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Registered: 01/29/04
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Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams
    #3526974 - 12/21/04 10:19 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

This is something that has been bothering me for quite a while. Probably for about four years, and it's getting worse as I grow older  :sad: I am 33 now.

I usually have lunch around 4 PM. After about half an hour I start feeling fatigue and drowsiness, and simply have to take a "nap". This nap can last anywhere between an hour and four hours. It is usually accompanied with disorientation, bad and confusing dreams (daymares so to speak), and dry mouth after I wake up. I often wake up totally exhausted and don't know whether it's morning or the middle of the night, whether it's winter or summer.

During this Summer I searched the net for keywords "afternoon, sleepines, drowsiness" etc. and came across so-called paleodiet (or caveman diet). More info at:


but here's a quick explanation...

Basically it boils down to the fact that humans have eaten meat, vegetables and fruits (but only those vegetables and fruits that can be eaten raw) for 99% during the history of their evolution. Our whole digestive tract and metabolism is designed to process nutrients from meat, raw vegetables and raw fruits.

With the advent of agriculture (some 10,000 years ago - which is only 1% of our time in evolution), there came a host of foods that we were not "designed" to eat.

For instance, wheat, corn, potatoes and grains like beans, legumes, peas...

All these foods are not edible in their raw form. They contain toxins (in scientific literature these toxins are given euphemism "antinutrients") which are destroyed by cooking but never completely. And even if they are destroyed, the composition of these "new" foods is problematic for how our organism is designed - they contain too much carbohydrates and too little proteins and vitamins. Too much carbohydrates, when consumed over long periods of time, can cause insuline resistance (which can lead to diabetes) and other illnesses. Of course, eating a lot of carbs can also make you fat.

The results of agriculture have been both positive and negative. Positive in so far that humans have been able to produce edible food almost anywhere during whole year, which enabled them to inhabit the entire planet. Negative because they started to suffer from new diseases from which our distant ancestors did not suffer, such as diabetes, heart strokes, high blood pressure, mental illnesses etc. It is argued that our ancestors had a relatively short life span, but that's because they used to get infectious diseases which are easy to cure nowadays, or get eaten by a wild beast. However observations of "primitive" cultures of today's hunterers and gatherers (some tribes in Africa and Eskimoes for instance) showed that they almost never suffer from diseases of modern society, although they eat a lot of meat, fat and raw fruits and vegetables.

Well, I started a modified version of this caveman diet this Summer, and it really seemed to help. I had less urge to sleep in afternoons, and generally felt better. *** However, recently (especially during December, now when days are so short) the urge to sleep after lunch has returned, and I had some major nightmares in the last few days which left me pretty disoriented.

Does anyone know what might be causing this? Should I check my blood sugar level or anything else?

*** But I still used bread, butter, some milk, occasional beer or vodka :wink: So, strictly speaking I never followed paleodiet completely.

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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: alphaone]
    #3527002 - 12/21/04 10:32 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

naps are evil
tough it out and stay awake till bed time


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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: krin]
    #3527411 - 12/21/04 12:56 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Oftentimes I just can't stay awake. That's the problem. Even if I force myself to stay awake I feel so tired I'll be totally unoperational until late night hours, then would follow a brief period of awakening, then again sleepiness before bedtime... I feel as if a good portion of my daytime is being taken away from me.

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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: alphaone]
    #3528495 - 12/21/04 06:37 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

If naps are bothersome to you, why nap at all?

Lets rev you up and get you on a roll...

For three days try the following things:
1. Wakeup late
2. Immediately go for a jog. No coffee beforehand, no water, no food, no tv, no music, no heavy thinking. JOG.
3. Come back and shower. Take your time with a breakfast you personally prepare. Keep it light. Try MISO SOUP and one piece of toast sprinkled with herbs (lots of herbs, but not mj).
4. Keep yourself busy and do not retire for the evening until later than normal. If you feel that you're getting tired in the afternoon keep yourself going but don't rely at all on sugar, chocolate, cigarettes, drugs, or anything else: rely on your own ability to stay busy to something DIFFERENT.
5. What's the spice of life according to the lustful? Variety. It doesn't have to be in this category but we all need variety. Mix it up, brother. Do not let each day be a replay of your first day on the Earth.

You asked for advice and advice was provided. Try it.

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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: alphaone]
    #3529048 - 12/21/04 09:32 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

interesting read.

and strange since i have just awoken from a nap that exactly described your predicament. I havent had a nightmare in years, but i had two this evening where i woke up sweating and disoriented.

also, its been about 4-5 days since eating any meat (i usually eat meat 2X a day) i have become sluggish as hell over the past week and with the onset of winter ive slept 12 days easily.

definetly get exercise. its hared for me to jog now (too cold out right now and i usually run or play soccer 5X's a week)
cut out caffiene maybe?
have you had mono yet? i got it two years ago and while the extreme effects of it are mostly gone, i have a feeling a little sluggishness has remained and i will never fully recover to my original energy level.

If it weren't for the bloody corpses, I wouldn't have any corpses at all.

There are two ways to get to the top of an oak tree: start climbing or sit on an acorn.

Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: MrBump]
    #3530182 - 12/22/04 02:30 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

i had the same thing i would come home from school and crash for hours and wake up around 8 or 9 and then wouldnt be able to sleep throught the night so i wouldnt get a full nights rest what it turnd out to be was depression. i would sleep to get away from my problems after being put on zoloft for a couple of months i felt much better and my sleep patterns returned to normal. well that was me. and im not a dr. so you should go see your dr.

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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: mrhowdy]
    #3530569 - 12/22/04 07:24 AM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Thank you all for the suggestions.

I agree that the missing link in this puzzle is probably lack of regular exercise on my part. I may have solved the part of the puzzle concerning diet, but exercise still needs to be done. Enter, you are right, my days are almost all the same. I need variety. I'm almost totally sedentary.

But that's not all only due to laziness. I suffer from a little known allergy / sensitivity called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) which greatly reduces the range of activities I can do in my everyday life. For instance, going to gym is almost impossible for me.

But I'll try to be more active. Doing calisthenics at home is feasible. Walking in nature, jogging and other sports will be much harder to do, not only due to my MCS, but also because I realized that in the last few years the city district (municipality) I live in has become so overcrowded with buildings, kiosks, parked cars, cars in motion, machines and people that it's reeally hard to find even 100 meters of free space for running or walking...

And to think of the time when I was younger (some 20 years ago)... this place where I live used to be almost like paradise... lots of grass, trees, parks and not too many people. Now the parks are all in ruins. "Progress" has made a lot of useless buildings. Thick clouds of smog and exhaust gases cover everyting.

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Registered: 07/07/04
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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: alphaone]
    #3531622 - 12/22/04 02:09 PM (13 years, 4 months ago)

Yes, lack of exercise is the problem. Early humans didn't eat grain, nor did they sit in front of the TV all day. :wink:

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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: the_phoenix]
    #3617924 - 01/12/05 02:42 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

You sound to me like you have a case of classic narcolepsy. Your tiredness and need for naps, vivid daydreams and disorientation upon waking. I am nearly positive you are narcoleptic. See a sleep specialist and undergo a sleep study. I was recently diagnosed, and had the exact same symptoms as yourself.
When I was told that I was a likely candidate for narcolepsy I was very skeptical. My vision of narcolepsy was created from movies and rumors. Narcolepsy is not always characterised by sudden sleep attacks.

Have you ever woke up in the middle of the night and not been able to move your arms? (Not like your arms are asleep, simply temporary paralysis lasting anywhere from 1 - 30 minutes)

Have you felt a strange change in your overall perception of reality? (Think back to your mindset 4 years ago)

I'm not a doctor, but I do have narcolepsy and I do know the symptoms. Don't worry too much about it. Just consider having a sleep study. You sleep overnight in the hospital while your brain wave patterns are monitored. Most insurance plans will cover all of this.

^ Above post is complete fiction. ^

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Re: Afternoon sleepiness, fatigue and bad dreams [Re: rockstafarian]
    #3644014 - 01/18/05 05:34 PM (13 years, 3 months ago)

post modified by the author.

Edited by alphaone (01/18/05 05:51 PM)

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