The mid-morning energy slump is not just real — it’s a pervasive problem in America. As the data reveals, Americans are tired. Per the numbers, 54% of Americans get just six hours of sleep each night and are tired four or more days of the week. Just 27% manage to get a full eight hours of slumber most nights, but even those individuals report feeling tired or fatigued four or more days of the week.
If you, like many of your fellow Americans, deal with mid-day — or, worse yet, mid-morning — fatigue regularly, you may try to use all the traditional tricks in the book to overcome it. These include downing coffee, loading up on sugar and possibly splashing your face with cold water. While these tricks may work, to an extent, what you really need to do is target the source of your fatigue and create a new morning routine that includes steps to overcome it. Below are a few tricks designed to overcome common sources of fatigue.
Regardless of the reason for your fatigue — whether it be lack of sleep, stress or work overload — exercising first thing in the morning is one of the best things you can do to overcome it. Research shows that even just a quick workout can boost your mood and energy levels and improve cognition. So to prevent the mid-morning slump, engage in a quick exercise first thing in the morning to maximize blood flow. Even something as simple as 30 seconds of jumping jacks or five to 10 burpees can help you instantly feel more alert.
If you feel mid-morning fatigue creeping in, get out of your chair and get moving. Do a few squats, take a quick lap around the office or do a few chair press-ups to reenergize yourself.
Eat a Protein-Packed Breakfast
Though lack of both time and motivation may propel your habit of subsisting on just coffee until lunchtime, this habit may be the culprit of your all-day fatigue. Studies show that enjoying a good breakfast can boost both your energy levels and brain power. Moreover, if you eat a protein-packed breakfast, you are less likely to indulge in energy-draining sugary foods later on in the day.
Exercise Your Creativity
Focusing on the same routine tasks day in and day out can be a real drain on your energy levels and motivation. To restore both, take a break from the mundane and do something creative that you enjoy, such as drawing, painting or knitting. Whatever the hobby, doing something you enjoy for just 10 to 20 minutes each day can help boost your productivity levels when you turn back to the task at hand.
Reach for Healthy Snacks
Many people attempt to satisfy that mid-afternoon sugar craving with, well, sugar. However, doing so can lead to a blood sugar crash and, therefore, early-onset fatigue. To keep your energy levels (and your mood) up until bedtime, reach for healthy snacks instead. The best combination for sustained energy levels involves a mix of protein and carbs, such as yogurt, nuts, fruit, eggs, whole-grain crackers and hummus.
Make Your Evenings a Time for Relaxation
If you are on the go until bedtime, it’s no wonder you’re fatigued most days — your brain never has a chance to rest. Ideally, you will use your evenings — or, at least, the two to three hours before bedtime — to mellow out so that your brain can unwind. When the brain is relaxed, the body enjoys a better and more restful night’s sleep.
The mid-morning energy slump is a real problem, for society as a whole and for individuals. If you’re tired of being tired, take steps to combat fatigue, beginning with those outlined above.