8 Quick Tips to Beat the Afternoon Slump

You know what it’s like: you wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed (kinda), head to your morning class, have lunch with friends, head home with every intention of getting some work done, and then. . . BAM!  Two o’clock hits and your eyelids are drooping and all you wanna do is take a nap.

You’re not alone!  It’s completely normal to feel tired in the afternoon.  Circadian rhythms, which affect your sleep patterns, may be to blame for the midday-slump.  In fact, your “sleep signals” peak at night and during the afternoon (right around 2pm!), which may explain why you want to grab an afternoon cat nap.  Other factors, like what you eat, hydration levels, and how much time you spend staring at a screen can also affect those tired eyes.

So what’s a busy college student to do?  Here are some quick tips to keep you going strong:

  • Work out.  A midday trip to the gym may not only boost your productivity; it could ward off sleepiness, too. Stick to some light aerobic exercise before getting back to the books.
  • Stretch it out.  A quick stretching session can provide a boost of energy.
  • Move around.  A change of scenery may boost productivity, so do some work at a coffee shop.  Snag a table near a window for some natural light, which may keep you more alert.
  • Sip some green tea. With less caffeine than a cup of coffee, a mug of green tea can give you that afternoon pick-me-up without keeping you up all night.
  • Have a snack.  Not meal time yet? Have a healthy snack to help boost your energy level. Try an ounce of cheese, a handful of nuts, or another high-protein snack to keep alert.
  • Switch tasks.  Working on the same project for five hours? Try tackling something else to stay stimulated and keep yourself fresh.
  • Take a break.  Tired? Take five to do something besides work (like checking Facebook or calling a friend) to give your body and mind a break!
  • Turn up the tunes.  Listening to your favorite music might help you focus and feel more energized.  Listen with headphones to really hone in on a task and side-step sleepiness.

Adapted from one of my favorite health blogs: greatist.com.  Check it out!

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