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Having Afternoon Fatigue? Best Tips To Help!
Everyone knows that feeling: the clock hits 2 p.m., and suddenly your energy levels drop. You’re drowsy, maybe a little irritable, and concentrating on work seems three times harder than it did in the morning. Your afternoon fatigue is a constant inconvenience, and it always seems to hit the hardest when there’s an important meeting or class in school.
The most obvious solution is to simply grab a coffee. This is, in part, the reason why caffeine consumption and dependency has become the norm rather than the exception in the industrialized world. As the economy grew bigger and more competitive, workdays became longer and overseers expected workers to remain focused and productive for longer hours than previous generations had ever been asked to. In order to combat the natural dip in energy that occurs in the midday time range, coffee and tea exploded in popularity.
But why does the decrease in energy occur in the first place?What if it were possible to maintain higher, more balanced levels of energy without stimulants, and to change our lifestyles in such a way that the dip in energy was less severe?
The truth is, there is some good news and some bad news when it comes to solving this issue. To a certain extent, the dip in energy in the afternoon is unavoidable. It is a natural biological process which we’ll explore in the next section. But here’s the good news: you can make changes in your diet and lifestyle that will significantly i
This article is intended for those who want to explore ways to reduce afternoon fatigue without resorting to stimulants like caffeine.
The Circadian Rhythm
The circadian rhythm is a biological process that occurs in all humans and animals, as well as plants, fungi and certain types of bacteria. Basically, it is the body’s internal clock that regulates when certain biological functions should occur. It tells your body when it’s time to go to sleep, when it’s time to wake up, to eat, and more. The circadian rhythm is an endogenous process, meaning the body generates these signals on its own. It is important to note that external factors such as the sun can also have an influence on it. (Sunlight, for instance, triggers the “wake up” signal in the brain. If you want to sleep later, try drawing the curtains shut in your bedroom window to block the sun from getting in.) The circadian rhythm plays a role in regulating energy levels over the course of the day.
With regards to sleep, the body is actually regulated by two cycles: the circadian and homeostatic sleep cycles. In the afternoon, these two cycles actually align with one another, and create a feeling of tiredness.
In ancient times, it was normal to take a nap in the middle of the day to allow the body to rest and recuperate, and escape the heat if it was warm climate. In some Mediterranean cultures, this survives in the form of the siesta custom, where shops and restaurants close for a few hours during the late afternoon.
The truth is, your body is actually biologically designed to take a nap in the middle of the day.
In the absence of modern, unhealthy diets and caffeine, this dip in energy is mild, and after a brief rest, a person can resume activity with no problem.
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