Can’t Get Motivated? Here’s How To Beat The Midday Slump
Attention: the midday slump is official.
According to research, 2:55 pm is the least productive time of day.
A large percentage of people experience a severe drop in energy around this part of the day. Unfortunately, not everyone has time to wander off and take a nap.
In fact, not most also can’t afford to drag through an hour or more, trying to get stuff done, but not really accomplishing anything.
Fortunately, with a little trial and error, no one has to be a slave to the 3 pm slump fest.
Can’t get motivated? Keep reading for a some of the most effective methods to combat even the worst case of midday slump-itis.
It can be hard to fit breakfast into a busy schedule. Also, not everyone is hungry first thing the morning either.
However, to avoid a midday energy slump, it is important to fuel up earlier rather than later. A filling breakfast provides the body with enough energy to power through the morning, and not be ravenous by lunchtime.
Additionally, eating breakfast also helps to regular blood sugar levels and guard against blood sugar dips during the late morning.
Those who skip breakfast often find that by late morning they are feeling a little shaky. By lunchtime, they are very hungry and may overheat. Eating a large meal after a prolonged fasting period will result in drowsiness.
So, to get ahead of the midday slump, start in the morning by consuming some type of meal or snack, even if it is a light one.
Control Portion Sizes
While on the topic of breakfast, let’s take a look at lunch as well. As mentioned above, big portions can make one feel drowsy after eating.
A big meal means the body has a lot of digestion work to do. With this comes that inevitable heavy and lethargic feeling one gets after eating a meal.
Therefore ensure that lunchtime portion sizes are kept down. Another precaution one can take is to keep an eye on fat intake at lunchtime.
Why? Because fats are particularly energy-consuming for the body to process. This means that too much of them can make cause one’s energy levels to plummet.
Fit in Morning Movement
Another way to get ahead of the midday slump is to engage in exercise first thing in the morning. It doesn’t have to be hard exercise, but enough to signal to the body that it’s “sun’s out, guns out” time.
Brisk walks are a great option, as well as runs, a few laps in the pool, or some quick weights.
The reason why movement in the morning is important is it fires up one’s metabolism, energizing both the brain and body. Research shows that morning exercise boosts focus throughout the day, as well as decision-making powers.
Besides this, physical exercise also increases one metabolism. As most of us know, a high metabolism equals more physical energy. Thanks to this, exercising before work can result in better physical and mental energy levels throughout the day.
A final benefit of morning exercise is that it can help with lunchtime portion control. Why? Because exercise is proven to reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin. If one exercises in the morning, this means that by lunchtime ghrelin levels are still stable, meaning that super-size portion at lunch won’t look nearly as irresistible.
Try Deep Breathing
If energy levels are sagging and one can’t get motivated, a trick to try that a lot of business moguls swear by is deep breathing.
One example is Steve Jobs. He employed the strategy of deep breathing and meditation stints at work when he found his focus flagging.
Not only did this reportedly boost his focus and allow him to build Apple into what it is today, but it also kept his brain young. Analysis has shown that when Jobs died at the age of 57, his brain was the equivalent of a 27-year-old’s.
To mimic Jobs, find a quiet space, sit comfortably, and breathe deeply. By focussing on the sound of one’s breath, it is possible to quiet the mind and experience the focus-boosting benefits of meditation.
If taking time out to meditate isn’t possible, a few deep breaths at one’s desk is another good alternative. Deep breathing enhances oxygen uptake which in turn is energizing and good for mental focus. It is also centering and stress-relieving.
Deep breathing can be done when one feels the midday slump coming on, or when stress rears its head. Not everyone has the time or the freedom to find a place to mediate in the workplace. However, anyone can take deep, energizing breaths while busy working.
Besides deep breathing, another how-to-stay-energized hack is to get up and walk around.
Prolonged periods of sitting can make one tired and sluggish. It signals to the body that one is in a state of rest and can result in sleepiness. It also causes one’s metabolism and circulation to slow.
A great way to combat this is to simply get up and walk around.
Can’t get motivated? Get up, and take a walk, even if it is just to get some water, or to grab a breath of fresh air outside for a moment.
Moving around will get one’s blood flowing, increase oxygen to the brain, and loosen stiff muscles. It’s like having a mental and physical refresh button for a slow page.
If one is trying to focus on a task, it can be easy to forget this hack. If this is the case, try setting a timer that will send an alert every 45 minutes to get up and move around.
Speaking of getting water, this an absolutely essential tip on how to beat the midday slump.
According to research, 80% of working Americans say they don’t drink enough water, and 75% have been found to be chronically dehydrated.
As even mild dehydration comes with a boatload of risks, these statistics have serious implications. Dehydration can lead to toxicity, headaches, joint issues, lethargy, constipation, bad breath, skin issues, frequent viral infections, and more.
What’s more, not getting enough water can also play havoc with one’s concentration and mental focus. Studies show that as little as 1% dehydration can affect attention, memory, and mood.
The reason for this is that brain tissue fluid decreases when the body enters a state of dehydration. With a decrease in brain fluid, the brain literally shrinks, and cell function becomes temporarily impaired.
This is one reason why getting adequate hydration is imperative for mental focus and motivation. Another reason is that drinking water can also improve one’s physical energy levels as well.
As mentioned above, dehydration can lead to constipation and digestive issues, as well as toxicity in the body. Some of the effects of toxicity are fatigue, low energy, sluggishness, and brain fog.
Digestive issues can further exacerbate this, as the body has to work harder to break down and assimilate food. This makes after-lunch energy slumps all the more likely.
Address Sleep Quality
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that getting a bad night’s sleep can lead to tiredness during the day.
If one does not get the required number hours of sleep a night, or if sleep is disrupted, this can drastically impact performance during the day. Not only can it make one feel sleepy, but it also decreases cognitive function and reaction speed. Both short- and long-term memory is affected as well as decision-making capabilities and focus.
In short, not getting enough sleep is a downright productivity killer. When it comes to banishing the midday slump, sleep deprivation is not going to be doing anyone a favor!
To prevent sleep deprivation from sabotaging the workday (and especially the period between 2-3 pm) it is essential to get adequate sleep.
This, however, can be easier said than done. Here are some tips for getting enough better sleep in.
Tips for Better Sleep
To start, set a bedtime. This needs to be 8-9 hours away from one’s rising time. What’s more, there should also be a window period of roughly 30 minutes for falling asleep.
If falling asleep is a problem, ensure that all devices are set to night mode, or install blue-blocking features. Additionally, try dimming the lights 1-2 hours before bedtime and avoid screens during this period as well.
If none of this is working, it might also be worth leveraging supplements to help with one’s sleep pattern. Research has shown that taking magnesium before bed can improve sleep quality, especially if one is deficient. Magnesium deficiencies have been linked to a disruption in sleep-wake rhythms and energy production within the body.
Taking magnesium therefore can not only improve one’s sleep cycle but ramp up the body’s ability to produce energy throughout the day.
Research has shown that up to 75% of people are deficient in magnesium, making this a promising supplement to try.
Besides magnesium, those who suffer from poor sleep can also look into supplementing with melatonin, vitamin D, iron, vitamin E, Vitamin B12, calcium, theanine, and probiotic products.
Try Energy Boosters
Besides boosting sleep, hydrating, and make smart meal choices, another area to experiment in is energy boosters.
Some of these can be taken as a general preventative measure against that dreaded midday slump, and others can be used as an in-the-moment weapon when lethargy hits.
To start with, certain supplements such as L-arginine pills and B vitamins are renowned for enhancing energy and performance. Adaptogenic ashwagandha is another popular herbal supplement for boosting energy levels.
Things like CoQ10 tablets, iron, and creatine are further supplements one can try.
These supplements will likely take some time to kick in, so don’t expect to pop a pill of iron and be beasting away within minutes.
For instant fixes like this, one will need to look into stimulants such as caffeine or kratom.
Quick-Fix Energy Boosters
A long-standing staple in the office, caffeine can definitely get a productivity-inducing buzz going.
However, for many people, by midday, caffeine is starting to lose its power, and having one more cup is neither all the helpful nor all that healthy. While caffeine can give a much-needed energy boost, drinking too much of it can actually cause lethargy and brain fog.
As a rule of thumb, try to stick to 400mg or less of caffeine a day. This is the equivalent of roughly four cups of coffee or two energy drinks.
Another reason why coffee is not always ideal for beating the midday slump is that drinking coffee at 2-3 pm can also have sleep-disrupting effects. This means that not only might it be less than effective if it’s the eighth cup—but it might also create a vicious cycle of midday slumping.
So what else is there that could be the kryptonite of slump time? A number of things, one of which is kratom powder.
Kratom is a botanical extract from a member of the coffee family. However, it does not contain caffeine. Mildly psychotropic, some people use it in higher doses for combatting pain, opiate withdrawal symptoms, depression, anxiety, and more.
However, the traditional use of kratom in the East is as an energy and performance booster, similar to the role of coffee in the West.
One of the reasons why kratom supplements can act as an ideal anti-slump time weapon is that the effects fully kick in roughly an hour after taking it. This means that one can use it to preempt an after-lunch slump without having to take it so late in the day that it might disrupt sleep.
Be aware however that kratom effects vary depending on the dosage. Higher dosages are associate with pain relief and can make one tired. Low dosages are typically used for energy enhancement.
Can’t Get Motivated? Try These Hacks
When one can’t get motivated day after day, between the hours of 2 pm to anything up to 4 pm, this can have a big impact on productivity. Can’t afford to spend those hours feeling like a walking sleeping pill commercial?
Instead, try out these hacks and stop letting the midday slump derail things.
For those that want to take a look at supplementing with kratom, Etanicals is a trusted source of high-quality kratom extracts. They stock a range of strains, including some of the rarer varietals, such as Gold Maeng Da Kratom.
Take a look at their shop here.
For more information on how to increase energy and performance in all areas of life, explore the rest of the blog.