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5 Ways to Beat the 3pm Slump

If you regularly suffer from that 3pm crash then you might be interested in ways you can improve your flagging energy levels, so that you feel revived instead of ready for bed.  If you do suffer regularly from a post-prandial dip, there’s a reason for it; according to The National Sleep Foundation, our natural circadian rhythms rise and fall naturally throughout the day but dip significantly between the hours of 2pm – 5pm. Here are 5 easy ways to stave off sleepiness naturally…

Consider a nap

If your schedule allows (perhaps best suited for those still WFH) then consider taking a short nap when you feel that heaviness overcome you. According to a study conducted by the US Army in 2020 strategic napping was shown to be beneficial in helping soldiers’ performance and mental endurance. As for the length of the nap, 20 minutes is generally thought o be the sweet spot and all you need to repair a sleep deficit, boost focus and improve your mood and energy levels. If naps aren’t for you, or you can’t make time for one, then it’s sensible to try and align your work habits to your own energy patterns. If you know your energy and concentration drops a little after lunch, to try avoid scheduling in any calls or meetings during that period.

Get the blood pumping

Sitting at a desk and being sedentary for most of the day will onl exacerbate feelings of low energy. If you know you start to flag after lunch then make it a priority to get up, move around and if you can, get outside. Having a change of scenery and getting he blood flowing is a fast, easy way to feel a little more alive and reset your focus for the rest of the day. A brisk 15-minute walk is an ideal amount of time for this. If you can’t get outside then try to move to a window or at the very least some bright light, which may give you the jolt you need and alert your brain that it needs to wake up.

Don’t miss breakfast

You might not think what you eat for breakfast has much bearing on how you feel come 2pm but eating a meal first thing that’s packed with slow releasing carbs will help sustain steadier energy levels throughout the day and help you avoid that afternoon slump. Options such as a protein-packed smoothie, eggs, oats and yoghurt are all good options to keep you feeling energised for longer.

Listen to music

But not just any old playlist. Studies show that listening to energetic music with a fast tempo is a great way to instantly boost energy and help reframe your mindset as it overrides your brain’s fatigue signals. If you think how much more energy and drive an upbeat playlist can give you during a workout, then you won’t be surprised to learn that it can have the same effect on the rest of your day too.

Drink more water

Dehydration plays a big (and often underrated) part in mid-afternoon energy slumps so stave it off by ensuring you’re constantly topping up your hydration levels throughout the day. Experts believe that even moderate dehydration which could account for as little as a 3% loss in body weight can make you feel mentally fatigued and sluggish.