10 tips to improve the afternoon slump

10 tips to improve the afternoon slump

Do your eyes get sleepy around 2-3pm?

Yawning at your desk around this time?

Your body has a natural circadian rhythm that kicks in around mid-afternoon and this has been the reason many countries still have a formal siesta.

Unfortunately, Western society has forgotten about the natural body rhythm and we are forced to work through it!

Most people feel that afternoon slump after lunch feeling so fatigued that they could have a nap.

When the 3’oclockitis hits you may also experience:

  • Frequent yawning;
  • Slight changes in vision;
  • Moodiness;
  • Craving Carbs or sugar, or
  • Headaches.

If you have thought that there is something wrong with you then….RELAX!

It is natural and after a break and with the right nourishment, most people will feel more productive and ready to work.

Part of the answer lies in your eating habits.

What you eat for breakfast and lunch can have a bearing on this.

Another important factor is the amount of calories consumed during these meals as well as your stress levels and hydration.

10 tips to Improve your afternoon slump

Afternoon slump, Stress, Afternoon Slump and Stress, Afternoon Slump and eating habits

Here are a ten (10) tips to help improve your energy in the afternoon:

Tip #1 – Get a good night sleep

By getting a good night’s sleep every night your body will recharge and be more awake during the day.

By allowing our body a decent 8 hours of sleep you will wake up more rested and more alert during the day.

Tip #2 – Eat Breakfast

Skipping the most important meal of the day may lead to the crash in the afternoon.

Eating a healthy breakfast will ensure you have energy throughout the day.

Tip #3 – Eat a Light Lunch

Heavy meals and particularly those high in fat and majority carbohydrates e.g. a burger will make you sluggish in the afternoon.

People skip the carbs at lunch going for a salad and protein but this will also cause a slump, so ensure you have a little, easy to digest carb and you will feel more energised.

Try to have your lunch consist of vegetables, protein and light carbs such as sweet potato, quinoa, beans, lentils, and fruit.

Tip #4 – Drink Water

Dehydration leads to fatigue and sleepiness.

Hydrate with water consistently throughout the day to keep your energy levels boosted.

Have a Green tea with peppermint or citrus for extra alertness in the afternoon.

Tip #5 – Go for a Walk

To help your system to have a recharge, go for a walk just prior to when you know when your slump is.

Exercise is a highly effective way to boost your serotonin production, therefore lifting your fatigue and mood!

Tip #6 – Head Outside

Getting out in the sunshine for 10 minutes will also help boost your serotonin production, reduce melatonin and boost your vitamin D.

Tip #7 – Snacks

Your body may crave carbs or sugary snacks in the afternoon to help lift you up.

Plan ahead and have something healthy such as:

  • 1 serve of fruit (apple, orange, bananas, grapes) with small serve nuts like almonds.
  • Small wedge of reduced fat cheese with ½ an apple
  • Apple or pear slices with almond/peanut butter
  • ½ cup of mixed dried cranberries and goji berries with pepitas and sunflower seeds
  • Sweet ricotta whip with strawberries
  • Hummus with veggie crudités and wholemeal pita chips.

Tip #8 – Stretch Your Body

Sitting still for hours on end is not good for your body.

If you work at a desk, or in a job where you are in the same position for hours, it is important to take stretch breaks.

Standing straight quickly and stretching your body will not only help you stay alert, it will also help your posture.

Tip #9 – Switch Tasks

If you’ve been working on the same task for a long time, you may be on auto-pilot.

Switch up your tasks to get your brain active and in tune with what you are doing.

Tip #10 – Music

If you’re allowed a radio at work, turn the radio up in the afternoon, or create an upbeat playlist for that hour when everyone’s eyes start to drop and fatigue plagues the office.

If you don’t have a radio, take some headphones and your IPod, MP3 player or your smart phone.

By working with your internal clock and not skimping on sleep, exercise, and balanced nutrition, you can beat the afternoon slump.

If you are struggling with sleep issues, poor eating habits or disordered eating, get in touch with Fit Minds & Bodies Clinic.

We help you understand the patterns and complex issues that maintain unhealthy behaviours, and provide you with practical strategies to empower yourself to change negative cycles for long-term success.

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