It’s all too easy to hit the brew button just one more time when that 3:00 PM slump hits, but could you be hurting more than you’re helping?
Consuming caffeine late in the day can affect how much sleep you get and the quality of your sleep. While caffeine is most effective 30-60 minutes after consumption, the effects can last up to 6 hours.
That after-work coffee feels great in the moment, but it may be the reason you’re restless at bedtime. If caffeine affects your rest, it will negatively impact your energy levels the next day. And when we’re drained, we often turn to caffeine, creating an endless cycle of sleepiness.
It’s time to snap out of the cycle! Read on for eight caffeine-free ways to beat the afternoon slump:
- Eat a snack
Food is fuel, and we can’t be energetic if the tank is empty. Foods composed of natural sugars and complex carbohydrates will leave you feeling satisfied and energized. If you need a pick-me-up, try one of the following:
- Greek yogurt
- Sweet potato
- Quinoa or brown rice
- Move your body
Many studies have linked exercise to increased mood and energy levels. You don’t have to do a high-intensity workout to reap benefits of movement. Something as simple as a walk around the block, taking the stairs, or gentle desk yoga can increase blood flow and give you a boost.
- Reduce stress levels
Easier said than done, right? We get it. Stress is mentally and physically draining, so it may be zapping all your energy. A few simple de-stressing activities include taking a coffee break with a friend, exercising, and meditating.
- Get some fresh air
Soaking up some vitamin D and spending time in nature have both been shown to increase feelings of vitality. Plus enjoying the outdoors is a great way to move and de-stress, going hand-in-hand with the previous two tips.
Too much screen time can lead to fatigue and symptoms like headache and eye pain. Instead of scrolling during your breaks, try reading a book or enjoying the weather. You may even find your breaks are more enjoyable that way!
- Drink plenty of water
Just like food, our body needs water to perform at its highest level, and dehydration can lead to sluggishness. If you start to feel tired, double check that you’ve had enough water, and refill that reusable bottle!
- Take a nap
Looking for an excuse to take a nap? You’re welcome. They don’t call it a power nap for nothing! A 10- to 30-minute siesta may be exactly what you need to improve your alertness.
- Crank up the tunes
You know that pumped-up feeling you get listening to your favorite song? Harness that energy to get through long afternoons! At home or in the office, pop in some headphones for a fun and productive work session.