There’s always coffee (frequent small shots work better than gulping a large latte to keep you charged), but here are some other quick fixes for a temporary slump:
For best results, nod off for 20 minutes between 1pm and 3pm in the afternoon. Studies by, among others, Dr Sara Mednick, co-author of Take A Nap! Change Your Life (Workman Publishing Company), and researcher at the University of California, Riverside in the US, have found that a short nap that ends before you drop into deep sleep is the most refreshing and makes you most productive afterwards.
There’s nothing like putting on your trainers and heading out for a brisk walk when you’re tired. That’s right – nothing like it. Many studies have confirmed that walking, jogging or lifting a few weights can counteract fatigue on the spot. Getting rid of it in the long term requires a daily dose of movement.
You know that going outside improves your mood; a dose of sun may also ramp up alertness and cognitive agility, a study by the University of Alabama in the US has confirmed.
Maybe put this one in the ‘can’t hurt, might help’ category: research has shown that the act of chewing stimulates blood flow to the brain and also increases brain activity. In one Japanese study, participants who chewed gum twice a day for two weeks reported less mental fatigue than non-chewers, and were not as anxious or depressed.
If you often experience a slump in the afternoon, you could be suffering from insulin resistance. Fatigue is only part of the problem: insulin resistance also puts sufferers on the road to full-blown type-2 diabetes. If you’re overweight or have a family history of insulin problems, ask your doctor about being tested for prediabetes.