Ever wonder why you experience that afternoon slump. You could be having the most productive day ever and suddenly around 2-3pm you find it hard to keep your eyes open, let alone be productive.
It’s actually pretty normal to experience an energy dip around this time. According to ayurvedic and circadian rhythm principles, energy levels naturally dip at 2 pm. Perhaps this was because as hunter and gatherers the sun was too hot at that time and so rest was required.
However, in our modern world, this simply does not serve us, as most of us need to be productive during that time of the day.
So what do we do to prevent this slump from happening? Well, thankfully there are other things other than our circadian rhythm that play a huge role in our well-being throughout the day.
Here are 6 tips that you can implement into your everyday life, that you are completely in control of changing!
1) Eat balanced meals throughout the day, especially as you get closer to your afternoon slump.
This is key to keeping your blood sugar in check and fueling your metabolism.
Each meal and snack you have should contain protein, healthy fats, and healthy carbs. Not enough protein and you’ll feel hungry shortly after, not enough fat and the carbs will spike your blood sugar, no carbs (low carb is good) and you may not get the energy boost your body needs and it could lead to binging episodes if you feel deprived. Ideally, you want about 40% of your calories to be coming from protein and 30% from fats and carbs.
Changing the macronutrient ratios of your lunch may very well prevent your afternoon slump from even happening, but if you still experience a low in energy around 2:00 pm, then have a snack handy. A premade smoothie, some nuts and a small piece of fruit, some cheese and veggies are all great options.
2) Skip the booze.
Alcohol affects our well being big time! Even just a drink or two will affect your energy levels the next day. Your body is working hard at detoxifying and it uses up extra energy stores. If drinking is something that you enjoy, reserve it as a one day a week treat, when you know you can get extra rest the next day.
3) Drink enough water.
Dehydration can often disguise itself in many different ways; hunger, inability to focus and low energy are just a few ways that your body can tell you it’s thirsty. So make sure that you’re getting enough! About ½ your body weight in oz is what you want to aim for, and if you’re active or it’s a hot day out, you may want to increase your intake even more.
If you find that upping your water intake makes you run to the bathroom every 10min, then add a sprinkle of real sea salt to your water (just a pinch – not enough to make it salty), and this addition of electrolytes will allow your body to absorb the water you’re drinking, rather than have it flush right through you.
4) Take a power nap!
If you can get away with napping then go for it, but no longer than 20 minutes, because you want to avoid entering a deep sleep, anything longer will make you groggy and affect your nighttime sleep.
Research has shown that a 20 minutes nap can improve productivity and energy levels for hours!
5) Take a 10min break.
If a nap is not possible, take a 10 minute break just before the time you know your energy levels typically dip and head outdoors for some fresh air, or close your eyes and practice some conscious belly breathing to reenergize.
6) Value nighttime sleep
Getting enough and good quality sleep at night will change your daytime energy levels significantly. Even an additional 30 minutes can make a huge difference in the way you feel in the am and the whole day through.
Ideally, lights off should be at 10 pm, so start unwinding no later than 9:30 pm, so your body can be ready for rest.
To help with quality of sleep, make sure that your room is pitch black as any light will disrupt your sleep (even if you’re not aware of it), avoid caffeine anytime after 3 pm, and eat a relatively early dinner to allow the body to digest before rest, avoid tv and phones 30 minutes before bed and instead read a good book, or follow a guided meditation to relax and unwind from the day.
Have a fabulous day!