The Afternoon Slump: how to Stop Feeling Tired
We all know what the afternoon slump is like… You’ve worked all morning and had a lunch break, a little while later you feel your energy levels dropping. Many women can relate to this issue and are feeling a decrease in energy some time during the afternoon, followed by a struggle through those final hours until it’s time to go home.
Why does this occur with so many women? There are several causes that contribute to women specifically, feeling fatigued during the day. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep their energy levels up and stop feeling tired.
The afternoon slump really exists
The afternoon slump is real and there are two main causes. Firstly, a lot of people eat too many carbohydrates for lunch (bread or pasta). This results in a decrease of energy. When eating carbohydrates the level of blood sugar rises heavily. What goes up, must also come down and what follows is a collapse in blood sugar levels.
A second cause is that cortisone, women’s’ stress hormone, naturally decreases as the body unwinds for the day, which contributes to a lower energy level. Cortisol spikes in the morning and weakens as the day progresses.
Women generally feel fatigue faster
Women are more sensitive to energy crashes because of their biology. This is due to the fact that women are prone to anaemia (drop in red blood cells), an energy-draining condition. Menstruating women lose more iron (a nutrient needed to make red blood cells) and the decrease in red blood cells will cause fatigue.
In addition to that, a major cause of fatigue is hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormones) which is more common with women. Both these conditions can cause unexplained tiredness and can’t be improved with more sleep.
Another classic cause of daytime fatigue is insomnia. Many women also report to suffer from it.
Tips for fighting daytime fatigue
While women are more inclined to suffer from the afternoon slump, there are several things you can do to fight fatigue.
Start by drinking plenty of water to keep well hydrated throughout the day (also a good tip for losing weight as well!) and avoid eating a lot of carbohydrates. You can rather opt for a protein-rich lunch. It will help to keep the sugar level in your blood balanced and should prevent that afternoon energy crash.
Here are several other things you can do to avoid the afternoon slump:
Avoid drinking coffee
A normal reaction when feeling tired, especially at work, might be to drink coffee. Coffee however, is the natural enemy of fatigue. The caffeine can stick around in your system and can prevent you from falling asleep at night.
Right after eating sugar you might feel great and have the impression of having an energy boost, but an energy crash always follows shortly after...
On top of that snacks with too much sugar are also unhealthy, best to avoid them.
Consume the right foods
There are several foods you can eat to help resist fatigue as advised by nutritionists: bananas, oats, nuts, lentils, beans…
When eating snacks at work, choose something with plenty of proteins like nuts.
If your energy levels consistently drop in the afternoon, you should try to move more. In fact, move around as much as you can, it’s proven that it will give the body more energy.
After lunch go outside and have a short walk, walk over to your colleague to ask a question instead of calling them from your desk etc...
There are many supplements you can try to help you resist daytime fatigue.
Women in particular however, should be conscious of their iodine and iron levels. Iodine and iron supplements don’t necessarily increase your energy level, but having a shortage of them can cause fatigue.
You can also choose alternative supplements like creatine and carnitine which are great to combat fatigue. Especially Aceteyl-L-Carnitine, which will go straight to your fats, burn them and transform them into energy.