These afternoon slumps can be debilitating and frustrating, coloring your whole day and making it difficult to follow through on plans or getting things like self-care done.
Rather than giving up your whole afternoon to your sleepiness, learn to beat that midday slump with simple, effective methods that are easy to build into your morning routine. Whether you wish you could get more done, want to be able to enjoy afternoons with friends or family, or want to stay awake during the day to sleep better at night, try these tips to avoid a mid-afternoon crash.
An afternoon slump typically occurs after lunch and before what is considered early evening. Afternoon slumps can make you feel grumpy, disoriented, and groggy and often leave you wishing you could find a quiet, dark place to rest. A shared experience, the dreaded afternoon slump can impact your entire day, making it impossible to do the things you want to do.
There are many reasons we experience an afternoon slump, whether it be because we are experiencing stress in our lives, we aren’t practicing self-care, or because of a lack of something essential yet simple like sleep or water. Sitting still for long periods, forgetting to eat regularly, dehydration, poor sleep habits, and stress are all common causes of the afternoon slump.
The afternoon crash can also come from too much morning caffeine, improper morning nutrition, or a heavy lunch (meaning your digestion is working overtime).
If you’re sick of losing time to the afternoon slump, we’ve got solutions that will help. It doesn’t take much more than implementing a few basic wellness tips to help boost your energy levels and be more productive throughout the day.
Many of us – especially since the pandemic – indoors work long hours at our computers, often sitting in uncomfortable positions that contort and stress our bodies. To help reinvigorate your muscles and prevent yourself from becoming stiff and sleepy, try getting up every hour and a half or so to take a few steps, reset your mind, and refocus your energy.
Getting outside to do this is particularly helpful since fresh air, and the sights and sounds of nature can help to ground you and make you feel refreshed. Plus the natural light or sunshine can give you extra vitamin D and a boost of energy.
Our bodies are mostly water and need a considerable amount of water and hydration to survive and power our cells. Without proper hydration, our bodies have to work much harder and eventually become over-tired and fatigued. If you struggle with your energy during the afternoon, try keeping a large refillable of water near yourself at all times to stay hydrated and replenish much-needed electrolytes.
Further, don’t underestimate how much water you need. Drink before you get thirsty. If you are thirsty this means you are already dehydrated. A good rule of thumb is to drink ½ your body weight in ounces.
The way you eat also impacts your energy, so it is important to eat fresh, healthy meals and choose your ingredients wisely – try to eat organic when possible. An excellent method of keeping yourself strong and energetic while being environmentally conscious is eating with the season. Eating with the season is straightforward and only requires you to know what is in season in your area. When you eat what is in season, you get the best and most nutritious produce possible, which can help to improve your overall wellness and keep you strong throughout the day.
In addition to eating with the season, be sure never to skip meals, bring healthy snacks (like dark chocolate or nuts) with you to school or work, and avoid processed sugars since these can cause you to crash after a few hours. When you eat sugar, your blood sugar rises quickly, making you feel like you have lots of energy. The sugar in your body also creates insulin, however, which reacts by reducing the body’s blood sugar. When you eat too much sugar, the body often overcompensates, producing too much insulin and causing you to have a sudden drop in energy – hence, the afternoon slump.
Sleep is super important, and most adults should be getting at least 7-8 hours per night. Sleeping helps the body reset and heal, returning to equilibrium and storing energy for the next day. It also has a huge impact on mental health. When we don’t sleep enough, our bodies don’t have a chance to restore themselves and can become over-tired before it is time for bed.
If you need to take a nap during the day, allow yourself to do so, but be sure it is planned and timed so that you don’t end up oversleeping and ruining your nights. In the evenings, be sure to give yourself a minimum of 6 hours of sleep, with 7-8 being ideal. If you struggle to fall asleep, try enjoying a cup of hot tea sweetened with tasty hemp honey for a dose of relaxing CBD and some extra hydration.
Don’t let the afternoon slump control your life – start practicing self-care to keep your body happy, healthy, and well-rested. By taking care of your body, eating well, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of sleep, you can help yourself to be more productive and more energetic throughout the day.