Published: 03 September 2021

Overcoming The Afternoon Slump

The afternoon slump - that period in the day (usually the afternoon) where you feel tired and groggy and in-need of a nap. It’s quite common but no less annoying! Many factors can contribute to you having an afternoon slump but a little research into what is causing your fatigue can help you combat it without reaching for more caffeine!

Some reasons we have an afternoon slump are:

  • Lack of movement. If you are not exercising or moving enough in the day, you’re likely to have lower energy levels. 
  • Eating too many sugary foods or carbohydrates. Sugar and carbohydrates can lead to a spike in your blood sugar, which causes fatigue and sleepiness.
  • Stress. Being stressed can affect our attention levels, and cause a lack of sleep in the night, if we’re struggling to ‘switch off’.
  • Not getting enough sleep at night. This one might seem obvious, but if you’re continually not getting enough at night, one good (or better) night’s sleep will not be an instant fix!

The best ways to push past, if possible, are to:

  • Go outside - for some fresh air and sunlight. Sunlight (or bright, therapy lights) can increase wakefulness.
  • Move around - it will help the mind and make you feel less sleepy. Even just a small walk around the office helps!
  • Chew gum - yes, chewing gum can keep you alert!

How can you prevent future afternoon slumps?

If your goal is to reduce the amount of afternoon slumps you feel long-term, then there are a few lifestyle changes it may be worth considering:

  • Consider changing your diet. Reconsider any carb-heavy or sugary lunches, as these may be causing your afternoon fatigue. Instead focus lunch time meals on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fibre. On the plus side – if you need help sleeping better in the evenings, include carbohydrates in your evening meal, such as pasta or bread.
  • Check if you’re sleeping enough hours at night. Try having a regular sleep schedule, or going to bed earlier if possible.
  • Exercise more in the day. This can help keep you alert in the day and ensure you sleep better at night. Try walking more, going on a jog, or cycling to and from work.
  • Consult your GP. If you find any changes you make are not helping, or insomnia at night is making you suffer during the day, we recommend you call your local GP for further help.

Published: 03 September 2021