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Afternoon Fatigue: 6 Ways to Beat a Midday Slump

afternoon fatigue
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Andrea Piacquadio

If you’re wondering why you are so tired in the afternoon, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with afternoon fatigue that often sets in after a meal. We’ll give you six tips for how to deal with an afternoon slump to get you back into the swing of things. 

According to some studies, the post-lunch dip that occurs between 12 and 3 p.m. is due to our internal biorhythms. As our physical and mental performance decreases at midday, we fall into afternoon fatigue. If you’re wondering why you’re so tired in the afternoon and your friends are not, don’t feel bad – how intensely you’re affected by afternoon fatigue depends on your individual daily rhythm.

Rich and hard-to-digest foods can also contribute to a pronounced afternoon slump. This is especially true of high-fat foods, which require a lot of energy to break down. Because your body is using all its energy for digesting, it doesn’t have enough left to fuel things like concentrated work.

Things like insufficient sleep, negative stress, or (in rare cases) metabolic disorders such as diabetes can all promote an afternoon slump.

Identifying Afternoon Fatigue

why am I so tired in the afternoon
Why are you so tired in the afternoon? Some people are more affected by afternoon fatigue than others. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Marcus Aurelius )

If you suffer from afternoon fatigue, chances are you will recognize one or more of the following symptoms from your own experience:

  • frequent yawning
  • headache
  • cravings for carbohydrates
  • bad mood or bad temper
  • altered vision
  • weak and tired muscles
  • pronounced exhaustion

How to Beat a Midday Slump

afternoon slump
Eat a lighter meal in the afternoon to help beat that afternoon fatigue. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Luisa Brimble)

Tired of feeling sluggish in the afternoons? Use the following six tips to help get yourself going again.

  1. Adjust Your Diet: Actively counteract afternoon slumps by eating foods that are lower in carbohydrates and contain less sugar. You might want to try fresh salads, rice/vegetable dishes, lean fish, or nuts. If you’re craving something sweet, choose fruit! 
  2. Take a Break: Afternoon fatigue is your body’s way of telling you it needs a break, so why not give it one? If possible, boost your energy reserves by taking a power nap. Limit yourself to 20 minutes, or you’ll wake up feeling more exhausted than you were before. 
  3. Use Natural Stimulants: Essential oils can work wonders on afternoon fatigue due to their invigorating effect. Try adding a few drops of oils like peppermint or lemon to a bowl of water and carefully inhale. Or mix them together in a spray bottle for a wake-up facial mist!
  4. Stay Hydrated: Remember to drink enough water throughout the day as it provides energy. If you prefer to drink something with a bit of flavor, try infusing your water with lemon, cucumber, raspberries, or mint.
  5. Get Moving: Exercise will get your blood pumping and boost your spirits! Fresh air and short walks are beneficial for both physical and mental health. Getting outdoors will also get you some much-needed vitamin D.
  6. Self Care: It’s important to be aware of your body and take time for yourself. Be careful not to overtax yourself professionally or privately. Say no from time to time, and don’t take on too much at once.

If none of these tips help, and you’re looking for a quick fix, you can also drink a cup of coffee (– ideally fair trade). Caffeine perks you up and can temporarily eliminate fatigue. However, be aware that a dependence on caffeine is not healthy.

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: So kommst du bei einem Mittagstief in Schwung

Important Information regarding Health-related Topics.

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