Beat The 3pm Slump With These Simple Ways To Boost Your Energy
If you work a 9-5, you’ve surely encountered the notorious energy dip that nears the end of your workday… With such low energy, it’s hard to function at your best, do your job to your greatest capabilities, and concentrate on clearing tasks off your to-do list. While a good nap would surely do the trick, it’s not exactly something that can be done in the middle of work hours.
Luckily there are a few ways of beating it! But first, it’s important to understand why a decrease in energy might occur before sharing a few great ways to beat it.
Why do I get so tired in the afternoon?
There are a number of reasons why you might feel sluggish in the afternoon, and you’ll be happy to know that it’s completely normal.
One such reason is that our bodies are quite intuitive in understanding our needs. The stress hormone, cortisol, starts to decrease later in the day in order to prepare us for a good night’s sleep. This is a natural reaction from our body’s internal clock as by this time in the afternoon, we have already been awake for 8 hours or more. The hunter-gathers in us surely would not naturally be working the way we do now, so some might say it's just nature's calling.
Another reason why we might feel tired in the afternoon is that our body temperature starts to dip in the afternoon which triggers the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps our body go to sleep. In fact, according to The National Sleep Foundation, our internal circadian biological clocks regulate the timing of our energy levels throughout the day and drop significantly during the hours between 2 and 5pm.
This is just another way of preparing our bodies to sleep better and start winding down from the day.
Unfortunately, most workplaces require a clock off time around 5pm. And so, to get through the last few hours of work effectively and efficiently, you may need a boost in energy. Although it might be tempting to grab a cup of coffee, something sugary or an energy drink to momentarily boost your energy, more caffeine or sugar may only increase your tiredness in the long run.
Here are a few ways to beat the 3pm slump naturally.
Boost your energy to beat the 3pm slump!
- Opt for more low-carb, high protein options at breakfast and lunch
A healthy, high protein breakfast and lunch will help keep your energy levels stable but a meal packed with carbohydrates and low in protein might lead to a spike in blood sugar which will then lead to a huge decrease in energy. If you are struggling to balance your nutrients, you could always incorporate a protein shake into your meals or add a scoop to your morning smoothie.
Skipping meals is a big ‘no-no’, although it’s often so easy to do when you’re busy. Food is our fuel, especially the right food, and it can really make or break your energy levels.
A poor diet can directly affect your everyday energy, as it could also be affecting your overall sleep. If you suspect your diet is lacking in nutrition, a good substitute is a great multivitamin or adding superfoods to your diet.
- Make time for low-intensity exercise like walking
Did you know that going for a short walk (just 15 minutes) could spike energy levels more than a cup of coffee? A 2017 study by Physiology & Behavior found that short periods of physical activities were more effective in boosting energy levels in people with chronic insufficient sleep.
While many know the benefits intense workouts can bring, we often forget about the low-intensity exercise and how a simple increase in daily steps could help to give us a much-needed jolt of energy.
Next time you feel the 3pm slump coming on, try stretching for a few minutes and taking a quick walk. You’ll feel as revived as you would by grabbing a cup of coffee.
- Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest
It’s a simple task that’s often left behind but dehydration could be a huge reason behind feeling lethargic. Hunger and thirst cues can often be mistaken and a lack of water over one day or many can make you feel incredibly tired. Aim to drink more than 2 liters of water per day, not including cups of coffee or tea.
A lack of hydration can also affect one’s sleep dramatically, which could also be adding to your tiredness throughout the day. If you’re struggling to sleep, it could be due to a number of factors including stress, too much blue light from television or mobile phones late at night, or perhaps there are a few supplements you could avoid taking near bedtime.
If you are struggling to fall asleep, try reading a good book before bed or leaning on a few sleep support supplements. With plenty of sleep (7 - 8 hours per night), a high protein breakfast, and the right amount of water per day, you’ll forget the 3pm slump ever existed.
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