Most of us have been there: a super productive morning finishing some work, clicking away toward a clean inbox, and fighting the urge to scroll through the latest and greatest on social media. Then, the clock strikes 3:00 pm and you might as well pull down the shades, throw on your comfy pajamas, and hop into bed.
It is completely normal to feel super sluggish and tired once the afternoon rolls around. Circadian rhythms -- which control your sleep patterns -- may be to blame for the afternoon slump. In fact, your “sleep signals” peak at night as well as during the afternoon, right around 2 to 3 pm, which may explain why you want to grab an afternoon catnap.
Other factors, like your hydration levels, what you eat, and how much time you spend staring at the screen can also greatly affect your energy levels.
Think it’s time to curl up at your desk? Think again! Here are some awesome ways to avoid that afternoon crash.
Beat The Afternoon Slump With Movement
Did you know that a quick midday trip to the gym may not only wake you up but also boost your productivity? It’s true. According to many studies, getting in a little workout during the workday could greatly improve your productivity once you are back at your desk.
Try doing some light aerobic exercise or strength training before getting back to your laundry list of work tasks.
Changing your environment can also help to boost your energy. Try to sit under a bright white light or near a window, which will alert your brain that it’s time to wake up. Or, simply take a break and head outside -- a study found that spending just 20 minutes outdoors could boost people’s feelings of vitality.
Feeling a bit stiff? Believe it or not, stretching sends a surge of nutrients and blood through your body, providing a quick energy jolt. Between every few phone calls you make or emails you send, take a few minutes and stretch.
Eat For an Energy Boost
Never Skimp on Breakfast
One way to keep your energy levels at peak performance is to start the day with breakfast. While breakfast being the most important meal of the day is debatable, the truth is that skipping it or making the wrong food choices in the morning could leave you feeling a little fuzzy. In fact, skipping any meal affects your concentration, making it much harder to solve problems.
Energy-boosting breakfasts include healthy protein sources like Greek yogurt and eggs, plus slow-burning carbs from whole-grain cereals and oatmeal.
Cut Back on Sugar
Did you know that eating sugar causes your blood sugar to rise rapidly? Sure, this can result in an energy boost, but when the sugar hits your bloodstream, your body also makes insulin which then lowers blood sugar levels. Sometimes, the body over-adjusts itself, causing your blood sugar level to drop rapidly. This explains the drop in energy many individuals experience usually thirty minutes after eating a sugary treat.
Consuming sugar will provide you with a quick energy boost, but it only leads to a crash that will leave you even less alert. Avoid the afternoon slump and be sure to cut back on the sugar.
To avoid dehydration and all of its not-so-wonderful sleepy side effects, do your body some good and just keep on sipping!
You see, your brain needs to be well hydrated in order to function optimally, stay alert, and be energized. So if you rush through your morning routine on two cups of java and get to 2:00 pm without having any H2O, you are going to find it challenging to stay alert.
Shoot to drink a glass of water before you leave the house and another between breakfast and lunch and before you grab that third cup of coffee to keep dehydration at bay.
Increasing your afternoon power stores may be as simple as chewing gum, seriously. According to one study, gum chewing boosts energy and has been shown to enhance work performance. If you decide to give this energy-boosting method a try, be sure to stick with sugar-free gum to avoid tooth decay!
Drink a Clean Energy Shot
Another great way to get an energy boost is simply by drinking an energy drink -- but not just any energy drink -- a clean, all-day energy shot from Proper Wild.
Many popular commercial energy drinks are loaded with way too much synthetic caffeine and a massive amount of sugar. At first, these ingredients will provide your body with the energy jolt you crave, but shortly after, it’s common to experience a crash, causing you to be extremely sleepy with even a headache.
We on the other hand craft each energy shot with organic caffeine from green tea to provide clean, long-lasting energy. We use natural juices and absolutely nothing artificial for a clean, smooth, and natural taste. Each Clean, All-Day Energy Shot from Proper Wild has L-theanine for that boost of focus and productivity, and about two shots of espresso worth of natural caffeine. For those looking to avoid the afternoon crash, a single shot from Proper Wild can help!
Rest in the Afternoon If You’re Tired
Take a Catnap
Sometimes, the best remedy for midday fatigue is simply to shut your eyes. Learn how to power nap (no more than 30 minutes of snooze time) to get that afternoon boost you really need.
Take a Break
Are you feeling pretty tired? Give your mind and body a break by taking five minutes to do something besides work! Do some breathing exercises, close your eyes, go throw a load in the laundry, or just sit there and relax for a quick five minutes before getting back to the grind.
Give Your Eyes Some Rest
Speaking of closing your eyes…
Did you know that eyestrain can make your eyes feel heavy and tired? To avoid this, keep a safe distance from your computer screen -- about an arm’s length -- and follow the 20/20/20 rule: Every twenty minutes, take a twenty-second break and shift your eyes to focus on something at least twenty feet away.
Step Away and Recharge
For a super quick burst of energy, simply splash some cold water on your face. The adrenaline rush you get from immersing yourself in freezing cold water creates a rush of norepinephrine, which helps increase focus and energy.
Talk It Out
Rather than emailing a colleague down the hall, take a little stroll to their desk and talk in person. Make it a brisk walk or even do some lunges to get exercise, stretch your legs, and give your eyes a break from staring at your computer screen.
Turn Up the Tunes
Feeling as though you’re about to doze off? Listening to uplifting music can boost memory, attention, and alertness. If you are needing to focus, studies suggest that music without lyrics is best.
A Final Word
If you ask us, it always seems like somewhere between 2 and 4 pm, our brains go on vacation, leaving the rest of our bodies exhausted and rereading the same sentences over and over again without making any progress. If this sounds like you, too, it’s time to mix it up at work.
Eat a hearty breakfast with high-protein foods without added sugar. Get outside to stretch your legs, listen to music, and follow the 20/20/20 rule to give your eyes a break.
Grab an energy drink but avoid the artificial stuff and stick with one of our 100% plant-based energy shots instead. Here at Proper Wild, we believe in clean and simple ingredients backed by science. We use only natural juices and nothing artificial for a clean, natural taste, without the junk.
If you're searching for ways to avoid the afternoon crash, look no further and pick up one of our Clean All-Day Energy Shots today!