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Why Do We Feel Sleepy In The Afternoons? Causes And Solutions Explained

This piece was developed by iU for our inspiring partner Noonbrew. This piece was edited & published on a fine afternoon:). So, Read ON!
Why Do We Feel Sleepy In The Afternoon

What is Afternoon Slump?

Sounds familiar? We feel super energetic in the morning and are super motivated to complete the things on our To-Do. Everything seems to go well until afternoon. Then, we break for lunch, and all of a sudden all the energy we felt during the first half seems to be vanishing, the motivational state fading away, our focus seems to be lost, and our attention begins wandering. Suddenly, at this time, all that we now want is a power nap. Haven't we all been there?
This afternoon slump affects our workday productivity.

A poll of over 2000 people conducted in the UK found that more than 50% of Brits experienced a slump that lasted almost 72 minutes. They have even tried arriving at the exact time. According to them 2:17 pm is when the slump begins. Phew! That's a possible title for a novel now. Isn't it? 

Anyhow, If you have been experiencing the same, this piece is for you to read. 

Symptoms to look out for:

How do you know if you are having an afternoon slump? Here is a list of symptoms to look out for:

- Fatigue

- Stress

- Headaches

- Cravings

- Mood Swings

- Frequent yawning

- Difficulty in concentrating
[If there's a frequent symptom you experience that's not listed here,  don't forget to share it in the comments below]

What Causes this Afternoon Slump?

1. Lack of good sleep:

There is no doubt about the importance of good sleep. It ensures all bodily functions are carried out at their best. While the amount of sleep needed for each individual may vary depending on several factors(including the body type & geo location), 7-9 hours is an apt range for an average adult. If you have not had enough sleep, you build up something called ‘Sleep Debt’. It is a process by which your body will let you know the requirement of sleep, it might make it harder for you to stay awake during the day in the following days. 

2. High Stress:

Want it or not, stress affects our health and sleep. The sleep cycle is one of the foremost functions that takes a hit due to stress. It is not uncommon to hear about people with stress suffering from sleeping disorders. It becomes a recursive loop because less sleep then adds more stress. 

3. Poor Eating Habits:

What did you have for your breakfast this morning? How about your lunch? Was the food was high in carbohydrates, or processed food with high sugar levels? If so, then there are high chances of you feeling drowsy by afternoon. The extra carbs or sugar-heavy foods, spike the blood sugar levels giving you more energy, but then this energy decreases rapidly, leading to an energy crash. Hence, it is important to choose the diet that is right for you.

4. Dehydration:

Dehydration occurs when you haven’t consumed a sufficient amount of fluids during the day. During dehydration, the body consumes fluids and electrolytes within pretty quickly. The cells shrink because of the lack of fluids, causing fatigue, tiredness, and drowsiness.

Why Do We Feel Sleepy In The Afternoon 5. Circadian Rhythm:

Our body works on the Circadian rhythm. It is an internal body clock responsible for making us feel awake and sleepy. At night, the production of a chemical called ‘Melatonin’, responsible for inducing sleep, increases. This increased production causes sleepiness. When production of Melatonin increases in the afternoon; we begin feeling drowsiness.

6. Metabolic Disorders:

Certain metabolic disorders like insulin resistance, PCOS, etc. can cause fatigue. This fatigue can then induce the feeling of sleepiness and drowsiness.

7. Sedentary Lifestyle:

Are you a couch potato or work long hours sitting at a chair? Then you might have to reconsider your choices. Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle causes fatigue. On the other hand, you are bound to feel energized with physical exercises. So, the next time you are feeling sleepy in the afternoon, evaluate the level of physical activities thus far during the day. Work out, walk or gym does great in combating this slump. Let's learn more about dealing with this slump in the next section. 

How to deal with this slump head-on?

1. Eat Healthy:

Food forms an integral part of our energy levels during the day. Eating healthy breakfast and right lunch helps your body with right nutrition. The inclusion of fresh fruit juices & natural foods is key to better diet.

2. Exercise/workout:

Physical exercise helps the body get activated. So, if you are feeling an afternoon slump, get up and do some stretches. Not only does it rejuvenate you, it also keeps you fit for the long term. Morning walk, short gym time, home workout with the help of apps or simply a quick session of yoga with the help of YouTube work wonders to fight this slump. 

3. Take a power nap:

Feeling sleepy? Take a nap! Yes, you read it right. This might be contrary to the popular belief that you shouldn’t sleep in the afternoon, but studies have shown that a power nap in the afternoon will be of great help in increasing your productivityfor the rest of the day. There is a welcome change in workplaces around the world happening where they facilitate nap hour at office.

Why Do We Feel Sleepy In The Afternoon 4. Take a break and get some Sunlight:

A short ten minutes break with a walk in the sun to get some sunlight goes a long way to make you feel refreshed, bring you the vitamin D dose you need & fill you up with optimism. 

5. Get some Healthy drinks:

This is a great option. While many of us are tempted to go for a coffee in the afternoon, taking a non-caffeinated or low-caffeine healthy drink like herbal tea or a superfood tea can be of great help in energizing your body.

If you are looking for a healthy drink for your afternoons, no one understands you better than our partner Noonbrew. Noonbrew provides you with a variety of herbal and superfood tea that recharges your afternoons. This Tea is specifically designed for your afternoon slump.

For this tea, Noonbrew combined regular organic tea with 19 superfoods that help you with natural energy, focus, good digestion, and more. Moreover, none of these affect your good night’s sleep which is possible in case of high caffeine intake.

Noonbrew, has been founded by Andrew and Allan, who, like many of us, faced afternoon slumps. They took to coffee initially but soon experienced disturbed sleep & thereafter higher anxiety levels too. Hence, Noonbrew Tea was launched as a solution for the same.


The afternoon slump is a common phenomenon, and millions of people worldwide experience it. Coffee might be a temporary solution but it comes with its downsides like the impact on night’s sleep & possible increase in anxiety levels. Noonbrew is the perfect solution to these slumps. This tea is Sugar-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Keto-friendly, and Gluten-free. What better can one ask for?

Have you experienced an afternoon slump? What has been your go-to solution for that?
Do let us know in the comments below.

Image Credits:

Image 1: Image by Akshat Gupta on Pixahive

Image 2: Photo by Q000024 form PxHereImage 3: Noonbrew

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 22nd August 2022.

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