Our body is quite a perplexing machine with complex mechanisms and technologies and its own software. It works in such fascinating yet so methodical ways that a combination of logic and rationale is used to depict its functioning. Every day our body experiences different phenomena which may have direct or indirect relation with what we do or eat during a day. Some have scientific explanations, while some are just occurrences that we cannot back up with any study or evidence.

One such phenomenon is ‘’afternoon slump’’ which may have several factors linked to it, but oftentimes, it is difficult to correlate any specific factor to it.

The afternoon slump is a name given to the phenomenon when your body is so exhausted that you have to drag it through the afternoon literally. It is not just a feeling of being tired but a strong urge to drop everything you are doing, crawl into your body, and sleep like no worries in the world.

Several factors contribute to the Afternoon slump.

depression person

The circadian cycle regulates your phases of alertness and tiredness. This cycle could be disrupted due to many factors, including sleeping patterns, screen time, stress, and light exposure. It is a physiological process that causes a drop in the circadian rhythm in the afternoon, especially from 2-5 pm, as per National Sleep Foundation.

Hormones also play a role in managing your energy levels. Leptin, glucocorticoids, melatonin, etc. declines in the afternoon, which leads to extreme idleness of the body at that time.

Depression makes it difficult for the patient to get out of bed in the morning, and once he/she is up and about, surviving through the day makes one exhausted. Depression is also a leading cause of insomnia. All of this causes one to linger over. Dr. Abe Malkin suggests that about 25% of patients with depression suffer from hypersomnia which is excessive sleepiness in the daytime.

Our body is majorly composed of water. We are continuously losing this water through bodily activities which need to be replaced so that our body doesn’t get dehydrated. Dehydration contributes to decreased efficiency of the body in performing normal functions, eventually leading to intense fatigue.

Intake of sugary or processed food develops an imbalance in our hormonal rhythms, which leads to lethargy in the late afternoon.

Chronic anxiety starts with apprehension in the morning and advances into fright and panic by the afternoon, causing your body to exhaust.

Insulin, a hormone, carries glucose from the blood to the cells to be used as fuel. In the case of diabetes, insulin is either not produced enough or used effectively. When this happens, especially in nerve cells, our body becomes disoriented.

Dr. Kerr says that narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that is characterized by drowsiness and attacks of sleep during the daytime.

There are ways to overcome this afternoon slump.

Some days you cannot just succumb to this overwhelming fatigue but have to step out of it to go through the day

Exposure to light may induce wakefulness in you. Taking a short nap when feeling unresponsive may also increase alertness. Chewing gum is also known to make a person attentive. Movement, such as walking around, may make you feel less sleepy.

Changes in your lifestyle can help prevent fatigue in the afternoon.

diet food

Lunches full of carbohydrates and sugar are a culprit that needs to be eliminated from your routine. Go for a healthy diet having whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Getting inadequate sleep through the night leaves you with a sleep debt that your body demands to be paid off in the afternoon. Thus make sure to have a good night’s sleep.

Stress has a profound effect on your mood and sleep, which makes it necessary to sort out the issues that may put pressure on your mind.

If none of these changes work, this is a sign of some underlying condition that can only be ruled out by your consultant, so without waiting for another restless and exhausting day, visit your healthcare professional and put this everyday turmoil to rest.