Every day you wake up and only have so much time in the day to get everything you wish to accomplish checked off your list. Whether it be the weekend or the workday, getting the most out of each day is crucial to allowing you to live life to its greatest extent.
One thing that can hinder your day is the dreaded afternoon slump. The afternoon slump refers to a plummet in energy experienced around 2 pm to 4 pm by many people. Having a drop in your energy during this time can be quite inconvenient as work seems to drag along at a snail's pace, you become less motivated, and you simply want to lie down and take a nap.
A typical response to the dreaded afternoon slump is having a quick pick me up like coffee or an energy drink, but these quick fixes could actually do more harm than good as caffeine could impact your sleep quality in the evening. Below is a closer look at what causes the afternoon slump as well as methods you can utilize to support and help boost your neutral energy.
What causes the afternoon slump?
The afternoon slump is a unique phenomenon because you may have the most productive morning ever, yet when 2 pm rolls around you lose your steam and simply feel like your body is a pile of sandbags, and even the simplest of tasks become difficult to perform.
There are many proposed causes of the afternoon slump but one of the most compelling is a spike (and crash) in blood sugar. If you look at the afternoon slump in terms of where it lands in your day, it most likely falls after you have lunch. This is due to the circadian rhythm, our body's clock that dictates our energy throughout the day. While everyone is different and so is their circadian rhythm. However the circadian rhythm for most adults urges them to go to sleep during 2am-4am and 1pm-3pm.
Other causes include a general lack of quality sleep, unmanaged stress, and even rhythmic hormonal changes experienced throughout the day.
5 ways to boost your energy
Depending on the specific cause of your afternoon tiredness, there are things you can do to help mitigate its effects on your day and your ability to do what you want.
#1: Exercise regularly
One common issue that many people with sedentary jobs experience is a decrease in energy as a result of sitting around all day. The human body is well adapted to moving and not as much adapted when it comes to sitting down for hours on end inside while looking at a screen.
Getting outside and getting some physical activity can not only help you decompress, but it can also help to energize your day. While the concept of expending energy to have more energy seems like an oxymoron, many studies have linked regular physical activity with higher levels of perceived energy.
For combatting the dreaded afternoon slump, consider taking a walk, jog, or even a yoga break during your lunch period to get your blood pumping, endorphins flowing, and energy level elevated to carry you through the rest of your day.
Even taking time out of your morning to exercise a little with some light cardio or strength exercises can help to mitigate the afternoon slump and keep you awake and alert throughout the day.
#2: Get quality sleep
Another aspect you should consider to remedy the afternoon slump is to ensure you are getting quality sleep each night. Many people have a habit of drinking coffee in the morning, which can temporarily mask the symptoms of poor sleep, such as tiredness.
If you think about the timing of the afternoon slump, it is typically around the time that a morning dose of caffeine would begin to wear off. This phenomenon is more common than people think, and treating the underlying cause of poor quality sleep can effectively help give you more feelings of energy.
Sleep deprivation is no joke and can actually be incredibly harmful to your overall health and wellbeing. On top of potentially contributing to your afternoon slump, chronic sleep deprivation can increase your chances of developing health issues such as depression, obesity, diabetes, and more.
To ensure you are getting good quality sleep, you should set up a consistent wake-up time, create a bedtime routine that avoids bright lights, and create a sleep environment that is free of light, noise, and other potential disturbances.
Taking the time and energy to ensure your sleep is at its best can effectively give you more restful sleep and provide you with more energy to carry you throughout the entire day.
#3: Manage your stress
If you feel that you experience the afternoon slump especially hard during busy days, it may be due to stress. Stress is your body's natural response to stimuli it perceives as a threat. While an approaching deadline is not an immediate threat to your life, it is able to invoke the stress response which leads to the release of cortisol. Cortisol has a number of effects on the body, all of which aim to prepare the body to take action.
While the stress response is advantageous in a dangerous survival situation, it can wreak havoc on your body anytime else. When your body is in a heightened state for hours at a time, it can prematurely wear you out and lead to tiredness.
Taking a moment to do some meditation or other stress management techniques during stressful days can help to mitigate the chances of getting tired in the afternoon by reducing stress levels.
#4: Prioritize your nutrition
Nutrition can play another large role in your energy levels in a given day. The food you eat on a daily basis supplies your body with molecules it needs to function at its best. Having a good balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates, and protein can help to ensure your body has all of the molecules it needs to run efficiently. These molecules are also utilized as a basis for energy with your body.
Skipping meals such as breakfast or lunch could impact energy levels, and this represents why it is important to eat to help avoid dips in energy throughout the day.
On top of getting necessary macromolecules, your body also benefits from other molecules such as vitamins, minerals, and other supplements to aid in proper functioning.
MitoQ blood sugar is a supplement that is tailor-made to help support healthy blood sugar regulation within the body. By supporting blood sugar regulation, it could potentially help reduce the impacts of sugar spikes that may contribute to the afternoon slump.
#5: Support your cells’ energy
Cells are the basic unit of all life on earth. With that being said, supporting your energy levels at a cellular level could help you to push past the afternoon slump.
For human cells, the mitochondria are the component responsible for supplying energy to the cell. MitoQ is a specially formulated antioxidant molecule that helps to support the mitochondria and their proper functioning.
Taking MitoQ in the morning 30 minutes before your first meal could improve your overall energy level over time, and could offer other potential health benefits such as bolstered immune function and better overall wellness since your body is being supported at a cellular level.
In summary, the afternoon slump is a common occurrence, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. By taking action and enacting positive changes in your life such as getting regular exercise, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and supporting your cellular health, you give your body the best fighting shot at pushing past the afternoon slump.