It's very natural to feel exhausted in the afternoons. Circadian cycles, which influence your sleeping patterns, could be responsible for the midday slump. In reality, your sleep signals peak at nighttime and in the afternoon, which may reflect why you want to take a nap. Other elements, like what you eat, how well you hydrate, and how much time you spend looking at a screen, can all influence your energy level.
A productive day can make you feel good and minimize stress, whereas not getting anything accomplished could spoil your day and cause it all to fall behind schedule. Everybody has a different perspective on the midday crash. In Spain, for instance, the siesta is a cultural custom in which people take a quick nap in the afternoon and then return to work until the evening. Others rely only on energy drinks and caffeine. We can overcome the midday slump if they understand how this afternoon dip occurs and the numerous components that affect wakefulness and take the appropriate steps.
Why does this happen?
This tiredness is related to our circadian rhythm, an internal cycle that tells us when to start waking up and when to sleep. In the afternoon, your core temperature decreases somewhat, causing melatonin, a hormone that governs sleep, to be released. This identical procedure occurs just before you go to sleep at night. However, our bodies are complicated, and our energy is influenced by factors other than our circadian cycle. A hefty lunch, for one, can be a crucial contributor to the afternoon slump. Diet, exercise, and sleeping patterns all have an impact.
There are a few similar indications that, when recognized, can help anyone avoid the crash.
- Difficulty focusing
- Vision changes
- Muscle weakness
- Headaches or migraines
- Mood changes (irritability, grief)
The afternoon slump is much more than just being exhausted from work. It could indicate a more significant, underlying problem caused by a lack of sufficient diet or relaxation. If you persist in having any of the following symptoms after trying some of the ways mentioned here, visit your doctor for further evaluation.
What can you do?
Here are a few tips to help you fight through, recharge, and get rid of that afternoon drowsiness.
A good night's sleep is essential
Even though this should go without saying, so many of us ignore it night after night. Getting adequate sleep is crucial to remain motivated and focused all through the day. Strive for 7-8 hours of sleep per night to significantly enhance your productivity.
Make time for a good breakfast
Skipping it or choosing poor breakfast selections can leave you groggy. Healthy protein options like Greek yogurt and eggs, as well as slow-burning carbs from whole-grain bread and cereals, contribute to an energy-boosting morning.
Drink plenty of water
Even mild dehydration can interfere with brain activity. As per one study, dehydration impairs your ability to focus on complex issues and makes you 12 percent more prone to mistakes. While that may not sound like much, 12 percent is a significant amount, especially if your work requires a high degree of precision and attention to detail. Being 12% more prone to make mistakes versus drinking water more frequently seemed a pretty simple option.
Reduce eye strain
When you're attempting to cross things off your to-do list, your eyes are tired, your headaches frequently, and it's simply no fun. By mid-afternoon, if you're experiencing eye strain, take 10 minutes to do something else. Straighten up your workspace, listen to voicemails, and do anything that takes your focus away from the screen. When you go back to the computer, try to ensure you're approximately an arm's length away from the monitor to avoid more strain.
Stretch out in the sun
Stretching multiple times a day will help you feel better. It's nice if you can do a standing stretch near a window with plenty of natural daylight. Sunshine can assist in inhibiting the creation of melatonin, which causes us to sleep. Stretching and working near overhead lights or a lamp can help if you can't get as much sunlight. Keep away from the dark as much as possible, especially after lunch.
Go for a stroll
If stretching doesn't seem to be working, get up and go for a brisk walk. If you can, have some fresh air by going outside. If you're stalled at work, deliver messages to teammates in person by going over to their workstation rather than sending it over email.
Grab a healthy snack
For long-term energy, eat smaller portions every 4 to 6 hours, according to research. This suggests that if lunch is around noon, your body will likely be available for an afternoon snack around 4:00. Maintain a healthy, high-protein nibble at your desk — a handful of almonds, greek yogurt, string cheese – and grab for it when your energy begins to dip.
Organize a walking meeting
Keeping with the walking concept, consider organizing a walking meeting. If you know your slump time is between 1:00 and 3:00, request that your next meeting be held outdoors. It is a simple approach to preserve your energy while also getting a few minutes of activity.
Meditation is an excellent technique to unwind and center your mind. Take a few moments to focus on your breathing might help you feel more energized and clear your mind.
Stand up and check your posture
Simply drawing your shoulders back and holding your head up will prevent you from getting the afternoon slump. If sitting upright is just not enough, get out of your seat and start standing up. A standing desk is a solution that will always come in handy when you need to get things done. When you use one, you notice that you have more energy and can push through challenging tasks. If you don't have a standing desk, a bookcase, dresser, or even a countertop can suffice. Nonetheless, if you cannot maintain your monitor at eye level, be mindful of posture and neck stresses.
Reduce your intake of sugar
Although sugar delivers a tremendous rush of energy, it also quickly leads to a sugar crash. If you really need a pick-me-up, opt for high-fiber, high-protein foods. They will keep you going for much longer during the day.
Awaken your senses
Chewing minty gum is one of the simplest things you can do. It does not demand concentration but is nonetheless stimulating. You can also keep yourself energized by using essential oils and even plants. Having a bottle of citrus oil or peppermint at your desk might be a welcome distraction. Plants such as eucalyptus and rosemary might also help you stay alert. Listening to music can also help you wake up after lunch. Create a playlist of music that perks you up.
Take a catnap
Sometimes the best way to relieve exhaustion is to close your eyes simply. Discover how to power nap (20 to 30 minutes of snooze time) to get that much-needed midday boost.
Establish solid habits during the workweek to stay sharp, such as getting adequate sleep each night and cutting back on alcohol during happy hour. A few easy changes could keep you from getting the afternoon slump successfully.