What It Really Means When You Get Tired In The Afternoon

The afternoon lull seems to be more and more commonplace as many of us struggle to keep our energy levels high throughout the day. Maybe it's a lack of coffee, maybe it's sheer boredom, or maybe it's from the hormone-affecting blue light on our computer screens — there are many reasons for this lull.

In fact, our bodies may be trying to tell us something when we notice the 2:30 feeling coming on. Naturally, our circadian rhythms are synced to take a nap around this time. If you woke up early to get to work, the body will naturally ask for a break in the afternoon, according to Elite Daily. Lona Sandon, MEd, explains to WebMD, "There seems to be something natural about this lull. Some cultures have the siesta, and people find that they're more productive and better able to concentrate if they take time off after lunch and come back later."

Around this time of the day, your body mimics the process it goes through right before you go to sleep at night — your body temperature dips slightly. By lowering this temperature, it signals the release of melatonin, and this happens on a smaller scale during the afternoon, as WebMD explains.

Your afternoon energy slump may be from other lifestyle habits

Beyond your body's natural biorhythms, another culprit for your afternoon tiredness may stem from a lack of self-care. For instance, if you didn't eat a full breakfast that morning or have a snack in between, it may have set you up for a meeting with the 2:30 feeling. Plus, being jacked up on coffee early on can deplete your energy stores and lead to a crash later in the day. Sugar and caffeine can only work for so long until it zaps your energy (via WebMD).

Make sure that you're getting enough carbohydrates early in the morning to help fuel your muscles and your brain. And for lunch, steer clear of meals high in fat content, as these can take longer to digest and lower your energy levels, as noted by WebMD. On top of getting sufficient fuel, having a consistent sleep schedule may be the best remedy to the 2:30 situation. According to Northwestern University, it's important to avoid empty calories like energy drinks around this time to avoid further disrupting your body's natural energy levels and sleep routine. 

It's only natural that your tired system needs a break in the afternoon. Just because many of us work set schedules doesn't mean that the body has to follow them; remember to prioritize rest and care for your body. These are likely the most powerful antidotes to the afternoon slump.