Have you been falling asleep at your desk? Excessive sleepiness during the day can have a huge impact on your professional life. It can be a challenge to concentrate at school or work if you can’t battle back against an afternoon slump. Your focus and retention take a hit.
Before you start looking for ways to combat your drowsiness, first look into what might be causing it. Solving your problem at the source can be more effective for long-term results. And this could help find healthier solutions, rather than just adding more caffeine to your day. Keep reading to discover what could be causing your afternoon slump.
1. Sleep Apnea
If you seem to wake up tired regardless of the amount of sleep you get, you need to evaluate your sleep quality.
Your loved ones may let you know how loud you snore. Or you might seem to gasp and wake up in the middle of the night. If these seem like you, you could have sleep apnea. A visit with your doctor or a sleep study can help confirm this.
If you find you do have sleep apnea, a continuous positive airway pressure machine can help. CPAP machines can be prescribed as a remedy for sleep apnea because they provide a steady stream of air to help regulate breathing. Make sure to find CPAP masks that properly fit your face, if you start using this solution. The correct fit ensures that air continues to flow and reduces any leaks.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but insomnia can cause you to feel exhausted during the day. Insomnia is when you have difficulty staying asleep or falling asleep. For some, this lasts a couple days while others might battle with it for longer periods of time. It can be a frustrating cycle of wishing you could sleep and being sleepy all day.
Your healthcare provider can help with this condition and offer different treatment ideas. Like sleep apnea, a sleep study might be helpful to you. They might offer you meditation tools or sleep aids to help. With sleep aids, make sure to give yourself the amount of time for sleep indicated. If you have to wake up for work before they have completely worn off, you can be groggy.
The food you eat is what fuels your body. It impacts everything from your weight to energy levels. If you’re having a hard time staying awake during the day, look at what you eat. If you have a heavy carb lunch of pasta, you might find yourself nodding off after lunch. Portions and timing of meals can also play a role.
Overeating and not eating enough can also make you tired. Insulin spikes and dips can impact your energy as well as your blood sugar. Foods that cause inflammation — like fried foods, soda, and processed meat — can also lead to feeling more tired. Everybody is different. Find the right balance for you that leaves you filled with energy.
Your diet and your weight can go hand in hand, as your diet can cause you to gain weight. If you’re obese, you might find yourself feeling more drowsy. Studies show just the act of carrying excess weight can be exhausting and lead to a midday snooze. Similarly to how weight gain can affect metabolism, it can affect your sleep cycle.
Excess weight can make quality sleep more challenging in some cases. Added weight can lead to added pressure on your lungs. Depending on how you lay, this weight can affect your airways and lead to snoring as well. Similar to sleep apnea, this can affect your sleep and your loved ones.
5. Inconsistent Bedtimes
A consistent bedtime can do wonders for your sleep. If you go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time everyday, your circadian rhythm can match that. You start to naturally get tired around the same time in the evening. You might start to wake up before your alarm goes off too.
Irregular sleep times means you get different amounts of high quality sleep at night. When your bedtime is all over the place, it can throw off other natural cycles like hunger. In fact, erratic sleep has been linked to metabolic syndrome. This can even lead to an increased risk of heart disease.
6. Nightly Routine
Along with a consistent bedtime, your nightly routine can have a large impact on your quality of sleep. How late are you eating and how close to bedtime? Do you have caffeine late into the night? What about alcohol? These all can impact your rest.
It’s important to have proper sleep hygiene to support healthy sleep habits. What you do right before bed in terms of activity is important. Studies have been linked to poorer sleep when you’re on your devices and with blue light before bed. When you’re getting ready to turn in for the night, turn off your cell phone and the television.
It’s hard to get the most out of your day and enjoy life when you feel exhausted all the time. If you have a hard time staying awake at your desk, there are things you can do to help. Try to pinpoint the cause. If you keep going to bed at different times every night, try to go a week with a consistent bedtime.
There are many reasons your sleep can be impacted. Feeling tired all the time can also mean other parts of your health are suffering. Consider the six reasons above to see if they might be what’s causing your afternoon slump. If one seems like it might be true for you, take the next steps to find a solution. Everyone deserves to be well rested.