5 Best Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump (Video)

Afternoon brain boost

It’s about 2 p.m., and you’re feeling tired, sluggish and unfocused — the dreaded “afternoon slump.”

Dylan Wint, MD, a brain health expert at Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, offers five helpful ways to avoid this common afternoon feeling.

1. Don’t work through lunch. Dr. Wint says working through lunch is a no-no. Taking a break will actually give your brain a little boost. “It gives you a chance to rest your mind from that particular thing, shift it to something else for a while and then shift back,” Dr. Wint says.

2. Work on good sleep routine. A sleepless night can have you feeling tired by mid-afternoon. If this happens a lot, you may want to take a close look at your nightly routine. Experts recommend finding ways to relax before bed. You can take a long bath or drink a cup of caffeine-free tea as a nightly ritual. Find more tips on getting a good night of sleep.

3. Don’t skip meals. You might feel OK earlier in the day, but by mid-afternoon, a skipped meal tends to catch up with people. Make sure your brain gets a good balance of carbs and protein. You want to avoid a sugar crash.

4. Take a nap if you can. If you can find time in your busy day to close your eyes for about 30 minutes, it can help you feel more alert and attentive on waking.  He says, “It’s not just about taking a nap when you feel sleepy and doze off, but to say, OK at 2 p.m. each day I’ll take a half-hour nap, get back up and get to whatever I was doing. That does seem to offer some benefit.”

5. Go for a coffee or tea boost. While you shouldn’t overdo it, some caffeine can help you feel more alert and there’s evidence that it may also protect the brain, Dr. Wint says.