We’ve all been there. Hit a brick wall in the afternoon. All of a sudden, we feel as though we need a lengthily nap. But why? Why do we feel like this?
Well it can be due to numerous factors.
The first that springs to mind is a lack of quality sleep. This seems fairly obvious that if we don’t get enough sleep, we will feel more tired later in the day. But how much is considered the ‘perfect’ amount of sleep?
This will be different for everyone. But it is generally considered 6-7.5 hours will be the ideal amount of time to get a good night’s rest. We sleep I cycles of 90 minutes. And at the end of 90 minutes, we begin another cycle. If we are disrupted or awakened in the middle of a cycle, then it can really have an effect on your energy levels later in the day. Try and hit the magic amount of 6-7.5 hours per night for optimal rest.
Maybe another reason for the afternoon slump is an excessive amount of morning caffeine. Tea or coffee is riddle with caffeine and, while at the time gives you a temporary boost, can really knock you later in the day. What goes up must come down as they say. And after the initial boost from the caffeine, you will experience a come down at some point, which may be early afternoon. Depending on how much caffeine you have consumed during the morning will determine how hard you ‘crash’.
Eating too many carbohydrate rich foods can also affect your afternoon energy levels. Carbohydrates are sugars, and when consumed in bulk, can spike blood sugar level. Then these start to fall, you will experience lethargy and tiredness, also resulting in you craving more carbohydrates to elevate blood sugar levels again. The way around this would to eat more protein and fats for breakfast. Yes, that right, I said fats. The healthy fats found ion avocado, nuts, seeds and yoghurt can provide you with a fantastic amount of energy and the protein will help to make you feel fuller for longer. You will feel more energetic, without the afternoon blood sugar crash.
Being stressed can also play a big part. Stress releases a hormone called cortisol which can play havoc. It can promote overeating, (again in carbohydrate form), resulting in more blood sugar crashes. If you are feeling stresses, maybe try some meditation or some form of relaxation technique to help you feel more at easy and to help you chill out.
Drinking more water will help you to feel more energetic, not just in the afternoon but throughout the day. Yes, you may need to pee a bit more, but you will feel much more energetic, and it contains no calories. Winner!!
In conjunction with this, avoid caffeine after 2pm. It can take hours for caffeine to leave your system, so in order to get a restful night’s sleep, try and avoid drinking or consuming it after 2pm.
The last hack to avoid an afternoon slump would be to do some form of exercise during your lunch hour. This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym and smash out 25 sets of lifting iron or run a marathon. It could be something as simple as going for a walk. Just something to help release endorphins, which will help you to feel fantastic and should pull you through any midafternoon crashes.
So that’s a brief take on how to beat any midafternoon energy lapses. If you do struggle with and afternoon lull, be sure to try some of these techniques out and see how you get on.