How to avoid the afternoon slump?

Do you suffer from the afternoon slump?

Recently I’ve had a few clients experiencing the afternoon slump and in the past I was a constant victim to this whereby I actually had to schedule in a 20 minute power nap in the afternoon to get through the rest of the day without crashing.

 

What is the ‘afternoon slump’ and why does it happen?

The slump refers to the period of time typically post lunch when many people experience a noticeable dip in their alertness, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. This can happen for many reasons but the most common are:

1) As humans we are actually designed to sleep twice a day

For most this isn’t possible so half way through our working day we crash in need of a nap. Our core body temperature naturally dips between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. It’s this dip that triggers the release of a sleep inducing hormone called melatonin. It’s a normal part of your body’s circadian rhythm.

2) You ate too many carbs at lunch time.

This will cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and inevitably when they drop just as quick you become tired and cranky.

3) You’ve been sitting still for too long.

When we stay stationary for too long your body associates this stillness with tiredness and so desires sleep.

4) You are dehydrated.

Dehydration can make you feel tired and drowsy so it’s essential you stay on top of your fluid intake to avoid this cause.

What tips can we apply to power through this low period?

1) Set an alarm

Every hour where you stand up, stretch or go for a quick walk to wake the body back up, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes this will help.

2) Go outsie

If you work indoors step outside into the daylight for a few minutes to wake the brain back up, the daylight can re-alert your senses.

3) Play music

When the slump hits try playing some upbeat music and do a few jumping jacks at your desk. The exercise combined with the music will help revive energy levels and concentration.

3) Have a light lunch

As mentioned above try to avoid a heavy lunch that is high in carbs and opt for something higher in protein, fats and fibrous veg.

4) Take a nap

I’m a huge fan of afternoon naps if you can get away with it. A 20-minute snooze can boost alertness, productivity and creativity and sometimes the only way to fight a little fatigue is to give into it.

And that’s it, so give these a try and let me know how you get on.

Olly.
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