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How to Beat the Afternoon Slump!

Afternoon slump! What is it? Why do we get it? And how best do we avoid it?

Afternoon slump is the term used to describe the sluggish feeling that hits you mid to late-afternoon, usually between 1PM and 4PM. The Afternoon slump makes it hard to focus, often followed by an intense need to sleep. If you’ve ever experienced this feeling, you’re not alone, even the most motivated people can find themselves battling these late-afternoon energy lags.

The good news is there are a few ways to combat the effects of the afternoon slump without drowning yourself in countless cups of coffee.

Symptoms of afternoon slump:

  • Frequent yawning
  • Feeling tired
  • Fatigue or lethargic
  • Slight changes in vision
  • Tight muscles
  • Moodiness
  • Increased snacking
  • Headaches

Causes of afternoon slump:

  • Too little sleep regularly
  • Poor eating habits
  • High levels of stress
  • Dehydration
  • Excessive use of caffeine

Tips and tricks to combat afternoon slump:  

  1. Consume healthy proteins rather than carbs and sugars

Are you feeling hungry? Reconsider the carb-heavy meals that will only add to the sleepiness. Instead, try meals containing fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It is also essential for ultimate productivity to make sure you eat a balanced diet and not skip out on meals.

Get enough sleep

While you sleep, your brain catalogs information and your body heals and recovers, so if you aren’t getting enough z’s, you’ll often feel tired and lifeless come the afternoon. Consistently not getting enough sleep on a regular sleep cycle can lead to significant sleep debt. Experiencing sleep debt affects your ability to stay awake and alert during the day.

Add a bit of variety to your day

Adding a bit of variety to your schedule, especially your study schedule, can positively impact your ability to stay productive during busy peak periods. Adding a bit of variety to your day can be as simple as moving outside to study or changing how you usually study, such as using flashcards or interactive online study tools.

Try yoga

It’s the middle of the afternoon, and you’re feeling like you could fall asleep sitting at your desk! While your first thought might be to reach for the caffeine, getting your body moving with yoga might be a better option! Yoga is excellent for re-energising your body. Utilizing different stretches, movements, and breathing techniques can increase energy production leading to longer-lasting energy than a fast caffeine hit or sugar high!

Use music to your advantage

Music is a great way to increase productivity, improve your mood and decrease stress. Next time you feel yourself tiring late afternoon plug in your headphones and pump some tunes!

Stay active and get outside

Did you know that adding a bit of sunlight to your daily schedule can increase wakefulness! Getting outside when you are feeling sluggish can help to reduce the onset of an afternoon slump and leave you feeling productive for your afternoon.

Schedule more collaborative work in the afternoon

Sometimes all you need to beat the afternoon slump is some collaborative study with friends! When you hit a wall in the afternoon, it’s easy to lose focus and zone out on the task at hand. Studying with friends can boost your energy levels and help to keep you on track.

Get active

Physical movement is one of the easiest ways to boost alertness and productivity. Simple movements such as stretching or walking are great ways to increase blood flow and release muscle tension that can add to feeling sluggish and tired in the afternoon.

Stay hydrated

Are you feeling lethargic and sleepy? Your afternoon energy lag can stem from dehydration in some instances, especially if you drink too much caffeine per day! Increasing your water intake and swapping out afternoon coffee for green tea is a great way to stay focused and beat the need for an afternoon nap!

Written By: Rebecca Harnas