15 Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump at Work and Finish Strong
Work Wellness

15 Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump at Work and Finish Strong

|Aug 17, 2023
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Have you ever wondered why your energy levels start to drop after a productive morning? This phenomenon, known as the afternoon slump, can put a damper on your day and prevent you from getting work done. Plus, it can make those last few hours torture as you wait for the end of the day. 

The good news is that there are steps you can take to beat the afternoon energy slump and finish the day just as well as you started.

What Is an “Afternoon Slump”?

Before we delve into the many ways you can boost your energy levels and get more done in the afternoons, let’s first talk about what the afternoon slump is. 

This phenomenon occurs at a particular time of day, usually from 1 to 3 pm. It occurs when a person lacks drive and energy. It often leads to lethargy or fatigue and can reduce your productivity and overall mood.

What Is an “Afternoon Slump”?

What Causes Afternoon Fatigue?

The afternoon slump can be attributed to a number of factors. Let’s take a closer look at them to help you understand what might be causing you to feel lethargic after lunch. 

Your Body’s Internal Clock

The body's circadian rhythms, or internal clock as it is more commonly known, regulates your behavioral patterns each day. It is the leading cause of the afternoon crash. Your circadian rhythms impact and induce drowsiness and hunger, alerting humans to the need to eat or sleep. 

You could become sluggish in the afternoon hours if your circadian rhythms are unable to properly regulate your body's behavioral patterns because of an irregular schedule. 

Lifestyle

In addition, certain lifestyle factors can also contribute to the afternoon slump. This includes poor sleep habits, not drinking enough water, consuming too many carbohydrates, experiencing high levels of stress. 

Digestion and Blood Sugar Levels

Another reason for the midday slump is digestion. Because lunch is often the biggest meal of the day, more blood travels to the gut to aid digestion, which can reduce energy levels as there is less blood flowing to the brain and muscles. 

If you consume carbohydrates for lunch, there’s an even bigger chance that you’ll experience afternoon fatigue, as the body will release melatonin and serotonin in response, which can cause you to feel sleepy. 

Furthermore, hours after lunch, your blood sugar levels could drop, leading to an afternoon slump at work.

What Causes Afternoon Fatigue?

The Effects of an Afternoon Crash

An afternoon energy slump can leave you feeling irritable, lethargic, and more. Here are some of the most common symptoms of a midday slump: 

  • Sadness or irritability
  • Headaches
  • Lethargy or fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stomachaches
  • Frequent yawning
  • Difficulty with vision
  • Food cravings
  • High stress levels 

Fortunately, there are ways to beat the afternoon slump at work and become more productive throughout the day.

The Effects of an Afternoon Crash

Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump and Remain Energetic at Work

When you feel the midday slump start to set in, you might be wondering what you can do to improve your energy levels and become more productive. Here are our top tips on how to beat the afternoon crash and transform your working day. 

1. Get Active

One of the best ways to get the blood pumping to your muscles and improve alertness and energy levels is to exercise. An afternoon jog should do the trick. Although you might feel like you don’t have much time to get active, you don’t need enough time to do a full cardio session. 

A five-minute walk around the block is all it takes to improve your energy levels and get your body out of a state of lethargy. Active breaks can also help you get quality sleep at night, which boosts your mood and overall energy levels.

1. Get Active

2. Take a Break

In a world that requires that you be engaged constantly, taking a break can prove invaluable. The truth is that our brains were not designed to work 24/7, so taking some time away from your phone and computer may be just what you need. 

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can also help improve symptoms of the afternoon slump at work. Socializing with colleagues can snap your body out of lethargy and make you more productive. There are a number of other brain breaks for adults you can try to enjoy the benefits of stepping away to recoup.

2. Take a Break

3. Consider Employee Wellness Programs

If you’re reading this as an employer hoping to boost your employees’ productivity, then you’re in luck because we have a great tip for you. Wellness programs are a fantastic way to improve team building amongst staff members and promote a sense of well-being. 

By placing a focus on health and wellness, you can encourage employees to adopt a healthy approach to the working environment, taking time for exercise, sleep, stress relieving activities, and more. 

There are a number of wellness program ideas that you can choose from for your team. 

4. Focus on Nutrition

Carbohydrates during lunch might raise serotonin levels, which can soothe the body and lead to afternoon weariness. Consuming a protein- and nutrient-rich midday meal may improve your focus and attention span. Smaller amounts are often better for your energy levels than larger ones, so saving some of your lunch for an afternoon snack may be a good option.

Moreover, a healthy breakfast will help you manage your energy levels throughout the day. Eating enough in the early hours can also lessen your desire for a large lunch, allowing you to avoid overeating and feeling sluggish as a result. Consider including nutrient-dense foods like eggs or berries as part of your morning meal.

4. Focus on Nutrition

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5. Practice Active Sitting

While a five-minute walk can certainly help to improve your energy levels, active sitting can do a lot more. A sedentary lifestyle can be linked to an afternoon crash, which is why active sitting can significantly improve your energy levels.

Rather than a regular office chair, active sitting involves the use of a stool designed to keep the muscles of your body engaged, improve your posture, promote a healthier spine, and even help to burn calories, which can all work wonders for improving the symptoms associated with an afternoon crash.

5. Practice Active Sitting

6. Try a Standing Desk

Alternating between sitting and standing throughout the day can also help to keep you more active. Standing for parts of the workday can help to beat fatigue and improve blood flow to get you feeling more energized.

Whether you choose a smart desk or an L-shaped adjustable desk, don’t forget to choose an ergonomic office chair to ensure that your body is properly supported while you work. This can prevent pain and aches and make the workday easier on the body.

The best home standing desk is one that offers a good height adjustment range, allowing you to position your body in a way that doesn’t cause strain to your joints and muscles. 

Standing Desks

7. Make Sure You’re Drinking Enough Water

Dehydration can cause serious health problems. It can lower your energy to critical levels, so to prevent a midday slump, staying hydrated is crucial. The average person requires about 13 glasses of water every day, so if you’re not getting anything close to that amount, you must find ways to improve your water intake if you want to beat the afternoon slump. 

To make matters worse, caffeine has a diuretic effect, so if you’re switching out water for coffee, you’re making matters worse. If you’re having trouble drinking enough water, here are a few tips to help you get hydrated: 

  • Track it. By keeping track of the number of glasses of water you’ve had, you can ensure that you’re meeting your target.
  • Add fruit. This is a great way to make your water more palatable and fun. 
  • Make it part of your routine. If you add water intake to parts of your schedule, you’ll remember to drink enough throughout the day. Having a glass before bed or after a workout, for example, can help you stay on track with your water consumption goals.

7. Make Sure You’re Drinking Enough Water

8. Drink Green Tea

Green tea is a great alternative to coffee that will give you a boost of caffeine to help you stay alert. However, unlike coffee, green tea won’t keep you awake at night. Plus, it offers a plethora of other health benefits, such as encouraging blood flow to the brain and providing antioxidants to promote healthier skin. 

9. Get Some Sunlight

Never underestimate the power of the sun on wakefulness and productivity. Being in the sun for a minimum of 10 minutes increases vitamin D production, which can help to boost energy levels, as vitamin D deficiency often leads to fatigue. Furthermore, exposure to bright light can also boost wakefulness. 

To incorporate more sunlight into your day, try opening your blinds or curtains, taking a walk outside, or having lunch outdoors.

9. Get Some Sunlight

10. Lower Your Sugar Intake

Sugar can provide a short-term boost in energy levels, but it will soon wear off, leaving you feeling tired and lethargic. By lowering your sugar intake, you can maintain your energy levels to prevent an afternoon slump at work. If you need a quick snack between your meals, go for something high in protein, such as cheese or nuts. 

Switching out sweet stuff for healthier alternatives like dark chocolate is also a great way to satisfy your cravings for something sweet while also providing a number of other benefits, such as increasing your intake of antioxidants, healthy fats, and more. 

Fruit in moderation can also be a better alternative, as these sweet treats are jam-packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

11. Collaborate to Beat the Afternoon Slump

Ever heard the saying two minds are better than one? If your job allows you to collaborate, this is a fantastic option to help promote productivity in the afternoon hours. 

Unfortunately, working solo can leave you prone to fatigue and lethargy. However, when working together as a team, there is a reduced chance of an afternoon crash. Collaboration can spark creativity and give you new ideas while helping you focus on the task at hand.

11. Collaborate to Beat the Afternoon Slump

12. Consider Taking a Nap

If all else fails and there’s simply no other way to boost your energy levels, you should give in and take a short power nap. It may be just what your body needs to reset. However, be sure to plan your nap so that it’s before 3 pm, or you could end up messing with your nighttime sleep pattern, reducing the benefits. 

13. Turn on Some Music

When you feel your productivity levels start to diminish, you should consider listening to upbeat music to get the blood pumping. You may not have known this, but music causes your body to produce dopamine, the hormone that’s released when you feel pleasure. It also helps to improve blood flow, which can help to boost your energy levels.

13. Turn on Some Music

14. Stretch!

Slow movements and deep breaths are key components of yoga, both of which get your blood flowing. Stretching can also help release any stress that might contribute to your afternoon slump. 

Remember that you don’t need a dedicated stretching area to enjoy the benefits. There are a number of stretches you can do at your desk.

14. Stretch!

15. Chew Gum

Did you know that the act of chewing gum can improve the blood flow to your brain? Well, it can. Chewing on a piece of gum will also increase your heart rate, improving blood flow throughout the body, so it’s worth a try. It’s a simple and easy way to get yourself out of an afternoon slump! 

Final Thoughts

The afternoon energy slump can significantly affect your productivity and put a serious damper on your day. Whether your afternoon fatigue is caused by an irregular schedule, poor eating habits, or a lack of exercise, there are steps you can take to conquer it and transform your challenging afternoon into a more productive one. 

If you are looking for an ergonomic chair, active stool, or stand-up desk, you can visit our online store to find high-quality smart solutions to help you beat the midday slump and remain active!

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