Many of us experience it on a regular basis. You’re having a productive morning and feel energized and on task. Then sometime in the early mid-afternoon, a wave of sleepiness suddenly hits and you’re yawning and fighting to keep our eyes open. It’s the “afternoon slump!”
The afternoon slump is perfectly natural and normal. It’s a mini version of the drowsiness we feel before bedtime. Right before you go to sleep at night, your core temperature begins to drop. This signals the brain to release melatonin, the sleepy hormone. The same conditions occur during the afternoon, but on a smaller scale. Your body is telling your brain to get a little sleepy.
But don’t blame your body! What you are eating – and when – is also a key factor! How you respond to the afternoon slump also matters. Stay alert with the following tips:
Get more sleep at night!
On average you should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Losing even one hour of sleep can result in slower mental functioning the next day.
Eat a good breakfast!
The best way to keep your energy level at peak performance is to start the day with a solid breakfast. Missed meals mean you miss out on nutrients, which can affect your ability to concentrate during the day. Most women should be eating about 300 to 400 calories for breakfast, and most men about 500. Try for whole-grain bread and cereals, and fresh fruits.
Drink more water!
Everyone’s body needs a certain amount of water to function properly and when you don’t have enough in your system, your body slows down.
Snacking on fruits and vegetables to will boost your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. When you snack, keep moderation, variety, and balance in mind. Avoid junk food that is high in fat. Fatty foods take a longer time to digest and will make your body feel sluggish. If you have to go to the vending machine, look for peanut butter crackers, a nice carb-protein combination.
Watch the sugar!
Eating sugar can give you a boost in energy, but when sugar is introduced into the bloodstream, the body also makes insulin to lower the blood sugar levels. This can cause the body to over-adjusts itself, causing the blood sugar level to drop rapidly. This means you may experience a big DROP in energy about 30 minutes after eating that sugary snack. Use sugar in moderation, and try and combine proteins, carbs, and fats for a more even blood sugar level. Avoid that roller coaster 🎢!
Take a fitness break!
A great way to fight off the afternoon slump is get up and move around! Do some stretches – or better yet – take a quick walk to get the blood pumping and to stimulate your mind. Many Barrister Suites locations have perfect places for you to take a walk outside so you can reduce stress, and stay alert!