It is 3 p.m., and you’ve got hit the dreaded afternoon droop. You are drained, sluggish, and sleepy. The battle to energy via the remainder of the day is actual (cue that second or third cup of espresso). Whereas that is frequent for many individuals, some people really feel sleepier than the typical particular person within the afternoon. These folks have what’s referred to as a “napper” sleep chronotype. Beneath, we chatted with a sleep professional to study extra about it, plus recommendations on easy methods to deal.
What’s the napper sleep chronotype?
The 4 sleep chronotypes discuss with when an individual naturally feels sleepy and alert all through the day. Angela Holliday-Bell, MD, a doctor, licensed sleep specialist, and sleep coach, explains that the morning chicken chronotype means you’re feeling most alert within the morning, after which your alertness progressively declines because the day continues. Alternatively, she says the night time owl chronotype is much less alert within the morning, and their vitality ranges improve because the day progresses. In the meantime, the afternoon chronotype feels most awake and energized throughout—you guessed it—the afternoon.
Then there’s the napper sleep chronotype, which a 2019 research revealed within the Journal of Character and Particular person Variations discovered many individuals fall into. “On this chronotype, people are inclined to really feel alert after they wake within the morning however have two durations of decreased alertness or sleepiness within the late afternoon round 3 p.m. and once more within the late night round 10 p.m.,” Dr. Holliday-Bell explains. “They have an inclination to really feel fairly alert through the occasions in between.”
In the event you expertise these two slumps all through the day and get particularly sleepy round 3 p.m., these are telltale indicators that you simply, too, fall into the napper sleep chronotype. (In the event you’re uncertain, monitoring if you are inclined to really feel awake and sleepy through the day will help you establish your sleep chronotype.)
So, why do you get *actually* sleepy round 3 p.m.?
Everybody experiences the three pm and 10 pm vitality dips resulting from our circadian rhythm. “Your circadian rhythm is a roughly 24-hour cycle that controls your ranges of alertness and sleepiness all through the day along with different metabolic and endocrinologic processes,” Dr. Holliday-Bell explains. “In that 24-hour cycle, there’s a identified slight dip within the degree of alertness within the mid-afternoon, generally generally known as the mid-afternoon or post-prandial droop. Alertness subsequently will increase after which dips extra considerably because the late night comes round.”
The distinction between the napper chronotype and the opposite sleep chronotypes is that nappers have a extra exaggerated model of the traditional circadian rhythm. Due to this fact, they expertise extra vital decreases in ranges of alertness through the afternoon droop. The rationale behind it, nonetheless, continues to be unknown. “We aren’t presently conscious of what particularly causes the lower in ranges of alertness through the afternoon, however suppose it might be an evolutionary remnant from when noon napping was helpful for survival,” Dr. Holliday-Bell says.
Learn how to align with the napper sleep chronotype
When you establish that you are a napper sleep chronotype, how do you take care of the additional afternoon sleepiness? We are inclined to perform greatest once we waft of our pure circadian rhythm. So, planning your day round your alertness home windows will be useful. In different phrases, do not e-book necessary conferences round 3 p.m.
And, if doable, Dr. Holliday-Bell says among the finest issues you are able to do when that sleepiness hits is take an influence nap. “This can assist get you thru the afternoon droop and truly get up with extra vitality and elevated focus and productiveness,” she says. So, permission to schedule a recurring naptime appointment in your Google calendar.
Even higher information: Dr. Holliday-Bell says energy naps do not must be lengthy to reap the advantages—15 to half-hour will do the trick—making it simpler to squeeze them right into a busy day. As for the late-evening droop round 10 p.m., her recommendation is simply to name it an evening and fall asleep. The elevated sleep drive throughout that point will make it simpler to go to sleep, so take benefit as you drift off to dreamland.