Afternoon slump is a term used to describe the sleepy, tired and sluggish feeling that comes on between the hours of 1 PM and 3 PM. There are many causes including poor eating habits, metabolic disorders, high levels of stress and sometimes sleep disorders. The most common cause, however, is the lack of a good night’s sleep.
Are You A Victim Of Afternoon Slump?
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Symptoms of Afternoon Slump Caused by Lack of Sleep
Symptoms often include a combination of the following:
- Frequent yawning and/or feeling sleepy
- Extreme fatigue or lethargy
- Moodiness (becoming irritable or short-tempered or depressed)
- Craving for carbohydrates
How to Get Through the Afternoon Slump
If you are experiencing afternoon slump because you are not getting a good night’s rest, address that first by establishing a bedtime routine that supports your need for quality sleep. For those days when you did all the right things the night before and find yourself in an afternoon slump, or you were not able to adhere to your bedtime routine and are feeling sluggish and grumpy in the afternoon, here are some simple ways to get over the afternoon slump:
- Get in the sun for 10 minutes. Eat your lunch outside and divide your time between eating and walking. The fresh air and a nice walk will wake your body and get the blood flowing.
- Take the stairs. If you are not able to go outside for a walk but have a stairwell available to you, then walk up and down it a few times to get the blood flowing.
- Eat protein rather than carbs. Skip the bread for peanut butter sandwich and have peanut butter and celery sticks; sliced chicken instead of pasta, and a salad with an egg; tuna fish salad as a lettuce wrap. Eliminating the carbs and replacing with protein keeps the afternoon crash away.
- Hydrate. Reach for and drink water instead of coffee or cola. Add ice and you have a cool drink that will stimulate your mouth, which can help give you an energy boost.
- Add a drop or two peppermint oil to your tea or diffuse peppermint essential oils. The scent of peppermint is known to increase energy. Interested in learning more about essential oils, you can find more here!
- Sniff a lemon or diffuse lemon essential oils. Research on aromatherapy shows that just a whiff of a lemon scent may give you the mental stimulation and mood boost you need in the middle of the afternoon. Combine with peppermint for a wonderful scent.
- Chew gum. Chewing gums with strong minty flavors like peppermint and spearmint are stimulating, and the act of chewing will help the brain fight the feeling of fatigue. When I was in college gum got me through class.
- Do isometric exercises. By tensing a muscle and holding it, you encourage blood flow. Place your palms together, with elbows bent, and press. This will tense your biceps, hold for 5 to 10 seconds, and then release. You can do something similar with your calves, thighs, chest, stomach, and glutes by simply concentrating on tensing them and holding for 5 to 10 seconds, then releasing.
- Put a rosemary plant in your office. The scent of rosemary is known to be energizing. When you need a bit of the scent, rub a sprig between your fingers to release the fragrance. You can also diffuse rosemary essential oil for an awakening scent!
Test it Out
Afternoon slumps can really put a wrench in your day. The suggestions above have really helped me get through the slump and continue to be productive during the day. Try some of these tips and let me know in the comments how they worked for you!