or so after dinner, exercise. That's what I do...I would never make it to a gym at that time, but even after a 1/2 bottle of wine I jump on the elliptical for an hour while watching television or a movie.

          Regarding a comment below about not enough sleep, I find that working out replaces sleep because the exercise gives you more energy. I used to sleep about 8 hours a night, but in the past year or so I've been doing 45 - 60 min on elliptical most days and I usually only sleep 6 - 6 1/2 hours a night and have more energy than I know what to do with.

          1. re: Dan G
            Dio Seijuro RE: Dan G Aug 18, 2010 12:42 PM

            So you exercise afterward regardless. I guess that's what I'll have to do. Rest for a couple hours right after dinner, and THEN I'll be out of the food induced euphoria enough to be productive.

          2. re: Dio Seijuro
            Kajikit RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 04:00 PM

            You need to learn to relax! You should NOT 'feel guilty' about spending a few hours a day doing nothing. Everyone needs some time to recharge and that down time is letting your body recover. The time between dinner and bed is relaxation time for most people.

        2. southernitalian RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 08:30 AM

          I work 9 to 5 and think 1.a.m. to bed is WAY too late.

          2 Replies
          1. re: southernitalian
            Dio Seijuro RE: southernitalian Aug 18, 2010 08:32 AM

            It's because I am not up until 8:30 in the morning.

            1. re: Dio Seijuro
              southernitalian RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 09:28 AM

              I still wonder if that's enough sleep. 7 1/2 hours, assuming you fall asleep the minute your head it's the pillow, doesn't seem like enough. Maybe you should try going to bed at 11:30 or so. You might have a lot more energy/alertness after dinner if you had more sleep.

          2. Miss Needle RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 09:19 AM

            Maybe your meals are too large during dinnertime. Americans tend to eat their largest meals at night. I get home pretty late from work so eating a large meal at night would not sit well with me. I would try cutting down the portions if you want to be more awake for "self improvement."

            1. Midlife RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 12:14 PM

              Um............... is it just me or doesn't drinking half a bottle of wine make MOST people sleepy? Food, if you eat enough, will make you sleepy too........... so I wouldn't be surprised at all by this.

              How do you STAY PRODUCTIVE in spite of a big meal and a half-bottle of alcohol??? Caffeine, exercise, stand in front of the AC vent? ................ or not!

              3 Replies
              1. re: Midlife
                Dio Seijuro RE: Midlife Aug 18, 2010 12:39 PM

                It's not that I can't do anything physically. I just get into a happy and relaxed state, so I have a hard time focusing if I were to read or study (I enjoy studying random subjects in the evening). And I have a hard time getting into a mood to punish the body after putting it into such a relaxed state.

                1. re: Dio Seijuro
                  chowser RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 12:55 PM

                  "I just get into a happy and relaxed state"

                  Why fight it? People spend thousands in therapy to get there.:-) But, if you want to be productive, how about just doing that every other day, being happy and relaxed, and spend the next being productive? Or, vary the ratio. When I had a corporate job, I'd hit the gym before going home for an hour or so and then go home to dinner. Once you get home, it's too easy to put off.

                  1. re: Dio Seijuro
                    Midlife RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 05:29 PM

                    Nothing wrong with happy and relaxed. When I'm happy and relaxed is when I WANT to do things like read or study. Maybe you should eat and drink things you don't really like much??? :o)))

                2. u
                  upsidedownorchid RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 12:45 PM

                  If you don't want to change the amount you eat and drink, what about changing the timing...

                  Maybe have a snack after work, be productive for a couple hours, then eat dinner, drink and lounge around. If you don't go to bed till one, pushing dinner back till 8 might work.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: upsidedownorchid
                    mtngirlnv RE: upsidedownorchid Aug 18, 2010 04:34 PM

                    That's what we do. And it works very well.

                    1. re: upsidedownorchid
                      onceadaylily RE: upsidedownorchid Aug 18, 2010 05:49 PM

                      I agree. I had to rethink things after a long stint in the restaurant field that had me up by four in the morning. It was not long before I discovered that a few drinks and a meal rendered me useless. So, after work, I gave myself a short period to unwind, and then attended to any tasks that needed done, with food and drink following (what followed that likely involved a book or a movie). After I left the industry, I found I had to re-think this. An eight o'clock meal works for me now, and if I am sleepy by ten? I sleep.

                      Dio Seijuro: also (advice that doesn't target changing your habits), if I've had food or drink that induces a lax state that I am unwilling to partner with, the simple act or washing my face, or taking a quick barely-warm shower, revives me in a most reliable fashion. I find myself thinking, "Just get up and wash your face", and then I think, "Okay, maybe I'll just scrub out the kitchen sink quick," and it kind of snowballs into a second wind. The more I move, the more I want to.

                    2. l
                      lemons RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 18, 2010 08:48 PM

                      Let me preface this by saying I am no nutrition nut. But I have found from personal experience that if I have a high-fat meal on an empty stomach, I'm pretty much the way you describe or even more lethargic for the next 3 hours or so. Alcohol makes it even more so. You might pay attention and see if this is better or worse relative to fat in the meal.

                      And another thing - alcohol can start working more quickly when it lands on an empty tum, versus beginning to have your wine after you've had maybe half your first course. So think about that.

                      I also think this eating later and doing your have-tos before the meal makes really good sense.

                      1. b
                        beevod RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 19, 2010 08:53 AM

                        If you're "productive" after eating a scrumptious meal and half a bottle of wine, you're doing something wrong.

                        1. q
                          queencru RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 19, 2010 10:20 AM

                          I would just shift the productive time to before dinner. If you plan on eating between 8-9, that still gives you 3 hours after work to go to the gym, shower, run any errands, and make dinner. I find I often get really lethargic both right after lunch and dinner, so it is better for me to try to do everything I need to do before dinner. You go to bed late enough that eating at 9 should really be fine for you.

                          1. c
                            CarmenR RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 19, 2010 09:04 PM

                            Oh man, lets see-
                            if I get out of work before 7 (BIG "if") dinner usually lies somewhere around 8:30-9. After that, we smoke some hookah and either watch a movie or some tv, chit chat, cuddle on the couch and then go to bed around 11:30-midnight.

                            The time between work and dinner is "productive time" (he works very early and gets out of work at 4pm, I work later and get home accordingly but run errands in the morning.) We rarely do anything "productive" aside from showering, walking the dog or running to the grocery store after dinner. If anything, we push dinnertime back to get more stuff done- dinner sort of signifies the end of the day for both of us. And, since we mostly only have that 2-3 waking hours to see eachother (and sometimes not even that as I work increasingly late these days) we like to enjoy being unproductive. There's no reason to be doing productive things after 10pm, imo!

                            1. f
                              FrankD RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 21, 2010 09:22 AM

                              I had a similar problem about ten years ago. I mentioned it to my doctor, she tested my blood sugar, and found I had developed Type II diabetes. Here's what was happening:

                              I had developed "insulin resistance" - my body was producing insulin, but it wasn't getting into my cells. The elevated blood sugar levels after a big meal put the pancreas into overdrive, and it would produce too much insulin. After a short while, my high blood sugar would plummet (alcohol exacerbates this), and I would feel very sleepy.

                              This may not be your problem at all, but the test is simple and inexpensive, and if you are insulin resistant now (not fully diabetic), relatively simple changes to diet and lifestyle can either prevent or delay the situation from progressing. Best to know, one way or the other.

                              1. KaimukiMan RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 24, 2010 01:49 AM

                                after the meal and whatever necessary clean up, plan on a short nap, not more than 20 or 30 minutes. then get up and do what it is you need to do. It will take some practice and discipline to get up, but well worth the effort.

                                1. m
                                  mojoeater RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 25, 2010 04:18 PM

                                  We have a similar schedule. I have to be at work by 9am and I go to sleep around 1am. What I've found effective is to have a snack around 3pm and go to the gym straight after work. Eat after showering (7-8pm) and wait on the booze until about 10pm. By breaking up the food and wine/beer/whatever I don't get sleepy until I'm ready for bed.

                                  1. iluvcookies RE: Dio Seijuro Aug 28, 2010 08:42 PM

                                    Why not have dinner early, say 6:30 or 7, do your "productive" stuff, then have a glass of wine and a snack at 10pm?
                                    I am nothing close to productive after half a bottle of wine... at that time whatever movie is on the tube will suffice until I fall asleep on the sofa.

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