It’s 3pm. Someone next to you yawns. Then you yawn. All of a sudden you’re feeling sleepy and you’re not sure why. The afternoon slump is definitely real, but before you reach for yet another coffee, here are a few things you need to know to help in fighting off the fatigue.
Feel the rhythm
Circadian rhythms may be responsible for your afternoon fatigue. These rhythms run on a 24-hour cycle and are your body’s way of telling you when to eat, drink, sleep and be active. Light triggers the chemicals in your body needed to wake you up, or help you fall asleep, so make sure your day environment is amply lit.
Listen to your body
You might find yourself wondering why you’re always hungry mid-afternoon, or believe it’s normal to crave a sweet treat around 3pm. Your body is often telling you is that it’s hungry or thirsty. The time between lunch and dinner can be considerable, so it makes sense that you need some extra fuel to get through the last few hours of the day.
Which brings us to the next point…
Have snacks at the ready
Instead of reaching for a coffee or biscuit at 3pm, keep some high-protein, healthy snacks on hand to help you make good choices. Nuts, tuna, cheese or yoghurt are great examples.
Drink a glass of water
Our bodies often confuse hunger with dehydration; so before you grab for the sugary treats, sip on some water. You may feel that this energises you enough.
Sweat it out
A lunchtime workout is an awesome way to shake off the sleepiness. Even some light stretching or a walk around the block can do wonders to perk you up!
Don’t miss breakfast
Skipping breakfast can make you feel tired before you even start work, plus it’s likely to make you snack more throughout the day. Take the time each morning to eat a good, balanced breakfast – it fuels your body and sets you up for the day.
Get around 7-9hrs of sleep
If you start the day tired, an afternoon slump can feel even worse. It is recommended that you get 7-9 hours of sleep each day, so if you’re sleeping a lot less (or a lot more) have a look at why and make some changes if you can.
The best thing you can do is to listen to your body’s signals. Feeling sleepy in the afternoon is one of them, so take time to figure out what it is you need and your body will thank you for it.
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