Why do I suddenly always feel tired in the afternoon?

Feeling tired in the afternoon? You probably have a case of afternoon fatigue.
Are you having concentration problems in the afternoon? Do you go through a variety of emotions such as tiredness and laziness during this time? This is likely due to the types of foods that you had for lunch. A lunch that carries a large number of carbohydrates such as wheat products including bread, rice and pasta along with high-sugar drinks such as pop can significantly increase your blood sugar levels. This will cause your energy levels to rise to extreme levels temporarily. You will feel an influx of energy until your body begins to release insulin from its pancreas. Upon the release of insulin, it directs the extra glucose from carbohydrates into your bloodstream. However, your pancreas has a strong tendency of overcalculating the amount of insulin that needs to be released, causing too much glucose to be released. This can cause your blood sugar to experience a steep drop, causing lower blood sugar levels as well as more fatigue on yourself.

Along with a poor diet, there are more common causes of afternoon fatigue. These causes can range from:

  • Stationary sitting for a long period
    • When sitting at a desk for a long period of time, it can encourage your body to prepare to sleep as your body correlates stationary sitting with falling asleep. To avoid this, you should stand up, stretch or walk around at least once per hour.
  • Dehydration 
    • Not drinking enough water can lead to feelings of tiredness. This applies even if you only have mild dehydration, as enough drinking water can improve circulation in your body, causing you to feel more motivated.  
  • Drop in body temperature
    • After eating lunch, your body tends to drop its temperature in the afternoon between 2:00pm to 4:00pm. This can cause you to feel sleepy and tired as the drop in temperature leads to the production of a sleep-motivating hormone known as melatonin. To counter this, you can take a walk or conduct a short exercise to keep your body alert.
Feeling tired in the afternoon? You probably have a case of afternoon fatigue.

What are some other methods that can counter afternoon fatigue?

There are a variety of methods that you can implement to avoid feeling tired in the afternoon:

  • Replacing your high-carb foods with high-fibre foods
    • To counter afternoon fatigue, it is best to eat foods that are high in fibre, particularly whole grains. By consuming fibre, your blood sugar will get back to its regular levels. With this in mind, by replacing high-carb foods with high-fibre food sources will balance out your blood sugar level. Through high fibre foods, you will be able to maintain a high level of energy.
  • Go outside
    • Going outside for some fresh air is simple yet effective in countering tiredness. By getting 15+ of daytime sunlight, your brain will increase its alertness. This can boost your energy and give you the extra motivation to finish off the work that you have at hand.
  • Take a walk/exercise
    • Exercising or even walking around is an efficient way of encouraging your brain to be active. When you are tired you may feel like doing nothing, however by taking something as effortless as a 10 minute walk, you will be able to signal your brain to become more alert. Exercising in the morning is even more effective in “waking up” your brain and motivating yourself to be active.
  • Take a power nap
    • By taking a short 10-20 minute power nap, you can not only boost mental performance but also physical performance. Ideally, if you can keep your nap under 30 minutes it will keep you motivated without negatively affecting your sleep schedule in the nighttime. 
  • Avoid consuming caffeine and high sugar drinks
    • By consuming caffeine and high sugar drinks such as coffee and pop in the afternoon, you could keep your energy levels volatile. By consuming these in the afternoon, you may also experience difficulty sleeping at night, causing you to become even more tired the following day.  The best approach is to only take these beverages in the morning and to avoid consuming too much of them. In other words, you should avoid drinking more than 1 cup of coffee per day.
Consuming high-sugar drinks will only worsen the tiredness that you feel in the afternoon.
The flu is an infectious disease transmitted from person to person and can be transmitted from sharing personal belongings. That is why it is important to stay home if you are feeling sick so you avoid infecting other people. The flu germs are able to travel about 6 feet, so steering clear of visibly sick people can prevent you from contracting the virus.

Are you still feeling tired?

If you have attempted to resolve your feelings of afternoon fatigue and have not been successful, you can contact us at [email protected] for a resolution on how you can overcome your afternoon fatigue. You can also directly contact our Toronto and Brampton locations for other inquiries!

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