T Nation

Sleep in the Afternoon


I don't know whether this affects other members on this board but I've had this issue for a while and I can't seem to pinpoint whether my issue is my lifestyle, a habit, lack of/too much one food/supplement etc.

I am getting tired to the point of sleeping at 2pm in the afternoon almost everyday. It can happen after lunch but I've felt it happen on some days without lunch (days where I sometimes work through lunch). I don't eat a heavy lunch at all, usually chicken breast meat, broccoli/carrots or other combination of meat/vegetables and no rice etc.

I am not a coffee drinker, don't really take caffeine from other sources except Green Tea which has low levels and that I drink perhaps 2 cups a day.

My diet is mostly Paleo now but in the past I balanced with grains as well (mostly in the form of bread and pasta). I have a post on this sub-forum about my diet, I can provide a link to that if it helps (the thread was called "Diet Advice Please").

Supplement wise currently I take zinc, fish oil and multi-vitamins.

I sleep 7 hours a night, at around 11pm and wake up at 6am. I do toss in my sleep and wake now and again but I fall back to sleep well.

What should I be looking at? Supplements to aid in better sleep (I am told Magnesium is good)? Drink more green tea, take caffeine pills after lunch? I want to feel awake and switched on in the afternoons. I have considered Power Drive as well, since I want to feel focused and be able to concentrate as well, but I'm not sure if I can ship that to my location in Singapore. Thanks all.


Not that I'm suggesting it's a "solution" to whatever might be the root of the problem (if there really is one?), but I'm a huge fan of caffeine. Every morning I make a smoothie and toss in about 200mg of caffeine, and it keeps me wide awake in the morning, and even at the end of my work day I don't feel tired. I'm a software developer, so if I have a slow day at work + no caffeine, a computer screen can make me super drowsy. Never had any issue with tiredness after that dosage of caffeine in the morning though.

If you don't usually have a lot of caffeine like you suggest, if you do plan on taking some extra caffeine maybe start with lower amounts and work up to more if you need. I used to drink energy drinks and never had a problem with caffeine, but once I bought caffeine powder I realized I didn't drink enough water (mild headache + stomach ache) for a 200mg dose. So, keep that in mind as well if you go with caffeine powder/pills.

Anyway, I hope that provides at least some info... I know that it works for me :slight_smile: Good luck.


Hey Xanderbuilt, I am not an MD by any means, but a good friend of mine awhile back did research in sleep studies with various people. Weather this is something you know or not-- but there are long sleepers and short sleepers. It may be something as simple as you require more sleep, your body just needs a longer period of time to get through all of your sleep cycles. Rather with a short sleeper, their body can get through their cycles more efficiently.

I personally am a long sleeper. When I was in college I only got about 6-7 hours of sleep per night, and I ALWAYS fell asleep in the afternoon. Now I always try to get at least 9 hours per night, 10 hours being ideal, and I can go all day without any drowsiness or feeling tired.

Also, I've known a few guys (45+ years of age) that had gotten sleep studies done and now have a lot better rest. They were waking up a ton in their sleep, mostly due to sleep apnea, and did not realize they were waking up so much.

Basically, the problem I can pretty much guarantee is your quality or quantity of sleep. I would start by trying to aim for MORE sleep per night. Try doing 9 hours if your lifestyle allows, and you should see a drastic difference.

In any case, just food for thought. Take care.


Go and talk with your doctor, if you haven't already.

Getting some extra sleep would definetly help as well, imo.


I actually currently suffer from this same prb. Im also a trainer and a few clients have also been going through the same stuff. Ive tried testing everything from higher carb/lower carb/ cortisol/ caffine/sleep and even looked into seasonal changes and earth shifting changes (crazy i know, but true still).
I havent come up with much.

I did start on homepathics and that seems to have shifted me in a better path to where I felt almost instant results. For the past week I have had the afternoon tiredness but less than before where I would have to nap to now a week later being a could probably make it without napping. This seems to be the only positive result I have found. I got muscle tested and went from there.

Also sleep quality is huge. A good book on it I believe is called "Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, Survival" Basic reccommendation from that was sleep in a cold, really dark, quiet room with little to no electronics and kill anyone who tries to disrupt that.

Also you may want to supplement ZMA and a herbal product L-Theanine. L-Theanine should bring anyone good quailty sleep to where you lay down and your alarm wakes you. Between that start and end time, you dont get up :slight_smile:
This is just my experience.


Man, if I could take a nap every day at 2pm... that would be awesome.


x2 on trying out some ZMA, when I take it I can sleep for 4 hours or 7 hours and I wake up feeling like I got the best sleep of my life, and the lucid dreams are a great bonus.



Learn to love it. I'm too goddamn busy to be sleepy in the afternoon.

Am I dependent on caffeine? Yeah. Does it work? Yes.


Try going to bed at 10pm.


Getting up at 6, too.
I've read research on circadian rhythms for awhile now, its really a matter of not messing your cycle up etc. Also, there seems to be strong evidence that some people work better with even hours of sleep and some people work better with odd hours of sleep.

aka, 5 not 6 etc.


You got the Beetus.


Thank you all for your great suggestions, really.

  1. I'll look into additional caffiene during the day. I stare at a computer screen for work too and some activity away from the computer screen is going to help.
  2. 9 hours sleep sounds interesting but I don't know how many days a week I can do it. I guess the only way to know is do it and observe it over a week.
  3. I do take Zinc, but not ZMA, and my dreams are "interesting" lately. I will begin supplementing with Magnesium as well. Let me look into L-Theanine.

If all else fails, I'll go to a doctor and get a mineral imbalance test done.

Thank you for the recommended book on Sleep, let me see if I can get it here. I've read about shutting off all lights, electronic devices etc for a better rest and I've tried to create that effect in my room with all switches off, dark curtains and phone on silent.


mainly because I've dealt with it I always think thyroid.

Get your FREET3 level tested.

Magnesium is a good supp take it at night. Are you getting enough sleep every night? Do you have any other symptoms?


Industrial sounds; a fan works wonders, blocks out most noises that may disturb you from sleeping.

Might seem a bit weird but meditation guides or other types of relaxation aids (mp3 related) may be helpful, I find them handy if I'm struggling to get to sleep, or trying to find that extra 30mins - 1hr after waking in the morning.

If your interested the following are pretty good:
- Insight meditation: basically a guided meditation, if your new to meditation this is very good imo
- Brain Sync: ambience guided stuff, sends vibrations through earphones. Seems to work well.
- Sound Mind: this worked fairly well, basically its just the sound of rain but sends some sort of vibration noise, you start from beginner and work your way up to master.

I like to cycle through them, as you get used to them (apart from sound mind when your working your way up).


I really think that everyone is different in this regard, and what works for me may not work for you. However, I was having trouble like this last year really bad, I was just dragging my feet in the afternoon. I also work on computers, so it was hard to keep focused.

I think it has mostly to do with sleep and diet for me. I am currently doing carb cycling to cut down on some fat, and on my high carb days I feel fantastic and kick ass all day long. On the low carb days I'm very grumpy and I want to go to bed and wish the day away. Thinking back to last year during my sleep problems, it probably had a lot to do with low carbs, but that's just me and I have no science to back that up.

The other thing is just making sure you get enough sleep. And not just sleep, but you need deep sleep. Try Z12, that shit is like magic. Has anyone compared Z12 to ZMA for sleep effects?


Update : I've been taking 200mg of caffeine in the morning and I haven't fallen asleep in the afternoon once. I might only do it on weekdays and not weekends, I drink some green tea but will limit my caffeine sources otherwise.

I started magnesium capsules yesterday night, will see what the progress is like - had a weird dream involving AAS and when someone should start AAS. That's just fucking weird haha.


Hey wanted to check in; has your sleep improved the last few weeks since you began cycling caffeine, and added magnesium?


naps? I love naps!


I second the theanine recommendation. It takes a lot (1,000 mg) for it to do the job for me, which makes it expensive, so I only use it on nights when I really need it, but it gives you DEEP, restful sleep.

Same with Z-12, although it seems to lose its effect if you take it too regularly, so only use it sporadically.

I've been taking either ZMA or Poliquin's UberMag at night for years and years and years, and can't say that they seem to make much difference for me in terms of sleep quality. I sometimes still have problems sleeping soundly, or getting to sleep, thus the need for occasional theanine or Z-12.