5 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump
Are you ready to fall asleep by 3:00 p.m.? Are you the one nodding off during meetings, and briefly waking up just in time to respond to questions? If you’re energetic all morning, but start to slowly fade as the day progresses, there are a few changes you can make that may help you maintain your energy level. Here are a few ways to stay energized throughout your day.
1. Get quality sleep
It’s important to get enough rest so you can wake up refreshed and stay alert throughout the day. It will be very difficult to focus on your work and achieve all you have to do if you’re tired. Generally, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
“Let us face it. Not being able to get a good amount of sleep over a long period of time can affect your day-to-day performance. Sleep deprivation will not just impact you physically. It can also affect you mentally and emotionally. It all starts with a slow decline in energy levels. Physically, you will feel like you are just not up for anything,” said Kim Davis in Sleep: Proven Tips to Increased Energy, Feeling Better, and Defeating Insomnia.
2. Eat a hearty breakfast
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If you don’t start the day with a good meal, you’re bound to be moody and snap at your co-workers. You can avoid this by fueling your body first thing in the morning.
“Studies have found that eating breakfast may enhance memory, improve cognitive ability, and help increase attention span … Research also suggests that eating breakfast, specifically carbohydrate-rich cereals, can improve your mood,” said dietician and Boston University clinical associate professor Joan Salge Blake.
3. Stay hydrated
Make sure to drink enough fluid. Dehydration can cause you to feel fatigue. Water also flushes harmful toxins out of your body and helps you feel refreshed throughout the day. Studies have shown that dehydration can cause a decline in overall productivity. Dehydrated individuals tend to exhibit reduced physical and cognitive performance.
“Being dehydrated by just 2% impairs performance in tasks that require attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills, as well as assessment of the subjective state … Attention, psychomotor, and immediate memory skills, as well as assessment of the subjective state, are the brain capabilities most vulnerable to mild or moderate dehydration,” notes University of Barcelona researcher Ana Adan, PhD, in her study of the effects of dehydration on cognition.
4. Take breaks
Instead of staying at your desk for most of the day, take your lunch break. You may reason that you’ll get more work done if you stay inside and continue to plug away, but this is not so. Getting outside can offer you the boost you need to organize your thoughts.
5. Have a snack
In addition to a healthy breakfast and lunch, consuming a healthy snack during the day could keep you from experiencing an energy dip and even help lower stress. Stay away from sugary and starchy foods and opt for protein-based meals instead. The sudden drop in energy you often feel after a sugar rush can make you feel even less energized than you did before consumption.
” … Eat every two hours [to] keep your blood sugar at a stable level so that your body never feels like it’s deprived and needs to over eat, but instead feels comfortable and stable, allowing you to enjoy your food fully,” said Sarah Harrison in Healthy Snacks for Work: Snacking Secrets to Lose Weight, Increase Productivity, Save Money and Cut Cravings.