How to Banish Afternoon Tiredness

How to Banish Afternoon Tiredness

Many of us experience it, the dreaded afternoon fatigue. You finish lunch energized and refreshed, but by 2pm your eyes feel heavy and all you want to do is take a nap. It seems to affect us all at some point, but what causes the afternoon slump and how can you overcome it?

Our body’s sleep and wake cycles are regulated by two different systems: sleep/ wake homeostasis and the circadian biological clock. Sleep homeostasis is our body’s way of telling us that our need for sleep is accumulating. It also helps us to sleep for enough time during the night. The circadian biological clock regulates the periods and timing of tiredness and wakefulness throughout the day. Most adults will experience the strongest need to sleep around 2:00-4:00am and at 1:00-3:00pm, although these times will vary from person to person. This can be frustrating as many of us who are working between these hours, resulting in reduced focus at this time. You can try to buy phenibut HCL as this may be able to help you remained focused. The part of the brain that controls the circadian biological clock, the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus, is affected by light and dark signals. It is responsible for releasing the hormone melatonin, which helps to regulate our sleep and wake cycles.

Sleep expert Michael J. Breus, PhD, compares afternoon tiredness to the feelings we experience at bedtime, just before we fall asleep. During this time, our body’s core temperature drops, signaling the brain to release melatonin. The same process is happening in the afternoon, but on a smaller scale.

Afternoon tiredness isn’t just caused by our body’s sleep systems; our diets can significantly affect how tired we feel throughout the day. It makes sense; if you fuel your body with caffeinated drinks and sugary foods, you aren’t giving yourself the energy you need to keep going all day. Some people try supplement products like kratom, which you can learn more about on TrickorTreatment.com, to give themselves a required energy and mood boost. Experts recommend starting the day with a nutritious breakfast that combines different food groups. Try to combine proteins with fiber-rich carbohydrates. Good options are a whole grain muffin with 2 tbps of natural nut butter, scrambled eggs with a piece of whole grain toast, or low fat Greek yogurt with fruit. The fiber will help you to feel fuller for longer and the protein is digested slowly by your body, which helps to keep blood sugar levels steady.

5 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump

Afternoon tiredness seems inevitable but there are things that we can do to beat it.

1. Midday Workout – Many fitness experts say that the optimum time to exercise is around 12pm, just before the afternoon slump. Experts say that by exercising at this time, you will experience an energy boost that will help you to stay focused and productive throughout the day. If you have an inflexible work schedule, try to exercise at least 2-3 hours before bed so that your sleep schedule isn’t disrupted.

2. Stay Hydrated – Dehydration can cause your body to feel tired; it’s important to drink water throughout the day to feel alert and help your body to function. Try to drink approximately 8 8oz glasses of water each day. Drinking iced water throughout the day can help you to feel refreshed and alert.

3. Eat a Healthy Balanced Lunch – What you eat for lunch can affect how you feel for the rest of the day. Choose a nutritious lunch that contains a source of protein. Try to limit refined carbohydrates. We like large salads topped with chicken, hummus, or egg.

4. Go for a Walk – When you start to feel sleepy, go for a quick walk. Even a 5-minute walk can energize you and boost productivity.

5. Take a Nap – This one is more difficult for those of us working a 9-5, unless you are lucky enough to work for Google, but studies have shown that taking a short 20-minute nap can refresh you and significantly improve alertness and performance. The key with napping is to keep it short to prevent it from interfering with nighttime sleep.

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/afternoon-energy-boosters
http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/diet.fitness/10/16/cl.power.breakfast/
http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/sleep-drive-and-your-body-clock
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323608504579024773708604060
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/symptoms/con-20030056
http://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/napping/page/0%2C1/

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