I’m sure we’ve all experienced an afternoon slump. One minute you are coasting along fine, the next minute you feel as though you could do with a little nap. Your energy is gone, and now you’re having trouble doing routine things and checking tasks off your to-do list. While it would be nice to sleep it off, that’s not something you can really do in the middle work! (I get this ALL the time at my work desk)
When the afternoon slump hits, it’s very tempting to reach for a cup of coffee or something sweet for an energy boost (Chocolate is my go to!). A quick fix is usually the first thing that comes to mind. The good news is, you don’t need caffeine or a sugar hit to avoid feeling sleepy in the afternoon.
Let me explain why feeling so tired in the afternoon happens and give you a few handy tips to help you beat the slump!
Why does the ‘afternoon slump’ happen?
Feeling sleepy in the afternoon is completely normal. There are a number of reasons why our eyelids might start getting a bit heavy, particularly in the mid-afternoon. Firstly, our body temperature goes through a few changes. Around the middle of the afternoon, our core temperature starts to dip, which then triggers the release of melatonin (a hormone that helps our body to sleep).
Another reason why we get hit with a slump? Our bodies are very clever! To prepare for sleep, the stress hormone (cortisol) that our body releases actually starts to drop off in the afternoon. Most of us have also been awake for around 7-8 hours by mid-afternoon, and feeling sleepy around this time can be a natural reaction by our internal body clock.
How to get past the 3pm slump
We all know the signs of the 3pm slump. Feeling tired, having trouble concentrating, craving something sweet… temptation can hit quickly! While a quick nap would be great, for most of us that’s not an option!
The problem with reaching for a sweet treat or having another cup of coffee is that these may only work in the short term. Rather than helping you feel as though you can tackle anything, you may actually feel worse. And the last thing I want is for you girls to feel guilty about eating something sweet.
Instead of sabotaging your hard work by relying on sugary treats to keep you going in the afternoon, here are a couple of tricks to try instead:
- Make sure you are eating a nutritious breakfast AND lunch. I know it can be tempting to skip lunch when you’re busy, but you need to eat to keep your energy up during the day.
- Try to avoid snacking on sweets when your energy level dips. Instead, try snacking on healthier options like a boiled egg, some raw nuts, yoghurt or a smoothie.
- Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger, and even mild dehydration can make you feel REALLY tired. Make sure you are drinking lots of water throughout the day.
- Try to get plenty of sleep each night. Yep, the mid-afternoon slump always feels much worse when you’re already tired!
If you feel the slump coming on, try to have a quick walk or stand up and have a stretch for a few minutes.
A nourishing, healthy diet and regular exercise can be really helpful for pushing through a slump when it hits.
Give these tips a try and see if you perform better in the afternoons!
Wherever you are in the world, have a lovely day ❤