With your hands working on your keyboard, you can feel your eyes drooping too. How often do you experience a sluggish afternoon when all you want is your bed and a pillow? Happens more often that we would like to admit, isn’t it? Well, don’t fret further and look into the ways to beat afternoon fatigue that this article is about.
Afternoon slump is more than just you feeling tired and sleepy. It is the urgent need for a nap and the persistent lethargy that affects your work productivity. This is especially witnessed in individuals who have an improper sleeping schedule.
Here, we are going to highlight some of the reasons and ways to beat afternoon fatigue and how you can overcome them easily.
What is Afternoon Slump?
If you have been feeling very tired and lethargic during the afternoons, especially in between 1-3 pm, it is likely that you are experience an afternoon slump.
Even though the symptoms are pretty much the same with every person, the causes could vary.
Causes Of Afternoon Fatigue
If you feel like you are the only one feeling sluggish and sleepy during the afternoon, which is not the case.
Majority of the people around you are struggling with it.
But, why do you think it happens?
This is where majority of the diversity steps in. The causes are sometimes common in every person and sometime not.
Some people experience afternoon slump because of their lifestyle while some experience this because of some underlying health reason. The objectives are pretty diverse.
Some of the common causes and ways To Beat Afternoon Fatigue include:
1. Consumption of a heavy carb lunch
The first and possibly the most common reason why your eyes are drooping is because of the heavy carb lunch that you just had. Simple carbs are very easily digested and they provide you with a burst of energy.
But, as fast as the energy spikes, it falls just as quickly. This is one of the common reasons why you could be feeling tired during the afternoon.
2. Are you dehydrated?
The reason why I asked this question instead of posting it as an affirmation is because it varies from person to person.
Sometimes, being dehydrated affects the energy levels in some people and sometimes it doesn’t.
So, it is more or less dependent on the person.
But, if you have been experiencing signs, the best way to beat afternoon fatigue quite is likely that your level of hydration in the body could be less.
Even studies (R) have found that dehydration is one of the markers when it comes to feeling moody and tired.
A slight dip in the hydration level in the body can end up making you tired and let those signs of fatigue kick in.
3. Lack of movement or activity
Another common cause behind the afternoon fatigue that is pretty common is the lack of activity. You sitting around your desk for the entire morning will definitely please your boss but not your body.
Lack of movement and activity triggers your brain into thinking that you need sleep.
If you have been finding yourself spending majority of your time at your desk staring at the laptop, cut that habit out.
4. It is a natural response
If you don’t want to blame your lunch or yourself for feeling sluggish during the afternoon, blame your circadian rhythm.
It is the body’s natural response to feeling tired and fatigued during the time frame of 1-3 in the afternoon.
Don’t worry, if someone asks how you know it, tell them that the same has been scientifically proven(R) results.
5. Not getting enough sleep
It is a universal tell that if you have not been getting good amount of sleep at night, your body tries to compensate for the same during the rest of the day.
So, if you have been experiencing lack of sleep during the afternoon, it is your body’s way of saying that it needs some rest to heal.
We live in a world where stress has become our last name. We are often either trying to meet deadlines or trying to focus on making ends meet.
The constantly peaked levels of stress can often end up affecting your mental state and well being and make you feel moody and lethargic.
7. Underlying health reason
Health conditions are often one of the most common reasons behind the afternoon slump that you have been experiencing. There could be a number of causes; pre diabetes, hypothyroidism and PCOS are some of the most common examples.
How to overcome afternoon fatigue?
Now that you know what could be causing the afternoon fatigue, it is time that we look into the best ways to beat afternoon fatigue.
To be honest, there are quite a few tried and tested methods that have been scientifically proven to work. We are going to sort you out with few.
1. Focus on eating a wholesome lunch
Instead of eating a carb filled unhealthy lunch, it is best you switch to a wholesome and nutrition rich lunch to combat afternoon fatigue.
Try and include more salad greens, proteins and even the healthy omega-3 fats that can help keep your energized through the day.
Eating a healthy lunch is often key to feeling more energised and reflect the same on your productivity.
Even if you want to include carbs in your lunch, try and stick to the complex carbs from the whole grains and vegetables.
2. Work out during the day
It might actually sound unrealistic but working out during the mid day can help boost your productivity and prevent you from feel dull and tired.
If you have a gym or workout area in the office, try working out there for 15 minutes to get your mojo back.
Even a conducted study (R) found that the individuals who worked out during the day had a better productivity rate in comparison to the ones who didn’t.
3. Keep a check on the hydration
As mentioned in the causes, dehydration is one of the most common reasons behind the lack of energy and lethargy that you are experiencing during the afternoon.
To be honest, you don’t have to break a mountain for this. Start your morning with a glass of water and lemon slices.
This can help kickstart your metabolism and help with the detoxification. It also replenishes the body’s hydration levels.
During the day, carry a reusable water bottle as well. Keep sipping on the water throughout the day and proper hydration levels can effectively ensure the best results for you.
In addition to drinking water, ensure that you avoid drinking the carbonated and sugar filled drinks because those do no good to your body.
4. Snack smart
What you snack on makes a lot of difference on your body’s energy levels.
If you are eating high carb and sugar filled energy bars, thinking they are healthy for you, you are mistaken.
Most of these processed energy bars are loaded with carbs, sugar and little amount of protein. They do provide you with instant energy but then again, they end up making you tired just as quick.
Simple carbs are easily digested, so they don’t provide with sustained energy.
If you the know the best ways to overcome afternoon fatigue, focus on what you are snacking on.
Include fruits, homemade protein bars instead of the store bought ones.
Veggies sticks with hummus dip and even nuts are a good snacking option for you instead of the unhealthy ones.
5. Get yourself some Vitamin D
When you are stuck inside your cubicle that receives no natural light, chances are that the same will affect your melatonin secretion.
If you want to stay energetic and lively, it is important that you get some natural sunlight.
This helps recharge your body and make you feel more rejuvenated and active than before.
The sustained and high levels of melatonin(R) in the body are what contributes to a healthy sleep cycle.
If you are experiencing a sleepy afternoon, your melatonin levels could be the one to blame.
The best way to reset your body’s biological clock is by ensuring that you do sit out in the sunlight for at least 10 minutes in the afternoon. Best, take your lunch out and eat there itself.
6. Sniff up some citrus
Another amazing and effective way to get rid of the sleepy and tired state in the afternoon is by sniffing some citrus scent.
According to a conducted study (R) on aromatherapy, it was found that sniffing on some lemon and citrus scents can help recharge your mood and energy levels for the better.
The pungent scent helps in stimulating your mental function, promoting better ways of mitigating the stress and tiredness you have been experiencing.
7. Take a quick walk around
You can feel your eyes becoming droopy and you know that you will end up falling asleep at your work if you don’t do something.
Irrespective of the reasons, one of the best ways to beat afternoon fatigue is by taking a quick 15 minutes walk.
This doesn’t have to be something you do as a part of your exercise routine.
Whenever you start feeling sleepy and drowsy, get up from your desk and take a quick tour of the office. Talk to your colleagues and move around a bit.
A conducted study (R) back in 2017 found that short bursts of activities help in keeping your energy levels sustained, thus helping prevent the drowsiness and slump that you have been experiencing.
This is considered a healthier way of coping instead of indulging in mugs of coffee.
8. Alcohol isn’t your mate, honey!
Every sensible person knows not to drink during a workday, especially during lunch. But, what if you are in an office party and there’s drinks?
This is a possible happenstance, right?
Well, even if you are indulging in a drink or two during lunch, make sure that it doesn’t cross that limit. Don’t drink more than 1-2 glasses.
Since alcohol is a depressant, the same ends up making you feel even more tired during the afternoon.
Try and also not rely on caffeine to get you through because that can end up making it hard for you to keep your energy in the controlled levels.
9. Try doing some stretching
You might be confused thinking, how can I stretch while at work?
Well, we aren’t talking about the full blown stretching but something that can help you relax and recharge. You can do some basic stretching exercises related to neck and shoulders.
Additionally, stretch your legs out and move them around to get the blood circulation going.
This can effectively help keep your health in the best condition and prevent you from feeling tired consistently.
The primary reason why stretching works is because it boosts the body’s blood circulation, further helping promote better alertness and nutrient distribution in the body.
You can also look up some “desk stretches” on Google and try them out.
10. Manage your Vitamin B levels
Your Vitamin B levels are directly associated with your circadian rhythm and the constant daytime drowsiness that you have been complaining about.
Even studies(R) have found that the impacts of Vitamin b12 is grave when it comes to regulation of the circadian rhythms in the body.
Often times, the deficiency of this vitamin in the body is responsible for causing afternoon fatigue.
This is the reason why it is better that you either get your levels checked first and supplement accordingly.
There are several natural sources of Vitamin B that you can include in your diet like spinach, fish, tofu etc.
Otherwise, you can consult a doctor and get the prescribed supplements according to your needs.
11. Sip on some herbal tea
If you have been looking for some of the natural remedies and ways to beat for afternoon fatigue, a cup of herbal tea is one of them.
These kinds of natural concoctions are pretty amazing in helping boost the energy levels and even prevent you from feeling sleepy.
Try and keep the caffeine consumption in check but not too much that your body becomes reliant on it.
You definitely don’t want to experience that at all.
12. Take a quick power nap
You’d be surprised but there are a few companies across the world that promotes the concept of napping during office hours.
And, it helps.
Taking a quick 20 minutes power nap can help recharge your mind and body and prevent the afternoon slump that you have been complaining about.
In an article (R) by Huffington Post, it suggests that taking an afternoon nap does more than help those sleepy blues.
Sometimes you do need to give in to the desires to overcome them.
Just, ensure that you don’t end up sleeping for hours, because that will make your boss angry.
13. Crank up the beat
Another one of the ways to beat afternoon fatigue is by listening to some music, provided you are not listening to a lullaby.
Crank up the volume and just let the music keep you alert throughout the afternoon instead of giving into to the slump.
Even studies (R) have found that music has positive impacts on your concentration levels.
If you are doing something that requires prompt cognitive functions, try and ensure that you listen to something soothing or instrumental.
14. Focus on getting enough sleep
Afternoon slump is not something you experience every single day. Lack of quality sleep at night can be a contributing reason.
If you have been experiencing something similar, it is best that you focus on your sleeping patterns instead.
Get enough sleep during the night to prevent unnecessary tiredness in the morning.
Eight hours of sleep is considered ideal if you don’t want to experience the tiredness later the next day.
Once you get your sleeping cycles in check, the same can effectively help boost your energy levels gradually as well.
15. Look at some puppy pictures
You can never go wrong with puppies and cuteness, right?
Well, you’d be surprised to know this but a conducted study (R) by some Japanese scientists found that looking at puppy pictures help charge you up and improve your overall mood as well.
If you have been worried and struggling with your productivity, staring at puppy pictures might get you out of the funk you are experiencing.
The better your mood, the more likely you are going to have a rejuvenated afternoon. Ensure that you do keep some puppy gifts and images handy.
How to prevent afternoon fatigue?
When you are working and you need that extra kick of motivation, you will always find the tiredness standing up as a hindrance.
People say that prevention is better than cure and to be honest that is absolutely true.
If you want to keep that afternoon slumpiness in check, there are a few ways you can do that.
- Don’t sit around in front of your desk all day
- Always keep a water bottle handy with you
- Snack on something healthy
- Focus on your diet
Even with the preventive measures, it is likely that you might experience afternoon fatigue. And, that is why we wanted to share some of the ways to beat afternoon fatigue for good. Check out the ways we have mentioned and implement them to have a refreshed and energetic outlook throughout the tiredness.