You’re not alone if you have ever wondered why you’re so sleepy in the afternoon. Was it something you ate for lunch? Don’t worry; you don’t need to order an extra cup of coffee or take a nap. There’s an actual reason for the mid-afternoon lull, and yes, it’s all about your body.
Don’t Blame Your Lunch
It’s normal to blame your lunch for the mid-afternoon lull. After all, we generally feel sleepy after eating lunch, so isn’t that the cause for the drowsiness? Some believe there is a significant shift in blood flow from the brain to the stomach or gastrointestinal tract, which aids in digestion.
But this isn’t the reason we’re sleepy. If it were, we would feel just as tired after eating breakfast and dinner. Sleep is unrelated to the meals we eat, and it’s for this specific reason.
The Circadian Rhythm
We have a homeostatic sleep drive, which is caused by the build-up of adenosine, a chemical within the brain that increases your desire to sleep. This chemical reaches its peak before bedtime, but it’s also higher in the afternoon, compared to the morning hours.
The circadian rhythm, however, is an alerting signal to counteract the increasing levels of adenosine. We want to stay awake in the afternoon to finish our work. But whenever the circadian rhythm alert slips, for just a second, the underlying sleepiness shows itself. We instantly feel sleepy, making for an unpleasant afternoon.
Ways To Help
Sometimes, you can feel too sleepy in the afternoon. If you experience sleep deprivation, the mid-afternoon lull can be more pronounced.
To counteract this sleepiness, stretch, stand up and walk around for a while. Sitting at a desk or in front of a computer increases fatigue. In addition, eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water to refresh and revive your tired body.