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What do you do for 2:30-3:00pm "narcolepsy"?

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Okay, I hope no one is upset I used "narcolepsy," without actually meaning a diagnosable, neurological condition. But truly, for my entire adult life, I am very sleepy in the afternoons, unless I am doing something that makes it impossible to fall asleep, like grocery shopping or exercising. If I am cozy or still (listening to a kid read aloud, waiting in the car to pick a kid up, reading, even highway driving), it is almost impossible for me not to fall asleep, or keep dozing out and startling back awake. When I worked FT, pre-kids, the tendency was present then, too. If I were sitting at my desk proofing something or doing mail, I was seriously struggling to wake up.

 

For a while, I drank a coffee around 2:00 to help combat this, but I quit coffee due to IBS, so I don't want to drink coffee. I also don't drink soda for the same reason (plus I need to protect my teeth).

 

Does anyone else have this problem? Have you found a successful way to avert this?

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Keeping my histamine lower and sleeping more at night help me. I need to be in bed about 10 hours although I don't sleep all of those hours.  Naps are a great thing though and humans are meant to have more down time than most of us do. 

 

Oh and they look ridiculous, but orange glasses at night, to eliminate blue light, can really help your body get in a better rhyme. 

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I try to take a nap if at all possible. One thing that made it better for a while was intensive workouts, at least 5 times a week, some of them in the morning, but that just doesn't fit in my day any more. Sleeping in helps a little as well.

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I get that, too, and try to take a short powernap during the day if possible.  It makes me feel so much better the rest of the day.  Otherwise I just guzzle Diet Coke which is not a good solution.  I feel awful that time of the day.  

 

Edited by Erica H
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I don't want to nap. I feel so lazy if I take a nap.

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Jumping jacks, recline with head lower than rest of body and let blood go.to your brain and wake you up, take a walk or jog, jump on mini-tramp. Drink more water. Or, take a nap. 😂

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When your body wants a nap, you put yourself in time out and take the nap. It's better than spending the same 30 minutes fighting the nap. Sometimes I have a cup of tea and get a quick nap before the caffeine kicks in. In 20-30 minutes I'm recharged. NOTHING wrong with a truly productive rest time.

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I've recently decided that taking a short nap daily is better than the cranky attempts to be productive. The refreshed burst of energy I feel after a good little nap probably allows me to be twice as productive than if I trudged through the tiredness anyway. 

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A twenty minute nap gives me the energy to finish the day off well. I used to feel lazy too but realized I was more productive after that 20 minutes then when I didn't get a nap.

 

Are you anemic? When my iron is particularly low my exhaustion is most noticable in the afternoon. As long as I'm taking iron I don't have that afternoon sluggishness

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I lay down around 2:00 every day, and have to leave at 2:15 to pick up my Jr. High kid, so I cannot sleep any longer. It's amazing to me what a difference those 15 minutes make - I don't feel groggy and worse after, but refreshed enough to make it through the rest of the afternoon.

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I don't want to nap. I feel so lazy if I take a nap.

 

I feel guilty about it, too, and I hate the "wasted" time, but it makes me so much more productive the rest of the day (and easier to live with, too!).  

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I agree with the others to try a power nap. 20-30 minutes is enough to recharge me without giving me a nap hangover. If I sleep for an hour or two, then I am groggy and cranky the rest of the day.

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Sometimes, afternoon tiredness can be a sign of type 2 diabetes.  So please make sure that your blood glucose levels are O.K.

 

But in general, I either give in and take a nap or do the complete opposite...go for a walk, jump on the rebounder/mini-trampoline, etc.

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LCHF lunches have helped me. Also fresh air and exercise. I walk the dog around then, if I am feeling sleepy.  

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Sometimes, afternoon tiredness can be a sign of type 2 diabetes. So please make sure that your blood glucose levels are O.K.

 

But in general, I either give in and take a nap or do the complete opposite...go for a walk, jump on the rebounder/mini-trampoline, etc.

Don't terrify me. My sister had diabetes. That disease scares me worse than many.

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Yes, I've had this issue, too. The absolute worst is trying to highway drive on a warm, sunny afternoon. And during pregnancies I was even more exhausted in the afternoons.

 

I will definitely have an afternoon nap these days, or I'll try the coffee thing. I have a REALLY hard time sitting through my ds's guitar lessons from 2:30 - 4:00 pm. I've fallen asleep sitting in the studio while trying to take notes. I just hope the guitar teacher doesn't notice.  :o

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I am of the opinion our bodies, and especially women's bodies with our different hormones and baby stuff, are meant to take naps. It's the most natural thing for a mother to nap when her baby does in the afternoon, and my need for a nap didn't disappear when baby became toddler. 

 

Unfortunately I haven't been able to nap in the afternoons for about 6 months, this toddler is particularly troublesome, but with my older two I always laid down while they slept/had quiet time. It made me a much happier, nicer person to be around in the late afternoon/evening, and i was more efficient. These afternoons I am awake because of current toddler, I really get nothing done, I'm too tired and end up waiting for a second wind to hit around 4pm. Better to have a nap at 1 and wake up refreshed at 2, those hours between 2 and 4 will be far more productive than the non nap hours between 1 and 4, extra time awake means nothing if you can't do anything with it. On top of that, I tend to be able to stay up later if I've had a nap so I make the sleeping hour up in nighttime productiveness too. 

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Yes, I've had this issue, too. The absolute worst is trying to highway drive on a warm, sunny afternoon. And during pregnancies I was even more exhausted in the afternoons.

 

I will definitely have an afternoon nap these days, or I'll try the coffee thing. I have a REALLY hard time sitting through my ds's guitar lessons from 2:30 - 4:00 pm. I've fallen asleep sitting in the studio while trying to take notes. I just hope the guitar teacher doesn't notice. :o

Me, too, with the warm sun coming into the car. I have to exit the highway, to force myself to think.

 

When I had a history class during that time period,

I hated when the teacher would show a film. I could NOT stay awake!

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Start reading up on naps. For most people, you want it to be under 45 minutes OR over 1.5 hours.

 

Once you hit the 45 minute mark, you drop into some sort of deeper sleep cycle for the next 45 minutes. If you try to wake up during that time, you'll feel truly horrid.

 

I go upstairs to the boys' room (no one goes there in the day), and shut the door. I pop in earplugs, I pull down the shade, I bring my own pillow, I kick out the cats, I get all settled in and then set the timer for 30 minutes.

 

If I feel like I'm not falling asleep, I tell myself, "Hey, at least my body is at rest while I'm feeling tired and I don't have to try to force myself awake," because feeling anxious about not falling asleep can keep you awake.

 

So far, I've fallen asleep every time I've tried to nap.

 

Then, when that timer goes off GET UP. Don't let yourself lie there. You'll feel a tiny bit groggy, but it will pass in the next 5 minutes or so. Not like when you try to get up in the middle of your deep cycle. It can take an hour or more to get over that grogginess.

 

If you have a lot of time, like on a Sunday afternoon, then you can do the 1.5 hour nap.

Edited by Garga
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I've found that a nap anywhere between 20 or 30 minutes goes a loooong way to keeping me feeling good for the rest of the day. It's worth taking the time to be productive and feeling good for the rest of the day.

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A short nap is not wasted time if you are more productive, more focused, and not irritable the rest of the day.

This. On those occasions when I grab 15 minutes, supper is more likely to be ready on time, dishes cleaned up promptly and less, um, loudness when bedtime rolls around.
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I have a small high fat snack as it's usually indicative of my blood sugar falling. I also drink a large glass of water.  If the snack doesn't fix things, I take a small catnap.  I know then that it's just my circadian rhythm kicking in a bit of melatonin.

 

Most of the time, though, a handful of almonds and a glass of water and a brief jaunt switching laundry or doing dishes fixes things.

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Start reading up on naps. For most people, you want it to be under 45 minutes OR over 1.5 hours.

 

Once you hit the 45 minute mark, you drop into some sort of deeper sleep cycle for the next 45 minutes. If you try to wake up during that time, you'll feel truly horrid.

 

I go upstairs to the boys' room (no one goes there in the day), and shut the door. I pop in earplugs, I pull down the shade, I bring my own pillow, I kick out the cats, I get all settled in and then set the timer for 30 minutes.

 

If I feel like I'm not falling asleep, I tell myself, "Hey, at least my body is at rest while I'm feeling tired and I don't have to try to force myself awake," because feeling anxious about not falling asleep can keep you awake.

 

So far, I've fallen asleep every time I've tried to nap.

 

Then, when that timer goes off GET UP. Don't let yourself lie there. You'll feel a tiny bit groggy, but it will pass in the next 5 minutes or so. Not like when you try to get up in the middle of your deep cycle. It can take an hour or more to get over that grogginess.

 

If you have a lot of time, like on a Sunday afternoon, then you can do the 1.5 hour nap.

If I took a 1.5 hour nap, DH would probably call 911! 😀

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Either a power nap-( my sweet spot is 20-30 minutes) or a snack that's not super carby.  Cold sliced meat, cheese slices, bell pepper strips, a mandarin...something like that. 

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I don't want to nap. I feel so lazy if I take a nap.

 

My grandmother always napped after lunch. She lived a healthy, productive and not- lazy- at- all life until age 93.

When she got married, her husband encouraged her to nap, he said for self care (can't translate the German phrase). She kept the habit until her death.

 

Seriously, if your body is telling you she is tired, why not nap if you can? You'll be more productive for the later part of the day.

Edited by regentrude
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My grandmother always napped after lunch. She lived a healthy, productive and not- lazy- at- all life until age 93.

When she got married, her husband encouraged her to nap, he said for self care (can't translate the German phrase). She kept the habit until her death.

 

Seriously, if your body is telling you she is tired, why not nap if you can? You'll be more productive for the later part of the day.

I know my grandfather napped daily, at least after he was retired, and he was definitely not a lazy person. But I do think I equate it with being old or fragile. DH doesn't really help with this impression because if he comes home and someone is napping, he says, "Are you sick! What's wrong?!"

 

I am sort of mortified if he comes home and I'm dozing. ðŸ˜

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I could not nap if I wanted to because i have to watch my special needs kids but I have sometimes lay down for 5 minutes or done nothing for 5 minutes.  Lately my eyes have been closing during read-alouds so I can relate.  What seems to help me lately is stopping for a healthy snack right when that happens or else doing something more active (if I can get myself up).   Water helps too, or chewable vitamin C.

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I used to take a nap. It usually happened when we were doing read alouds. I'd tell the kids to "wake mommy in 10 minutes." That was really all it took to get over it.

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When I eat low carb, I don't feel tired in the afternoon. So, that's what I usually do.

When I don't eat low carb, there's nothing I can do; I'm useless in the middle of the afternoon. I've been this way since I was in high school.

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I go take a nap! When my kids were little I took a nap with them. Now that they're older I take a nap while they work, and some days, we all take a nap!

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From Sleepfoundation.org:

 

Our internal circadian biological clocks, on the other hand, regulate the timing of periods of sleepiness and wakefulness throughout the day. The circadian rhythm dips and rises at different times of the day, so adults' strongest sleep drive generally occurs between 2:00-4:00 am and in the afternoon between 1:00-3:00 pm, although there is some variation depending on whether you are a  â€œmorning person†or “evening person.†The sleepiness we experience during these circadian dips will be less intense if we have had sufficient sleep, and more intense when we are sleep deprived. The circadian rhythm also causes us to feel more alert at certain points of the day, even if we have been awake for hours and our sleep/wake restorative process would otherwise make us feel more sleepy.

 

I read something like this I think in the Sunday Parade magazine or something like that recently. We're wired to be sleepy in the afternoon. The siesta countries have the right idea.

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Okay, I hope no one is upset I used "narcolepsy," without actually meaning a diagnosable, neurological condition. But truly, for my entire adult life, I am very sleepy in the afternoons, unless I am doing something that makes it impossible to fall asleep, like grocery shopping or exercising. If I am cozy or still (listening to a kid read aloud, waiting in the car to pick a kid up, reading, even highway driving), it is almost impossible for me not to fall asleep, or keep dozing out and startling back awake. When I worked FT, pre-kids, the tendency was present then, too. If I were sitting at my desk proofing something or doing mail, I was seriously struggling to wake up.

 

For a while, I drank a coffee around 2:00 to help combat this, but I quit coffee due to IBS, so I don't want to drink coffee. I also don't drink soda for the same reason (plus I need to protect my teeth).

 

Does anyone else have this problem? Have you found a successful way to avert this?

I have the same problem. The worst is when I have to drive at that time of day. Sometime the nap is worth it.

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I grew up in a nap-shaming family. Well, my dad mostly. Sleeping in, taking naps, staying up too late...it was all kind of lumped together as unsavory. Soon after we got married I inadvertently took a nap after work and then apologized to DH for falling asleep in the middle of the day. I thought it was just not something respectable people did. DH looked at me like I had three heads and couldn't figure out why on earth I thought a nap was something to apologize for.

 

Now that I have kids especially, if I need a 20 min rest while they are having quiet time, then I close my eyes for 20 minutes. It improves the rest of the day immensely and feels so good. No more nap-shaming!

 

I also do this because I can't drink coffee after about 2 p.m. or else I'm too wired to sleep at bedtime.

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I had the same issue until I started treating my hypothyroid. I can now make it through most afternoons without a desire for a nap. It is the first time in over 30 year, maybe even 40. I don't think I was hypothyroid that whole time, but I did have quite a few symptoms off and on throughout my adult life. I'm guessing I was always a little low, even if not low enough for anyone to notice.

 

I am incapable of a short nap. If I feel bad enough to nap it is always over an hour and the family usually assumes (cause its usually true) that I have a migraine if they find me asleep during the day. Short naps leave me more tired than ever. I've always been in awe of those (my mom for example) who could nap for 15 min. and actually feel better.

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15-20 minute nap. I've had my sleep disturbed by one child or another because of pregnancy, night nursing, or just general nighttime parenting pretty much every night for fifteen years. I have no qualms about taking naps when needed.

 

Get up and move. I'll get sleepy if I'm sitting in a chair, but it'll get better if I make myself get up and walk around.

 

Tons of water too. I am always really amazed at how badly I need tons more water, like 90 ounces a day (that was while pregnant and lactating though), and I tend not to drink much at all. When I drink a lot, I feel so much more awake and alert.

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I have always had this issue--driving makes me sleepy, sitting and reading, etc.

Napping does not help me, either, even if only doing a power nap.  I have never slept more than 20 minutes and yet still can't get back into the groove afterwards.

Caffeine tends to make me sleepy.

What does seem to help is an amino acid supplement and DLPA.

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When I eat low carb, I don't feel tired in the afternoon. So, that's what I usually do.

When I don't eat low carb, there's nothing I can do; I'm useless in the middle of the afternoon. I've been this way since I was in high school.

 

For years I felt sleepy in the afternoon. I totally understand what the OP is talking about - highway driving, reading aloud, listening to someone else read, anything, really. 

 

Since switching to a very low-carb diet, I don't experience that any more. I have a lot more energy and don't suffer from the afternoon zombie-mom syndrome. 

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