That 2:30 Feeling...

Everyone experiences it. That feeling around 2:30 when it feels like a nap is a good idea. But there has to be a reason why people get so tired around this time everyday. Well maybe not everyday but a lot of the time. Even the popular energy shot "5 hour energy" uses this time of day as an advertising jumping off point. One of the reasons this happens is because our bodies temperature actually drops. This is a reaction that causes us to release melatonin. For those of you who don't know what melatonin is it is: "a hormone secreted by the retina, important in the regulation of biorhythms: in amphibians, it causes a lightening of the skin." In other words it is a hormone given off naturally that helps us relax. Another issue is a level of nutrients that just is not good enough for our bodies to efficiently produce energy. A balanced breakfast is much better than running out the door get your morning coffee. Coffee may suppress or appetite but it does nothing to tell our bodies that we don't need those nutrients. I know that as I write this blog i have that 2:30 feeling and it is 3:30. The other day Andrew actually asked Alex the girl sitting next to me why she was yawning and I replied to him it's the time of the day. I told him I'd blog about it so here it is. Just some information about why we can barley stay awake in SC200. It's not the quality of the class it's just the poor quality of the scheduling procedure I guess...



Do you guys nap when you get tired during the day? When I get this 2:30 feeling, I can never decide if I should nap or just fight through it. Usually if I fight through it, my tiredness goes away after a little while, but it's just so hard not to nap when given the chance. Lots of people say that a nap will make me even more tired. So, is it better to take the nap or no? I found that a SHORT power nap is actually very helpful and good for you. It seems to give people a fresh new feeling and make them more attentive and energetic. Just a 20 minute power nap can reduce stress, improve memory/learning, and is actually good for the heart. It is suggested to only nap for 20 minutes instead of a long period of time because the body is only in stages 1 and 2 of the sleep cycle at this time. It's not good to nap for too long and get into a deep sleep, which will cause you to have a "zombie" feeling after you wake up. So naps are good, as long as they are short!

I can agree with you on always feeling tired around this time of day, but have you looked into this more? Wouldn't their be many different factors that could explain the time at which people get this feeling? For instance you could compare men to women, people who exercise frequently to people who do not exercise at all? What about someone that works at a bar that doesn't go to bed until 4 am compared to someone who works early so they are in bed by 9 pm?

Megan, I completely agree with you about power napping--there are several studies about "Da Vinci" sleep, in which it's shown to be healthier to take about 6 20 minute "power naps" per day. While this only equates to about two hours of sleep, it is spaced out well enough for our bodies to feel relaxed, and we have a lot more time to study our science notes. :-)
In addition, I've found that exercising in short spurts helps me stay awake throughout the day. If I exercise for an hour in between classes, I'll feel exhausted, but 10 minute stretches or cardio sessions makes me feel much more awake during the rest of my afternoon. Not only that, but I feel a lot happier as well. Guess we have the endorphin releases to thank for that one.

That 2:30 feeling, the worst and on tuesdays and thursdays we all spend it together in Science 200. My biggest thought after reading this is how do we prevent it (with out the 5 hour energy shot.) I wonder if theres a way to avoid it naturally. As you said coffee helps get through the day, but people still face that crash feeling. What i noticed is that humor helps. When Mr Reed is especially funny in class and keeps us laughing, I don't have the feeling as much. Could our brains just be exhausted at this time? If you think about it 230 is after we've done a lot of work, and paying attention. Our brains may simply be tired and need a short break. I think to avoid the 2:30 feeling we need to do something entertaining for our brains. Being entertained and around humor may be a good to keep you going at that 2:30 time.

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