Sleepy in The Afternoon – Causes and How to Get Rid of It

How often are you feeling Sleepy in The Afternoon?

It generally happens after having lunch. We feel unproductive, sluggish, tired, and exhausted after midnight sleep. All of us have been there before. Right? Whether you are in the middle of an important business meeting, taking your children from school, or even have a less hectic schedule after retirement, this afternoon slump is a drag.

During this fatigue period, many of us try having a coffee cup or a tea dose. But you can get through this slump without having caffeine. Firstly you must know the reasons behind this afternoon’s recessions so you can handle it better.

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Why do you feel sleepy in the afternoon?

Why do you feel sleepy in the afternoon

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Because our circadian rhythms work, we tend to feel active during specific parts of the day and tired during the remaining. These fluctuations create natural cues for you to feel tired in the afternoon. It makes you feel sluggish. Here are some other factors that can be the main reason behind your afternoon tiredness.

1. Depression

If you already suffer from depression, you must know how hard it is to get out of bed in the morning. Pushing yourself throughout the day can make you tired and sleepy in the afternoon. Besides, most people have insomnia during a depression, which can be the reason behind your tiredness.

According to the studies, about 75% of people having depression suffer from insomnia, and the rest, 25%, have hypersomnia, which is daytime sleepiness.

2. Eating habits

Excessive sugar, processed food, or stressful or hurried eating can all contribute to afternoon tiredness and fatigue. Eliminating and minimizing poor eating habits and processed food can benefit in overcoming this tiredness. These foods contain substances that interrupt the body’s hormonal balance and promote inflammation.

3. Meal timing

In addition to the type of food you eat, it also comes to what you eat. Lunch in the middle of the day can be a reason behind this tiredness and can lead to sleepiness during the afternoon.

Our body hormone “Leptin|” is at its lowest level in the hormone, precisely at 4 pm Leptin hormones aid in suppressing our hunger. Our morning and early evening meals benefit in dealing with this fatigue and improve our energy states. Besides, it may not be genuinely fasting but more of a natural meal pattern.

4. Anxiety

Anxiety is not a good condition for good health. If you are among the people who start feeling anxious as soon as they wake up, no wonder you feel sleepy in the afternoon. An anxiety sufferer is always in a constant state of fear, even when there is no fear. Even after having a whole night’s healthy sleep, you will feel weak and tired in the daytime.

If you ever notice such symptoms in your body, immediately contact a specialist to work on this.

5. No exercise

Regular exercise benefits your body; it can even eliminate your afternoon slump. It can help in getting rid of mid-day tiredness and sluggishness. Even light, regular exercise benefits mitochondrial efficacy. Daily movement aids in promoting the natural levels of hypothalamic and adrenal hormones and systematic blood flow.

How to get rid of the Afternoon slump without caffeine?

A mid-day coffee cup is not essential to get rid of the sleepiness in the afternoon. Here are some tips that will benefit you in getting rid of your afternoon sluggishness.

1. Don’t skip breakfast.

Breakfast is the best way to start your day with total energy. Skipping breakfast can harm the concentration level. It will make it harder for you to complete your work. Besides, missing meals means you are missing out on some vital nutrients. Some people also overeat during their last meals, affecting their health.

2. Snack wisely

Don’t take snacks like extras but take them as your mini-meal that will be later counted in the overall nutrition. Healthy snacks will work as fuel to keep you going throughout the day to give 100%.

Try fruits and vegetable salad as a snack to boost your minerals, fiber, and vitamin intake. Skim milk café lattes and plain non-fat yogurt are also beneficial in getting some calcium and protein.

3. Low-fat foods

Fat takes longer in digestion, which makes your body sluggish. Most of our junk food is rich in sugar and fat. So instead of eating burgers or getting cookies or chips from the vending machine, try some low-fat fruits and vegetables. Plan before your work time so you can bring some to your office.

4. Get proper sleep

Even getting an hour less sleep than usual can contribute to mental malfunctioning. It slower your work ability, and your memory can also suffer from it. The average adult needs about 7 to 8 hours of proper sleep at night. According to the National sleep foundation, with age, it gets essential to take an appropriate night’s sleep for better body functioning.

5. Stay hydrated

Your body needs water for proper functioning. When you are not drinking enough water, your body’s functioning gets slow, and you begin to feel tired. Water is a must, but sometimes you can replace it with juices or juicy fruits.

6. Stay active

Daily exercise increases your body’s endurance and makes your cardiovascular system more efficient. Daily practice makes your simple daily task easier for you. It improves sleep, relieves stress, strengthens muscles and bones, maintains weight loss, and improves overall mood. If you are planning to start a specific exercise program, make sure to check with your doctor.


As mentioned above, there are many reasons behind being sleepy in the afternoon, especially around 1 to 4 pm. It can be circadian as our body becomes tired during decreased alertness.

However, some medical conditions, improper sleeping patterns, stress, and poor eating habits can also be the reason behind this sluggishness. Maintaining a proper sleep cycle is very beneficial for appropriate sleeping patterns.

Suppose you are having an afternoon slump; think twice before reaching out to coffee, tea, or even taking a nap. These irresponsible behaviors can interrupt your sleep cycle. Instead of these things, try out the ways mentioned above.


Why do I get sleepy in the afternoon?

Our normal circadian cycle dictates a period of decreased alertness and sleepiness in the afternoon, especially around 2–4 pm. However, other factors like medical disorders, sleep disorders, stress, and insufficient sleep can be the main reason for excessive sleepiness.

How to get rid of sleep in the afternoon feeling?

In the article, I have mentioned some valuable ways to get rid of the afternoon slump. Here are some of them

  1. Get proper sleep
  2. Daily exercise
  3. Keep distractions out of your bed
  4. Be consistent with your meal timings
  5. Set a constant wake-up time

Is it reasonable to sleep in the afternoon?

Taking naps before 3 pm is okay, but naps after 3 pm can interfere with your night’s sleep. Besides your sleeping schedule, medication usage and age are the main factors in deciding the ideal time for your sleep.


Rabia Sehar

Rabia Sehar

Hi! I’m Rabia Sehar, a motivated, passionate and sophisticated writer aspiring to make my dreams come true. Writing about health, wellness, mental health, and lifestyle is something I specialize in and am passionate about. I love traveling, reading, composing, and entertaining. As a health advocate, I am passionate about creating content that educates people on leading a healthy life. Health is the actual wealth so try your best to keep it.