A tiresome afternoon, or better known afternoon slump, is known to attack almost all the individuals and gives them a drowsy feeling with an unwanted feeling to take a nap. This sudden attack of sleepiness in the afternoon is not just by chance, but an indication of the body, that it needs some rest and sleep. The common signs of being tired in the afternoon are a sudden and steep dip in energy levels as well as the temperature of the body, loss of alertness and inability to concentrate on any task.
The convict behind this tiresome feeling is the natural sleep cycle of the body. The natural sleep cycle of the body is biphasic in nature, which constitutes two body rhythms which are a homeostatic driving force that induces sleep and circadian arousal that allows the brain to be alert and concentrate. When these two bodily rhythms align during the afternoon, this result in sleepiness or afternoon slump. Though technically it may sound a grave problem, but there are several easy way outs to avoid being tired in the afternoon.
What are the Reasons Behind Being Tired in the Afternoon?
Before knowing the ways to avoid being tired in the afternoon, it is important to know the common causative factors that contribute to tiredness and sleepiness in the afternoon. The reasons are enlisted below:
- A Lethargic Diet: When the meals are rich in fats and carbohydrates, then a tired and drowsy afternoon is surely at the door. Foods like white bread, pastas, chips, sugars and confectioneries are loaded with excessive fats and carbohydrates, which do provide the necessary energy and spike up blood sugar, but only for a limited time, later causing a tired and a sleepy feeling. Therefore, it is advised to eat more of complex carbohydrates like whole grain foods, that do not induce the afternoon slump.
- Sitting Idle for Long Time Spans: Most of the day jobs demand sitting at a desk or in front of a computer for over nine hours. This stillness and inactivity makes the body feel sleepy most easily. So, it is better to walk or stretch once in a while.
- Dehydration: Dehydration is the most common unknown cause for a tiresome afternoon; many individuals are unaware about being dehydrated and thus, feel sleepy. The best which can be done is to sip some water or juice throughout the day, to prevent any kind of dehydration.
- Drop in Body Temperature: During the afternoons, the body temperature suddenly lowers due to the secretion of a hormone called melatonin. This process is a part of the body's natural sleep cycle, thus, it is better to elevate the mood by walking, listening to music, going under the sun to get a quick rejuvenation.
How to Avoid Being Tired in the Afternoon?
There are many ways through which one can avoid being tired in the afternoon:
- Energy Boosting Food: It is a great practice to keep a check on the calorie intake, to prevent feeling tired during the afternoons. The average calorie intake should be between 300 to 500 calories. The day should start with a healthy energy boosting breakfast, which allows being active before lunch. For lunch, a lower carbohydrate diet with good portions of fruits and vegetables should be opted to have an active body and mind which allows better concentration.
- Brisk Walking to Avoid Being Tired in the Afternoon: Having a quick brisk walk post lunch, allows better circulation of blood throughout the body, thus preventing the dip in body temperature and a less drowsy and tired afternoon.
- Limited Sweet Intake Can Prevent Being Tired in the Afternoon: Processed foods and sugars for lunch should be avoided at any cost, because these foods initially boost the energy, but within a quick while also cause a steep drop of the same and thus, cause an energy crash. In case, the sweet tooth aches a fruit should be opted to suffice the sweet cravings.
- Avoid Overeating: Checking the portions of the meals to be consumed is also very important, because eating excessively, hampers the ratio of calories required by the body to the amount of calories consumed. The more calories consumed during the afternoon, the harder it becomes for the body to digest the food and the result is the drowsy and tired feeling during the afternoon.
- Keep Body Well Hydraded to Avoid Being Tired in the Afternoon: Hydration is an easy way out from the afternoon slump and being tired in the afternoon as it easily perks up the body, thereby increasing the level of alertness and concentration to carry out the afternoon work.
- Short and Quick Nap: Though tough to get, short naps help greatly in breaking the afternoon slump. Even a ten to fifteen minute nap can work wonders with the level of alertness and activity of the brain.
What are the Disadvantages of Being Tired in the Afternoon?
Though it is not in our hands to not to avoid sleep as we all have some or the other commitments, whether be work or personal, but lack of afternoon nap does have its own negatives. These are:
- Loss of attentiveness
- Tough time in recollecting things from the memory
- Mood swings
- Affected decision making
- Elevated levels of corticosterones.
Hence, one must adjust the food habits and follow the simple and quick steps to avoid being tired and sleepy in the afternoon so that they can avoid the disadvantages of being tired which can affect their work in a negative way.