This question is for anyone that has a job whom has to be on top of their game in the afternoon. If you like your job and wake up every day excited to start your day but in the afternoon, usually after lunch, no matter what you may be doing you want a nap. So how do you beat afternoon sleepiness? If fighting sleep and spending the afternoon in a stupor has become the norm, here are some tips to keep alert.
Ok the best way to recharge your brain battery is to take a 30-90 minute power nap. Not only will a power nap boost your brains ability to accomplish whatever your boss may through at you, your entire body will feel ready to go. If a nap is out of the question some folks have tried some energy boosting drinks, like 5 Hour Power. 5 Hour Power Active Ingredients: Taurine, Caffeine, B-Vitamins can give you enough brain functioning ability to do the tasks you need to do plus enough energy to go exercise after work. Exercising also revs up your heart rate and body temperature so when you are ready for bed your are not only tired from exercising you also feel a sense of accomplishment that you did something good for yourself. 5 Hour Power is touted to give you energy without the “crash” because it has zero sugar and zero carbohydrates. Some people have given reviews about 5 Hour Power stating it looks like it might have some negative side effects as well as building up a resistance to it.
Drinking a 5 Hour Power every day can cause you to be jittery due to too much caffeine and mess up your ability to fall asleep easy at night. Adding other caffeinated products like soda, tea or coffee can acerbate the effects of the 5 Hour Power. If you have problems sleeping at night you don’t need to make the problem worse even if you get more work done during the week. Two infrequently diagnosed caffeine-induced disorders that are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) are caffeine-induced sleep disorder and caffeine-induced anxiety disorder, which can result from long-term excessive caffeine intake. In the case of caffeine-induced sleep disorder, an individual regularly ingests high doses of caffeine sufficient to induce a significant disturbance in his or her sleep, sufficiently severe to warrant clinical attention.
5 Hour Power may be ok if you need some extra energy to get through a project or cram for an exam, but there are other methods to stay wake during the day. Up-beat music or motivational tapes or webinars might keep you focused. Take a 15 minute break and go outside and get some fresh air and some vitamin D. Other natural supplements can provide and energy boost like; Siberian Ginseng, Gotu Kola and Maitake. Also if you are tired after lunch, eat smaller meals which will keep your metabolism going and not create that afternoon “crash”. Your diet may be causing you to have insulin fluctuations and the post lunch lull can be due to your blood flowing to your digestive system and not your brain to process food.
If you have time to take a 30-90 minute power nap, but not the time it takes for you to fall asleep you may consider using progressive relaxation techniques. Some people use the tensing and relaxing of muscle groups while others use mind control to just “feel” for tension throughout their body and consciously relaxing each part they find tension. With a relaxed body your mind isn’t that far off. Afraid you may oversleep? Set and alarm but try not to interrupt your natural sleep cycle or you may still wake up feeling groggy.
Sometimes being tired in the afternoon means you haven’t had enough protein/complex carbohydrates for breakfast to bar any imbalances in your body like hypoglycemia. Some recommended foods are: avocado, yams/sweet potatoes and steel cut oatmeal. Besides avocado which is a “good fat” there are other slow burning carbohydrates that work wonder and fuel the body without taxing the digestive system thus making you tired. Drinking more water will keep dehydration away which can zap your energy.
Deep breathing exercises, eating an unprocessed natural diet that included raw, whole foods, plenty of water, limiting sugars and caffeine, getting plenty of sleep at night, daily exercise can reduce sleepiness in the afternoon. What else may cause you to be tired in the afternoon? Some people have a reaction to the preservative 211 which is in soft drinks. Preservative 211 is sodium benzoate and with other food additives it can convert to benzene, which is a carcinogenic. It also has been reported to damage mitochondria, the mitochondria are sometimes described as “cellular power plants” because they generate most of the cell’s supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), used as a source of chemical energy. If you are having a reaction to the preservative 211 you may consider getting your caffeine from coffee or tea instead.
For your information according to Livestrong.com, Hsien-Hsien Lei, a biotech and epidemiological consultant, reported in 2007 in “DNA and Disease” that a combination of sodium benzoate and vitamin C damages the mitochondrial DNA in the body. The research originally done by Peter Piper, a researcher on aging and a professor of biotechnology and molecular biology at Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, isolated the damage of E211 to the cell DNA.
The mixture of ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C, and E211 or sodium benzoate, combines to form benzene. Numerous products, including Fanta Pineapple and Vault Zero, included the two ingredients before the products were removed from the shelves in 2006 in the wake of a lawsuit that required Coca-Cola to halt sales. PepsiCo also removed E211 from many drinks to prevent lawsuits.
You may also want to get plenty of Vitamin D and Omega-3 fish oil along with a completely dark room that is very quiet to get the best possible sleep at night.
Have you had your thyroid and adrenals checked lately? Either or both commonly undiagnosed can contribute to the mid-afternoon slump. It is important to talk to your doctor to see if you need porcine thyroid supplements and/or cortisol supplements for thyroid or adrenal problems. The content provided in How Do You Beat Afternoon Sleepiness is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.