Are you feeling tired at your desk around 2 p.m.? The midafternoon slump is real and has an impact on productivity during the workday. Don't worry, you are not alone. Many people feel drowsy and find it hard to concentrate in the afternoon.
The Slump Can Happen for a Variety of Reasons
- What's in your lunchbox: You hear it all the time. What you eat is very important to your daily health. Eating carb heavy foods such as chips and bread will cause your blood sugar to rise and then drop, making you feel tired and lethargic.
- Work environment: If you work in an office setting where the majority of your time is spent sitting, it's more likely you will feel tired. It is your body's natural reaction to associate stillness with sleep.
- Keep a water bottle: Dehydration is no joke. Even mild dehydration could result in irritable behavior and nodding off.
- Body temperature: Part of your body's normal circadian rhythm, your body's inner clock, causes a drop in temp in the afternoon. As a result, this causes increased production of the sleep hormone, melatonin.
How to Kick the Slump
- Move: Some people like to do yoga or stroll on down to the water cooler. Staying active gets the blood moving, reduces stress and wakes you up. Something as simple as taking the time to stretch your legs can help.
- You are what you eat: A simple change such as switching simple carbs to complex carbs (whole grain products) will help maintain focus throughout the day. Taking a break from sugar to avoid the "sugar high" (and subsequent crash) works, too.
- Dark chocolate: There are many benefits to eating dark chocolate. In addition to the healthy fats and antioxidants it provides, dark chocolate has a small amount of caffeine for a boost.
- Hydrate: Drinking water does wonders for your body. Keeping a cup of water nearby can help prevent sleepy side effects.
- Sitting in the sun: Catching some rays will reset your internal clock and help combat increased melatonin production.
- The power of peppermint: Peppermint is a rich scent. Minty scents are strong enough to keep you up and raise your energy levels. Chewing minty gum is stimulating, and the act of chewing helps clear a cloudy mind.
- Move to the groove: If you like to listen to music while you work, choose your playlist wisely and stay away from slow/relaxing music. Hearing your favorite jam can help you focus and hone in on tasks.
- Zzzzzz's: Remembering to get the appropriate amount of sleep is a no-brainer and essential to making it throughout the day.
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