The hours from 1-4 pm in anyone's work life is filled with sluggishness that we try to keep away from. Some of us even feel guilty for these daytime slumps because our productivity falls during this time. This usually results in us trying a number of "remedies". We banish rice from office lunches or we banish lunch itself. Additionally, we increase our consumption of drinks like tea and coffee to perhaps unhealthy levels in a bid to stay awake. But before you beat yourself up too much over this, please remember that these slumps are perfectly normal.
It happens to the best of us Afternoon lethargy is a natural physiological reaction. Our body's circadian rhythms naturally experience sleepiness or reduced alertness at this time. After all, despite what our packed urban life schedules might indicate, we are not designed to be active 24/7. Our modern day work culture may believe in that but there's a reason why so many cultures enjoy and religiously enforce the beloved siesta time.
However, sometimes… Some people experience more midday sleepiness than others. While part of it might be natural, a big part of it could be due various unhealthy habits. These include -
- Having irregular sleeping hours everyday
- Sleeping too little on the whole
- Poor food and drink habits
Since office siestas don't work Many traditional offices may not look very kindly at afternoon naps at work. Which is why, we have some simple suggestions on how you can beat the mid-day blues.
Get off your desk Step out if you can. If your office has a garden or green spaces nearby, try taking a quick short walk to shake off the lethargy and recoup some of your energy. Eat healthy
If this time makes you want to munch on snacks, opt for healthy options like dry fruits and nuts. Also, limit your intake of carbs during lunch instead of skipping it altogether. Drink healthy
While drinks like caffeine can help you stay awake, you should be careful not to overdo it. This is because the effects of excessive caffeine consumption during the day adds up and leads to late nights and then your cycle of sleeplessness continues. You should also make sure that you're drinking enough water because dehydration causes fatigue.
If you feel the need to reach for sugary, carbonated beverages at this time, we'd say you shouldn't. These drinks can give you a temporary 'high' from sugar. Try opting for healthy energy drinks in such times. They have just the right amount of glucose you need for energy to keep you going longer. A drink like Prolyte will also help restore electrolytes and keep dehydration at bay. You can have it at any time of the day when you're feeling low or down.
It's a simple fix really
You don't have to adopt any extreme measures like - disappear from work for a nap or drink 8 cups of coffee. You need a few simple fixes. To recap some of these:
- Have a consistent sleep schedule (including on weekends) - Eat healthy and plan your meals to restrict carbs during lunch time - Exercise regularly - Even at work, you should get up often and move around as much as possible - Drink lots of water
If you have sleep disorders, stress or any other type of disorder leading to disturbed sleep, consult a doctor immediately.
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