Ebony Nash - Bayleaf Wellness Intern - Naturopath BHSc (Nat)
Do you ever start your morning full of energy and motivation then suddenly 3 o’clock comes around and you find yourself reaching for something sweet or perhaps another coffee to see you through? Unfortunately, the mid-afternoon slump is no stranger to some. I thought it would be helpful to share some of my favourite tips to help you avoid that pesky slump.
1. Maintain a healthy sleep routine.
Everyone know the importance of sleep; but just how much do we need, how important is it and what is the meaning of a ‘healthy’ sleep? The consensus surrounding how much sleep is needed states that adults require 7-9 hours per night to promote optimal health. Not only does lack of sleep reduce daytime performance and promote sleepiness but it has also been linked to more sinister diseases such as cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and immunological dysfunction to name a few. Lastly, when thinking about what a healthy sleep means make sure you take into consideration the duration of your sleep (aim for a minimum of 7 hours per night), the quality of your sleep (that is the absence of frequent awakenings), maintaining a consistent bedtime (follow a nightly routine) and seeking help if you need to get to the cause of your poor sleep (book in with a Nutritionist or Naturopath here at Bayleaf Wellness for assistance).
2. Eating nutritious meals and snacks
Sometimes we are so caught up with work or simply just too busy to stop for a meal or snack. I get it. However, this usually leads us to reach for something sweet or another shot of coffee come mid-afternoon when we hit that slump. Before you skip another meal let me educate you on the role nutrition plays in stabilising energy levels. Our energy levels depend largely on what is happening with your blood sugar levels which can easily become dysregulated with inadequate nutrition. When we go long periods without eating our blood sugar levels begin to drop which usually prompts us to reach for something sweet or that next caffeine hit.
If you are a victim of the mid-afternoon slump, I suggest including complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, and protein with breakfast and lunch to stabilise your blood sugar levels and prevent your energy levels from dropping.
Brown rice, rolled oats, quinoa, pearled barely, wholemeal bread, potatoes with skin on, lentils and beans.
Salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, avocado, nuts and seeds, olive oil.
Greek yogurt, chicken, fish (as mentioned above), eggs, tofu, lentils and beans, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds.
Read one of our previous blogs by our Wellbeing Coach, Michaela titled, ‘How to make a healthy breakfast.’ For some yummy ideas to get you started.
3. Consuming an adequate water intake
Whether you have been to the gym, completing daily errands or sitting at a desk job, your body still needs water! An inadequate water intake could be causing you to become mildly dehydrated and may be the cause of your mid-afternoon slump and low energy levels. Always aim to consume at least 2 litres of water throughout the day – I like to write down times on a large drink bottle and aim to consume the amount before that time comes around. A little tip to ensure that you are well hydrated is to check the colour of your urine. If it’s light in colour or clear you’re well hydrated! If it’s dark yellow, you need to drink more water.
4. Take a quick break to go for a walk or stretch.
Have you ever had a friend, or a co-worker say to you ‘go for a 5-minute walk or stretch’ after a long day of sitting at your desk and your reply is ‘how is that going to help?’ Don’t worry, like many of us, I’m guilty of this too. It is no surprise that exercise makes us feel rejuvenated and reenergised but how could a 5-minute walk or stretch do the same? Well, when we move our bodies in such a way, we are stimulating the circulatory system and the boost in blood circulation helps to deliver much needed oxygen and nutrients to tissues within the body. Try it next time that mid-afternoon slump hits!
Yours in Health and Happiness,