No matter how many cups of coffee folks had all day, there’s bound to be that moment in the afternoon where they start to feel their eyes dropping and their head ready to hit the desk. Most workers tend to feel tired usually in the 2:30 to 3 pm range, and there’s good reason for it.
Basically, a human’s natural sleep-wake cycle is likely to make them feel the need for an nap mid-afternoon. A person’s sleep-wake cycle is driven by two things, their circadian rhythm, or their body’s internal clock, and the sleep-wake homeostasis, which is the biochemical system that makes the body want to sleep based on the amount of elapsed time since it last slept. It’s the ladder that's likely prompting people to want to nod off at work mid-afternoon.
So what can you do? Sure, a lot of people may reach for another cup of coffee, but there are really some better options to give you the energy you need to complete your day. They include:
- Get proper sleep – Experts recommend getting at least seven hours of sleep a night, something 40% of Americans don’t do. But if you get that recommended sleep, you’re more likely to be able to fight off that mid-day need for a nap.
- Take a walk or stretch – Sitting all day isn’t good for the body, so getting a little cardio in can help wake you up. Either take a 10 to 15 minute walk at lunch, or take five minute stretch break a few times a day.
- Eat foods that boost your energy – Instead of that cup of coffee, try eating a lunch that’s well-balanced, plus, high protein snacks like almonds or hard-boiled eggs can give you that midday boost you’ll need.
- Drink water – Keeping yourself hydrated will help you stay more alert, so grab a tall glass of water instead of that coffee. And even if you think you’ve had a lot of water, drink more.