How to beat the 3pm slump

By author photo Karen Stafford

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We’ve all heard about it, after a productive morning and lunch break you hit that slump in the afternoon when you feel tired and lose concentration.
You might also crave certain types of food or start procrastinating by looking for something to snack on. It’s common, especially for those that find themselves sitting at their desk and/or in front of a computer all day.

One of the reasons for our mid-afternoon slump is that our body biologically becomes less alert as the day goes on and starts winding down to prepare for sleep. So, one solution is to have a nap…while this sounds amazing you might not be able to nap each afternoon, so here’s our guide to beating the slump and re energising your afternoon.


1. HAVE A NUTRITIOUS BREAKFAST

Kick start your day with a nutritious breakfast that will fuel you for the day, keep your blood sugar levels stable and help
prevent the afternoon slump. Choose a breakfast that includes wholegrains and protein to keep you feeling full and energised.
It doesn’t have to be fancy. A wholegrain cereal or muesli with fruit and reduced fat milk or yoghurt, or some eggs on wholegrain toast with veggies are great options.


2. KEEP HYDRATED

When you’re dehydrated you can feel less energetic and find it hard to concentrate. So be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to make sure you’re well hydrated. We can also confuse hunger with thirst so staying hydrated can also help with those mid-afternoon cravings.


3. FILL UP AT LUNCH TIME

Believe it or not, you may be feeling a slump at 3pm because you didn’t eat enough at lunch. Eating too little or skipping your lunch can leave you searching for snacks at 3pm, so make sure you’re keeping yourself satisfied with your lunchtime options.
Ensure half you plate is full of non-starchy veggies to help keep you feeling more satisfied throughout the day.


4. HAVE A NUTRITIOUS MID-AFTERNOON SNACK

If you’re feeling your energy levels drop and you’re looking for something to eat it’s fine to have a snack to fuel your body. Choose something with good quality carbs, protein and fats that will keep your energy up and blood sugar levels stable until dinner. For example, some Greek yoghurt with fruit or wholegrain crackers with cheese and avocado.


5. GO FOR A WALK

A bit of physical activity gets the blood pumping and can increase your energy levels, so stretch your legs and have a movement break. Walking outside and getting some fresh air can also help you mentally refresh and clear your mind ready for the tasks of the afternoon.


6. PLAY SOME UPBEAT MUSIC

Your favourite tunes can also give you a little afternoon pep up and the motivation to get through the rest of the day. Music can be a powerful motivator so choose some of your favourite upbeat songs to help energise your afternoon.


7. GET ENOUGH QUALITY SLEEP AT NIGHT

Lack of sleep can also cause an afternoon slump. If we start the day off without being fully rested, we’re prone to the 3pm energy slump, especially as our body is already naturally making us more tired at this time to prepare for our nighttime sleep. Most people need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night, some may need more and some less, but if you’re waking up not feeling refreshed it’s a sign you need more sleep.

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