Most of us experience it every day. You’re full of energy in the morning, getting tasks done in the office or knocking out chores at home. Then, you have lunch and what was supposed to be a refreshing break, actually makes you feel more tired. At 2 pm the only thing you feel like doing is to hide from the world and take a nap. For many of us, the solution to this sudden midday fatigue is a cup or two of java or an energy drink. However, some people find that enjoying caffeinated drinks in the afternoon can hinder their ability to fall asleep in the evening. Even though the midday tiredness is partly caused by your body’s internal rhythm, the choices you make throughout the day can either make it feel worse or easier. We put together five ways to help you beat the afternoon slump without disturbing your ability to fall asleep at night.
1. Start your day with a healthy breakfast.
First of all, it is important to have breakfast, and second of all, it is important to have the right type of breakfast because what you eat in the morning can affect how you feel later in the day. If your breakfast only consists of a cup of coffee, or even worse, you don’t have breakfast at all, that may be the reason for your afternoon tiredness. For an energizing start to the day, make sure your breakfast includes some healthy carbs and protein. Try spreading peanut butter on a piece of whole wheat bread or enjoy some oatmeal with fresh fruits.
2. Mind your lunch.
Don’t skip your lunch because you’re too busy or trying to lose weight. If your lunch doesn’t include nutrients that provide you energy in the long-term, you will most likely get hit by the afternoon slump. Instead of relying on heavily caffeinated drinks in the afternoon that can hinder your ability to get a good night’s sleep, make sure your lunch contains protein and avoid foods that are heavy in fat, such as a burger with french fries. Try a salad with an egg, beans and some turkey or tuna!
3. Keep active.
Use the latter part of your lunch break to take a 10-minute walk outside. Getting out during daylight makes you feel more alert and you’ll be less likely to need your heavy caffeine boost to stay awake when the afternoon slump hits. If it’s raining, get your 10 minutes of activity away from your desk in other ways! Take a few flights of stairs in your office building or do a short yoga session at home. If possible, arrange your day so that you can spend the afternoon doing tasks that require less thinking, such as organizing your emails or cleaning the kitchen cabinets.
4. Snack it up
If you feel like you need a little energy boost to overcome the sudden crashing, have a healthy snack in the afternoon. However, don’t rely on a candy bar, as it will not provide you with a long-term energy boost. Instead, opt for snacks that raise your energy levels steadily, such as raw veggies, fruit, nuts or whole wheat crackers.
5. Sip a cup of tea.
If you really cannot make it through your afternoon slump without some caffeine, swap your java for a cup of green tea. Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee and is less likely to disturb your sleeping schedule. Try different flavors to make your daily tea moment an exciting part of your day.
These tips can help you beat the afternoon slump without having to rely on heavily caffeinated drinks that can easily hinder your ability to fall asleep at night. However, if you continuously feel tired during the daytime or have difficulty falling asleep, a more serious issue such as a sleep disorder may be present. Sleep disorders can cause other serious health issues such as heart disease, and require that you see a sleep specialist. Dr. Pasha determines the cause behind your sleeping issues using a sleep study to find the right course of treatment for you. If you’re ready to get a good night’s rest again, schedule an appointment with us today!