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Energy slump at 3pm? Shift into a Sunshine Frame of Mood.



What's behind Our Daily Energy Dip?


Ever noticed that slump around 3 PM, where no matter how your day started, you hit a wall of fatigue? My hand is up. This phenomenon, often called the 'afternoon crash', isn't just a figment of your imagination—it's a well-documented physiological event that can disrupt your day.


This mid-afternoon dip can largely be attributed to our circadian rhythm. Our internal clocks dictate cycles of alertness and sleepiness, peaking in the morning and dropping in the early afternoon. Research suggests that our bodies are naturally programmed to feel sleepier around seven to nine hours after waking, aligning with this notorious slump time.


Eating habits also influence this energy dip. A carb-heavy lunch can spike and then drastically drop your blood sugar levels, exacerbating feelings of tiredness. Studies have shown that opting for meals with a balanced macronutrient profile can help sustain energy levels better throughout the day.


Physical activity is a proven slump-buster. According to a study by the University of Georgia, engaging in low-intensity exercise like a leisurely walk can boost energy levels by 20% and decrease fatigue by 65%. These activities increase blood flow, enhancing oxygen delivery to your brain and perking you up.


Get outside and have lunch




Light exposure also plays a crucial role. Natural light helps regulate our circadian rhythm, and stepping outside for sunlight can ward off melatonin production, the hormone responsible for sleepiness. Just a few minutes in natural light can significantly decrease the power of the afternoon slump.

Hydration is another key element.


Dehydration leads to a decrease in blood volume, thicker blood, and reduced oxygen flow to the brain, making you feel more fatigued. Keeping up with your water intake is an easy way to help maintain your energy levels throughout the day.

Consider the power of napping.


NASA research has found that a short nap of 10 to 20 minutes can significantly improve alertness and performance without the grogginess that longer naps can cause. If your schedule permits, a quick power nap can be an effective remedy for that afternoon energy dip.


Understanding why we experience a dip in energy in the afternoon can empower us to take effective steps to combat it. Whether it's adjusting your diet, getting some exercise, catching a few rays, or even closing your eyes for a few minutes, these strategies can help you maintain your productivity and keep your energy levels steady throughout the day.



Stay Hydrated

With the warmer weather, it's essential to stay hydrated. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased concentration. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Herbal teas and water-rich fruits like watermelon and cucumber are also excellent choices.


Prioritize Sleep

Quality sleep is crucial for maintaining energy levels. Establish a consistent sleep routine by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day. Ensure your sleeping environment is cool, dark, and quiet to promote restful sleep. For more tips, check out our sleep hygiene article and be sure to listen to and download our new Spotify playlist, 'Moonlight Motives'. Make sure to follow HWBL on Spotify for more relaxing tunes.


Eat a Balanced Diet

Your diet plays a significant role in your energy levels. Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your meals. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and flaxseeds, can help support brain function and improve mood.


Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga can help reduce stress and increase mental clarity. These practices encourage you to live in the moment and can significantly enhance your emotional well-being.




Socialize

Human connections are vital for emotional health. Spend time with friends and family, engage in social activities, or even join a new club or class. Positive social interactions can boost your mood and provide a sense of belonging.


Plan Enjoyable Activities

Having something to look forward to can be a great motivator. Plan enjoyable activities or mini-adventures, such as a weekend getaway, a hike, or a day trip. These plans can provide excitement and break the monotony of daily routines.


Take Breaks

It's important to take regular breaks, especially if you feel a slump coming on. Short breaks during work can prevent burnout and keep your energy levels up. Use these breaks to stretch, take a walk, or practice a quick mindfulness exercise.


Seek Professional Help if Needed

If you find that your energy slump persists despite trying these strategies, consider seeking professional help. A healthcare provider can offer advice tailored to your specific needs and may identify underlying issues contributing to your fatigue.


By integrating these tips into your daily routine, you can boost your mental and emotional well-being, making the most out of the summer season ahead. Remember, even small changes can lead to significant improvements in how you feel. So, here's to a summer filled with sunshine and rejuvenated energy.




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