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Most Effective Ways to Overcome the Post-Lunch Dip in Energy

Most Effective Ways to Overcome the Post-Lunch Dip in Energy

You know the feeling – it’s early afternoon and you are doing everything you can to fight off yawns and avoid microsleeps.

We all naturally experience a midday slump, and it’s due to fluctuations in our internal circadian rhythms. For most people, this dip occurs between 2:00 p.m and 4:00 p.m. During this time, your body temperature decreases and alertness also declines. This flux leaves many people yawning at their desks after lunch and reaching for an extra cup of coffee or sugary pick-me-up. Although the post-lunch dip in energy has biological roots, there are a few ways you can help yourself stay focused and alert through the afternoon by choosing smarter foods and incorporating a few energy-boosting habits into your routine.

1. Choose smarter foods.

Sugary foods and simple carbs can provide a short burst of energy, but may leave you yawning again in no time. On the other hand, foods with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates preserve energy for hours. The idea is to maintain blood glucose levels in order to minimize your energy dip. Here are few smart foods to have on hand for afternoon snacks:

  • Protein rich snacks like boiled eggs, cheese, turkey, smoked salmon or almonds.
  • Chocolate, particularly flavanol-rich dark chocolate or even low-sugar cacao nibs.
  • Apples, oranges and blueberries are also rich in flavonoids and easy to bring along.
  • Staying hydrated with plenty of plain water helps boost alertness.
  • Green tea and black tea are rich in energy-boosting compounds including caffeine.

Other tips include eating a breakfast rich in healthy carbohydrates which helps sustain energy throughout the day, and avoiding overeating at lunch which can contribute to drowsiness.

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Dark Chocolate

    2. Take a very short nap after lunch.

    Napping is an effective way to boost energy in the afternoon, if it’s done right. If your goal is to overcome drowsiness, the ideal midday nap is between 10 and 20 minutes. Longer naps can actually make you feel more drowsy upon waking, so its best to keep them short.

    Take your nap during the time you usually feel tired if possible, making sure to set an alarm so you’ll definitely wake up. Once up, do some quick stretching or jumping jacks and drink some water to get energized. If you are partial to caffeine, studies suggest consuming it before your short nap for the best effects.

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    Cat Nap

      3. Get moving or take a walk if you feel tired.

      Sitting at a desk for hours can also contribute to drowsiness, and boredom as well. During your afternoon slump, make it a point to get the blood flowing with a little activity every so often. A walk outside in the sunshine might be best, but even a jaunt to the water-cooler, running in place or jumping jacks for a few minutes can all be beneficial for alertness. Periodic activity could have other health benefits for sedentary workers, too.

      Walking In Office

        4. Have a sweater or jacket at your desk if you feel cold.

        An internal temperature drop is a key part of the circadian pattern that contributes to the post-lunch energy dip. Keep a sweater or jacket around to warm yourself back up and fight the yawns, especially if your workplace is on the cooler side.

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        Colorful Sweaters

          5. Keep rooms brightly lit or sit by a window.

          Light also plays a role in circadian rhythms, and getting plenty of natural sunlight in the afternoon can be helpful for limiting drowsiness and for normalizing sleep schedules as well. Sit by a window if you can, or keep your workspace brightly lit if there are no windows nearby. Dimmer rooms can make nodding off harder to resist.

          Office With A Window

            6. Get a good laugh in.

            Another instant way to fight mental fatigue is to simply laugh. Laughter engages mood and cognition-boosting chemicals in your brain, helping you feel better, less stressed and feel more alert. Take a look your favorite funny YouTube videos, browse quiet giggle-inducing GIFs, or share a funny story with colleagues – all in the name of productivity.

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              7. Practice good sleep habits at night.

              Sleeping well at night and practicing good sleep hygiene also helps avoid daytime fatigue. Make sure you are allowing yourself adequate sleep time every night (at least seven hours for most adults), and try to stick to a regular sleep and wake schedule every day. An evening routine with sleep-friendly habits can also help.

              Time for Sleep

                Though some of these tips may seem a little counterintuitive, science shows that energy-boosting foods, activity, light, naps and even laughter can work to counteract your body’s natural afternoon dip in energy. Naps and activity breaks in particular can actually make people even more productive and creative, boosting alertness and contributing to physical and mental health. Now there’s no excuse not take a siesta and jump around at work!

                Share: What do you do to get through the post-lunch dip in energy? Have you tried any of the hacks above?

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                Last Updated on December 7, 2018

                10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

                10 Steps For Success: Applying The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

                How big is the gap between you and your success?

                What is the difference between successful people and unsuccessful people?

                It is as simple as this: successful people think and talk about what they are creating, and unsuccessful people focus on and talk about what they’re lacking.

                So how do you bridge that gap between wanting success and having your success? Let’s make an important distinction. You see, there is a big difference between “Wanting” and “Having” something.

                Wanting: means lacking or absent. Deficient in some part, thing or aspect.

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                Having: means to possess, to hold, to get, to receive, to experience.

                You can have one OR the other, but not both at the same time with any particular object of your desire. You either have it or you don’t.

                When it comes to your subconscious, if you’re focusing on the “wanting”, i.e. the not having, guess what, you will build stronger neural networks in your brain around the “wanting.” However, through the power of your subconscious mind, you can focus on the “having” as if it has already happened. Research has shown that your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you’re visualizing inside your mind versus what is happening out there in your reality.

                This is a regular practice of elite athletes. They spend as much timing creating the internal mental imagery of their success playing out as they do actually physically practicing. This helps create both the neural pathways in their brain and the muscle memory to consistently deliver on that success.

                Here are 10 “brain hack” steps for success that you can take to create your version of a happy life. Make these steps a regular habit, and you will be astonished at the results.

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                Step 1: Decide exactly what you want to create and have

                This is usually the biggest problem that people have. They don’t know what they want and then they’re surprised when they don’t get it.

                Step 2: Write down your goal clearly in every technicolor detail

                A goal that is not written down is merely a wish. When you write it down in full detail, you signal to your subconscious mind that you really want to accomplish this particular goal.

                Step 3: Write your goal in simple, present tense words

                …that a three year old can understand on a three-by-five index card and carry it with you. Read it each morning after you awake and just before you go to sleep.

                Step 4: Backwards planning

                See your goal achieved and identify all the steps required that it took to bring it to life. Making a list of all these steps intensifies your desire and deepens your belief that the attainment of the goal is already happening.

                Step 5: Resolve to take at least one step every day from one of the items on your list

                Do something every day, even if it is just one baby step, that moves you toward your goal so you can maintain your momentum.

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                Step 6: Visualize your goal repeatedly

                See it in your mind’s eye as though it were already a reality. The more clear and vivid your mental picture of your goal, the faster it will come into your life.

                Step 7: Feel the feeling of success as if your goal were realized at this very moment

                Feel the emotion of happiness, satisfaction, and pleasure that you would have once you have achieved your goal. Visualize and feel this success for at least 20 seconds at a time.

                Step 8: “Fake it till you make it!”

                Confidently behave as if your subconscious mind was already bringing your goal into reality. Accept that you are moving toward your goal and it is moving toward you.

                Step 9: Relax your mind

                Take time to breathe, pray or mediate each day. Disengage the stress response and engage the relaxation response. A quiet state of mind allows your brain to access newly formed neural pathways.

                Step 10: Release your goal to your subconscious mind

                When you turn your goal over to the power of the universe and just get out of the way, you will always know the right actions to take at the right time.

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                Starting today, try tapping into the incredible power of your subconscious mind.Start with just one goal or idea, and practice it continually until you succeed in achieving that goal. Make it a game and have fun with it! The more lightly you hold it, the easier it will be to achieve. By doing so, you will move from the “positive thinking” of the hopeful person to the “positive knowing” of the totally successful person.

                Hit reply and let me know what you’re creating!

                To your success!

                Featured photo credit: use-your-brain-markgraf via mrg.bz

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