How to Get Rid of Drowsiness in the Afternoon? How to Troubleshoot It?

Updated on October 26th, 2020
What's Causing Your Afternoon Tiredness

How often do you feel drowsy in the afternoon? Whether your afternoon slumps are occasional or chronic, it can be annoying to feel your get-up-and-go energy get up and leave immediately after lunchtime, particularly when you have a long list of things to do.

Just visualize how much more you can achieve if only you could battle off the stupor and manage to refocus. You might find the motivation to complete projects by making the most of each second. You’d probably also enjoy a better frame of mind and mood.

But powering through those slumps can be challenging, particularly when your mind feels foggy, eyes get heavy, and your attention span shrinks to the size of a pea.

However, it’s not impossible to get back your tempo – or keep it from bottoming out in the first place. To reduce these energy dips’ impact on your daily life and make the afternoon more rewarding and productive, review your rigmarole, identify potential problems, and adjust your dietary choices and daily habits.

What’s Causing Your Afternoon Tiredness

That tired feeling you get shortly after lunch is referred to as the “2:30 feeling” and sometimes the “afternoon slump” because many day shift professionals experience it between the hours of 2 and 3 pm. It varies based on the time you work for shift workers, but the concept is the same.

Studies hint at various potential causes for afternoon fatigue, including:

1. The Circadian Rhythm

The circadian rhythm is our body’s internal system, which regulates wakefulness and sleepiness. Scientists have observed that wakefulness tends to dip between 1 to 3 pm when our body temperature naturally starts to dip, just as it does during nighttime.

In fact, people are biologically wired for 2 sleep cycles – a short period during the mid-afternoon and a long period during the night. In fact, a 1986 research on napping “gave us the first conclusive evidence that the brain internally generates the afternoon nap as part of the biological clock for wake/sleep cycles.”

[Also Read: Understanding the Sleep Cycles]

2. Diet

Besides biology, experts say that the most common reason for that 2:30 feeling is a dip in blood sugar or post-lunch reactive hypoglycemia that occurs in those who do not have diabetes. This typically happens within 4 hours of consuming a meal that is rich in carbohydrates.

Another dietary factor that is often at play is dehydration since not taking adequate water can cause fatigue, tiredness, and low concentration.

3. Poor Sleep Habits

Like having inconsistent sleep patterns or not getting sufficient quality hours, poor sleep habits are also contributing factors. That sugary breakfast or cup of coffee offers a temporary boost in the morning, but it wears off by noon, and you start to experience the afternoon slump.

[Also Read: Why Proper Sleep Is Important]

Ways to Battle Afternoon Fatigue

Luckily, there are many tips we can give you to help avoid the ‘afternoon slump’—an essential word of caution before we delve deep into the details, though. If your afternoon tiredness is severe or if establishing healthier habits like the ones listed below don’t seem to be working, see your physician as it may be something more severe.

Now let’s help you battle that afternoon tiredness!

1. Enhance Your Sleep at Night

Most individuals require around eight hours of sleep per night, and everyone can gain from creating a consistent sleep time frame where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. To make it happen, begin working on creating a better night time regimen that will help prepare your body for sleep. 

[Also Read: How to Fall Asleep in 60 Seconds]

2. Start with a Good Quality Breakfast

Your body needs nutrient boost and energy in the morning. Instead of a donut and coffee, turn to veggies, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins.

3. Drink Water Frequently

Prevent dehydration by keeping a bottle of water handy. Placing it in a nearby place will help you remember to drink frequently [3].

4. Go Light on Carbs at Lunch

This particularly goes for refined carbohydrates, which quickly enter your system and cause blood sugar spikes (unlike whole grains that are absorbed more gradually). Incorporate protein in your lunch because it will offer the fuel you require for the afternoon.

[Also Read: Fruits & Vegetables that can Lower Blood Sugar]

5. Get Up and Move

When you feel tiredness starting to set in, engage in some physical activity such as taking a brisk walk or climbing several flights of stairs. This will get our body warmed up, which will battle the body temperature dip, causing your tiredness. Move around frequently during the day as well because sitting too much can also cause drowsiness [4].

6. Take a Nap

While taking a nap may not be a privilege for all of us, many companies realize the advantages of allowing their employees to have a little nap time when it is required. Afternoon fatigue may be expected, but it can have some pretty serious effects.

If you work a desk job, you know that the afternoon slump feeling can mean a massive loss of productivity, which is financially expensive for the enterprise. If you operate heavy machinery or are a driver, afternoon tiredness can be a workplace safety issue.

For instance, there is adequate research showing an increase in drowsy-driving crashes in the mid-afternoon. Help avoid afternoon tiredness by following the tips above. Staying alert in those afternoon hours will improve safety in your workplace and boost your productivity.

Bottom Line

You may find that tiredness goes away naturally as your body becomes used to a new routine or as you become less depressed, stressed, or anxious.

However, if the drowsiness is due to a sleep disorder or a medical problem, it’s unlikely to get better on its own. The tiredness is likely to worsen without appropriate treatment. Few individuals manage to live with drowsiness. However, it may restrict your ability to drive, work, and operate machinery safely.

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