It’s 3pm. You can feel your head getting drowsy as your eyes struggle to stay awake. You know you’ve just got to get through the next few hours before the workday wraps up, but the only thing you want right now is take a nap.

Instead, you reach for a chocolate bar or make yourself another coffee to give your power levels an afternoon boost. But, 30-minutes later you find yourself right back where you were before–yawning, unfocused and unmotivated.

Turn that 3pm decline into an energised and focused afternoon with these tips.

What causes the afternoon slump?

Experts suggest the main reason is believed to be linked to our circadian rhythms, which are controlled by our built-in body block, encouraging us to want to nap in the afternoon.

Our circadian rhythms can affect many of our bodily functions such as energy, appetite and metabolism, as well as sleeping patterns.

Over a 24-hour period it’s typical to see our alertness and energy levels at their lowest between 1-3pm. In addition to this, our energy may drop around 3pm due to a lack of sleep, our levels of hydration or what we ate for lunch.

4 ways to avoid the 3pm slump

  1. One of the best ways to avoid the afternoon energy slump is to fuel your body at lunchtime with a nourishing, nutritious meal. Aim for a lightweight lunch filled with protein, healthy carbohydrate and plenty of fresh vegetable.
  2. Keep an eye on your water intake during the day and aim for a minimum of 8 glasses sipped slowly. Staying hydrated is essential to maintaining energy levels, so switch that 3pm coffee for a water or freshly squeezed vegetable juice.
  3. If these things aren’t helping, one of the most effective things you can do is to get a short burst of exercise. Get outside for fresh and movement—just a 10-minute walk around the block. This will improve your circulation and breathe fresh oxygen into a tired brain.
  4. Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep to ensure you’re waking up refreshed every morning. Deep replenishing sleep can work wonders and will keep you feeling focused and alert throughout the day.