This article is contributed by Dr. Vikram Chauhan.
Experiencing a little bit of sleepiness in the daytime is normal and everyone might have experienced this, but feeling way too drowsy can really be a big deal. If you are at home and relaxing, feeling sleepy might not be that bad, but being sleepy at work can really make you feel messed up. Feeling tired all the time at work can result in significant consequences. You might get overloaded with work backlogs and missing deadlines.
The daily occurrence of these things can bring your job in peril. Also, your body might be trying to tell you something if you feel tired and sleepy the whole day. There might be something that you are doing wrong. Women are more prone to experience sleepiness in the daytime as they take less amount of sleep during the night due to issues like menstruation, pregnancy, worrying for children, job stress, and household chores.
However, this is just as per statistic data, men also do feel the tiredness at work. Hypersomnia or excessive sleepiness can interfere with some major activities of a person related to work. This daytime tiredness is usually a result of a bad night’s sleep, but there can also be many other reasons. Let’s have a look at them!
1. Not enough sleep
Sleeping not enough at night can be the major and most common cause of daytime sleepiness. Waking up tired and irritated usually indicates that a person had too little or insufficient sleep. It affects a person mentally similar to how alcohol does. You’ll feel drowsy, mental judgment is impaired, reaction time is shortened, irritability, easily angered, and unable to perform physical activities normally.
2. Too much Sleep
Sleeping a lot can also be the reason for sleepiness and tiredness. Yes! You heard it right. Not only less sleep but also sleeping a lot can cause tiredness and low energy in the daytime. Even in one research, it was concluded that sleeping more than 8 hours at night is bad for health.
Overstimulation caused by taking too much caffeine or sugary drinks can lead to sleepiness at daytime as a secondary effect. Every substance has primary and secondary action. In the primary action, caffeine causes stimulation and awakening whereas in the secondary action it results in fatigue and tiredness.
4. Sedentary lifestyle
Lack of physical activity can lead to sleepiness. Usually, in today’s world, jobs involve a lot of sitting. This sitting at one place for a long duration can cause tiredness and sleepiness at work.
People who are less interested in their tasks or jobs can result in boredom which ultimately causes drowsiness at the workplace.
6. Drinking an inadequate amount of water
If you are not drinking enough water, this can lead to sleepiness and fatigue while you are at work. Water is the natural source of refreshment. Not drinking enough water can lead to fatigue and an unrefreshed mind.
7. Bad habits
Habits can be both good and bad. Developing and maintaining bad habits can make you pay a lot. If you are eating at irregular times and unhealthy food, this can cause lethargy and fatigue thus making you feel sleepy. Heavy meals can slow down the metabolism of your body and makes a person drowsy. Also, the habit of napping at daytime at specific intervals can cause irresistible sleepy bouts.
Stress can hold a person from having sufficient sleep at night which is ultimately expressed as daytime sleepiness.
All these things can be one of the causes of your tiredness and daytime sleepiness which is holding you back from the important stuff. But don’t worry there are many ways which can help you to overcome this problem.
First of all, let me clear that napping isn’t bad at all. But you must know that there are times, specifically at work, when it is usually not possible to take that nap. So, let’s try some effective lifestyle changes that can help you to stay awake and attentive while you are working.
Certain changes in your lifestyle will certainly improve your energy and keep daytime sleepiness at bay.
1. Sufficient night time sleep
You might think that this is obvious and what’s there to talk about it. Many might know but not all do practice it. Many of us take some time off from sleep to do some other things which are definitely not good for you. Always fix the time for your sleep and try to complete all the work before your sleep time. Block 8-9 hours for a night of healthy and sound sleep. Sleeping good will not only re-energize you but will also increase your concentration and attention at work.
2. Keep your lunch light
As discussed above, having heavy meals can slow your metabolism and make you feel tired. Take light things in lunch like high protein and healthy carbohydrates. These things will digest easily and early, also will they give a great amount of energy to the body.
3. Interest in your work
This is the most important thing. You should always opt for the job that you have an interest in. Doing something in which you are not interested can create a problem. The work in which you will be interested will ultimately bring out the attention and creativity from you.
4. Move a bit
Sitting continuously at the same place can make you feel sleepy. At certain time intervals, you should get up from your desk and move around a bit, it will increase the blood flow in the body and re-energize you. This will help you to concentrate on your work and stay awake attentively. Just move a few steps in order to avoid being at your seat for too long.
Exercising early morning can make your whole day fresh and increase your activity. You can do any exercise which you are good at or feel like doing. It can be anything like aerobics, walking, jogging, calisthenics, bodybuilding, running, or yoga. Exercise is good for anything and everything.
Besides these things you can also follow a few tips for avoiding daytime sleepiness:
1. Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks or dishes before going to sleep.
2. Make a routine of going to sleep and waking up. This means go to sleep and wake up at a similar time daily.
3. Sleep in a peaceful and calm environment. There should not be many lights or bright lights in your bedroom.
4. Avoid distractions before bedtime like phones or watching TV.