For the longest time I have been getting really sleepy around 1pm to 2pm. Some days I even go for a nap for an hour and have to say I feel so much better for it. I am a lark, always have been and probably always will be. I am awake by around 6am and am in bed by 9pm. People make fun of us for going to be so early but dh is up for work by 4.40am, so he is pooped by 9pm.
Now after reading these articles I am pleased to say I am normal, not just getting old.
An article from the Toronto Star
"Most mammals sleep for short periods through the day. We have consolidated sleep into one long period, but the biological vestige remains. Our bodies are programmed for two periods of intense sleepiness: from about 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., and in the afternoon, between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. This midday wave of drowsiness is not due to heat or too many fries at lunch. It arises from an afternoon dormant phase in our physiology, which diminishes our reaction time, memory, co-ordination, mood and alertness. "
Again an article in the Toronto Star
"To determine the best time to nap, it helps to know your "chronotype." What times would you get up and go to sleep if you were entirely free to plan your day? If you're a lark, apt to wake as early as 6 a.m. and go to sleep at night around 9 or 10, you're going to feel your need for a nap in the afternoon around 1 or 1:30 p.m. If you're an owl, preferring to go to bed after midnight or 1 a.m., and to wake around 8 or 9 a.m., your afternoon "sleep gate" will open later in the afternoon, closer to 2:30 or 3 p.m. "
Another article in the Toronto Star
"In designing the optimal nap, you need to grasp its potential components. During sleep, your brain's electrical activity goes through a five-phase cycle:
STAGE 1: FALLING ASLEEP
A short afternoon catnap of 20 minutes yields mostly light sleep, which enhances alertness and concentration, elevates mood and sharpens motor skills. To boost alertness on waking, drink coffee before you nap. The caffeine will kick in just as you're waking. Naps of up to 45 minutes may also include rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which boosts creative thinking and sensory processing.
STAGE 2: LIGHT SLEEP
Limit your nap to 45 minutes or less if you need to spring into action after dozing. Otherwise, you may drift into slow-wave sleep. Waking from this stage results in serious sleep inertia, that feeling of grogginess and disorientation that can last for a half hour or more.
STAGES 3 AND 4: DEEP, SLOW-WAVE SLEEP
But you might want to take a long nap, at least 90 minutes. Many of us get about 1 to 1 1/2 hours less sleep per night than we need. A new study shows that the sleep-deprived brain toggles between normal activity and complete lapses, or failures – a dangerous state of slowed responses and foggy inattention. Sound familiar?
REM: DREAMING STAGE
Naps of 90 to 120 minutes usually comprise all stages, including REM and deep slow-wave sleep, which helps to clear your mind, improve memory recall and recoup lost sleep. Longer naps in the morning yield more REM sleep, while those in the afternoon offer more slow-wave sleep."