Struggle to keep your eyes open? Is that coffee cup your sole hope in not hitting the sack? If you are worried about feeling sleepy all day, Here’s what to do!
First up, it’s important to know that some amount of dip in energy levels in the afternoon and feeling the need for afternoon sleep is normal. Research has it, that this dip is on account of one’s circadian rhythms. While the dip in energy and alertness is maximum during the period between midnight and dawn, a smaller dip, called the postprandial dip, is known to occur between 1 pm to 4 pm. Sleepiness during the day also results on account of the build-up of adenosine, a chemical, that when awake, rises every hour in the brain.
If the need to be productive in the afternoon and your long to-do list is bothering you, here are some handy tips that will help you power through these slumps and ensure that your concentration levels do not shrink. Read on:
The task of beating the afternoon slump can begin early in the morning with a healthy breakfast. Even if you are hard-pressed for the time in the mornings, a bowl of cereal and fresh fruits will work well. Alternately you could think of toast and a banana. Ensure that your choice of breakfast gives you enough carbs as well as proteins to fuel your brain and to boost your concentration levels.
Come to think of it, cooped up inside your office, how often do you get to see sunlight? Simply heading out and soaking in the daytime sun for even 10-15 minutes is enough to send the signal to your brain that it needs to be awake. Morning walks are great for getting in the daily dose of Vitamin D!
A daily dose of melatonin helps in maintaining good health and also betters your sleep cycle.
A good plan is to have a small workout session before you encounter the afternoon dip. If your work schedule does not allow for this, simply walk around a little to improve circulation. Walking up to that colleague instead of dropping him an email to ask about the progress of a certain project can also do the trick.
Counterintuitive as it sounds, do not reach out for that cup of caffeine to fight the afternoon slump. In fact, it is a good idea to limit its intake post-lunch as it could impact your ability to sleep well at night. A night spent tossing and turning could, in turn, mean a greater degree of fatigue, the next day.
Staying hydrated is also an answer to your question on how to avoid feeling sleepy in the afternoon. If you are dehydrated, you tend to feel tired. So go ahead and make friends with that bottle of water. Better still walk up to the water-cooler. You are talking of hydration, a walk, and water-cooler conversation, all in one go!
If your schedule allows, a catnap can work wonders with that mid-afternoon energy crash. Pro tip- Ensure you keep it only at about 20 minutes. A longer afternoon sleep, instead of adding to your energy can take away from it!
If you are a music lover, it will help to put on your headphones and jam to one of your high-energy songs. The instant boost will be invigorating and will help fight that afternoon sleep.
Over and above everything, remember to find your own rhythm. Different people would have different reasons for feeling sleepy during the day, as also different remedies to keep themselves agile. Be mindful of your internal clock and importantly, do not skimp on a balanced diet, a good sleep at night and exercise, to avoid feeling sleepy all day.