Tired in The Afternoon? 5 Tips from Your Sleep Doc | Yatin J. Patel

Work place drowsiness is less obvious than this but equally disastrous.

Workplace drowsiness is less apparent than this but equally disastrous.

Eliminate the MADness (Mid Afternoon Drowsiness)

The majority of mammalian species have a second sleep period during the daytime because of the mid-afternoon dip in alertness. This dip in the alertness in the middle of our working day causes a decline in our productivity and, more importantly, creates an environment conducive to disastrous mistakes. The following graph depicts the number of sleep-related accidents and their time of occurrence. Please note the steep increase in accidents between one o’clock and three o’clock.

The incidence of sleep-related vehicle accidents (n=606) by hour of day. BMJ 1995; 310: 565 Sleep-related vehicle accidents. JA Horne, professor, LA Reyner, research associate, Sleep Research Laboratory, Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU.

Why does this occur? Well, our internal pacemaker, Suprachiasmatic nucleus located at the base of the brain makes us sleepy in the mid-afternoon. Fighting this tiny structure will take discipline and persistence, but this can improve your executive output by thirty percent and can eliminate disastrous decision making.

First, you have to recognize this decline in alertness and in productivity. Look for it and you shall find complacency and chaos, disastrous decision-making, and combustible communication post-lunch. Keep these tips in mind to help you get through the mid-afternoon madness:

  1. Keep moving. Pace the floor. If you are in a meeting, flex and extend your ankles. Take a trip to the restroom.
  2. Look at the light. Sit facing the sun. Minimize power point use if giving a presentation. Turn the slides off and turn the lights on every ten minutes.
  3. Eat a light lunch. If you avoid carbohydrates, you will not feel sluggish at the next afternoon meeting. Your head will be able to think clearly and handle crucial decision making duties.
  4. Use caffeine judiciously. It can improve your alertness but can rob you of your deep sleep at night as it has duration of action of 24 hours.
  5. Take a fifteen-minute power nap. It will go a long way in improving your performance as a leader. Studies have shown that a fifteen-minute power nap can improve alertness, decision-making, creativity, communication, perception, situational awareness, and problem-solving for 150 minutes.

If you follow these tips, you can maximize alertness even in the afternoon.

What has your experience been? Have you noticed sluggishness, errors, omissions, complacency, and chaos around mid-afternoon? What tips do you follow to overcome mid-afternoon madness? How did you overcome the cultural stigma associated with napping?

Happy Leading!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Vanguard Blog

Insights and opinions from Vanguard leaders

who is bert

a dialogue on mind, consciousness and existence


Delicious plant-based, whole food recipes & my healthy living tips!


Five true stories, every five weeks.

Talkin' Reckless

Thoughts on feminism, health, and education

The WordPress.com Blog

The latest news on WordPress.com and the WordPress community.

Nursing Clio

The Personal is Historical


Support for survivors of domestic violence, rape and fraud

The Vedic Philosophy (ऋषिचिंतन)

Veda || The Received Name for The Highest Spiritual Truth of which The Human Mind is Capable

Proactive Indian

Reflections on everyday life in India and elsewhere

Life's Little Banter

Right now is the oldest you have ever been and the youngest you will ever be...

The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

My life and everything that touches it....


The memory improvement blog

Inspirational Quotes | Motivational Blog | Images | Pictures

Quotes For Kids | Success Quotes | Bob Marley Quotes


“When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch". Bette Davis


Fine Art Photographer ~ Daring to be Different


Breaking news and updates from Time.com. News pictures, video, Twitter trends.


News and reviews from the world of gadgets, gear, apps and the web


Opening doors to enhanced life experiences by uncovering the unseen

Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

Suzanne Askham

Intuitive meditation


Form, Flow and Grace


Knowledge and Happiness(K&H) multiples by dividing it. More you share, higher and bigger they grow.

Taozi Tree Yoga

The seeds we water are the seeds that grow.


Snap pictures, tell stories

Love. Life.

It's simple, yet powerful.


adventures in living my yoga, untethering my soul all whilst not giving up on chocolate or wine

Seven Spheres

Aqua Terra Ignis et Aer

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Personal Branding for Professional Sucess

The Premier Personal Branding Blog in India

Egyptian Streets

Independent Media


A pulmonary & sleep physician, I blog @ sleeping soundly, working happily, leading humbly, & living fully. http://yatinJpatel.com

Bucket List Publications

Indulge- Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

Depression Time

A journal about depression, panic, and creating a life of clarity, balance, and meaning.


Just the good stuff.

Șic și clasic - "Chic & Classic" luxury fine arts, entirely handcrafted, original design

Cand cumperi arta nu cumperi doar ceea ce vezi si pipai cumperi sufletul unui om, sufletul artistului pentru ca el/ artistul s-a uitat in sufletul lui si a scos de acolo ce a gasit

Basic Maths

A thoughtfully designed and well-constructed grid theme.


I'm a writer writing for the joy of it.

British Asian Woman

Daily life and current affairs from a cross-cultural perspective

Matt on Not-WordPress

Stuff and things.

%d bloggers like this: