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8 Ways To Avoid the Mid-afternoon Slump

Thursday, April 04, 2019 1:00 PM
Tags: sleep

Staying awake at work can be tough. You have to keep your mind and body active to stay alert. Repetitive tasks can numb the mind or warm offices can lull you to sleep. Joya Paul, MD, of the NorthShore Neurological Institute, shares some tips for staving off fatigue in the office.

Worker trying to stay awake up at work

Get sleep the night before

This one may seem obvious but if you are not getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, then you might have problems staying awake the next day.

Caffeine
There's nothing more tried and true than a cup of Joe to start your workday. Not only does the stimulant work wonders to get you going, but the conversation around the coffee pot helps ease you into your day.

Brighten up
Lowering the lights is the same thing your teachers did in daycare at naptime. Dimming the lights can lead to you drifting off. Open those shades and get some natural light! That will help with resetting your internal clock. If that's not possible, just keep your lights up and on.

Stay active
Set an hourly alarm and get up to take a lap around the office, or do some desk stretches. This keeps your muscles loose and your blood flowing, keeping you awake.

Hydrate
Not only will you have to urinate more, leading to more getting up and walking, but you also avoid dehydration which makes it hard to focus all day.

Get some time outdoors
Getting outside and taking a walk over lunch can give you some fresh air, sunlight and activity to help re-energize your body. This may help get over that afternoon slump without having to resort to another dose of caffeine.

Play some music
Music can invigorate the brain, keeping tiredness at bay. Just make sure you pick something with a little kick to it, as picking calming, slower music can have the reverse effect of what you are trying to achieve.

Snack
Snacks high in protein, fruit or fiber can help. These give you tons of energy to keep you up and alert while taking less energy to digest. Just avoid sugary snacks as the initial boost of energy can lead to a crash later.