Easy Afternoon Energizers


By: , – By Abigail L. Cuffey, of Woman's Day
  :  17 comments   :  16,185 Views

Do you get that afternoon slump even on plenty of sleep? It’s normal. “Natural circadian rhythms cause your core temperature to drop between 1 and 3 o’clock, making your brain think it’s bedtime,” says Michael Breus, PhD, author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan. Stay alert by:

1. Taking A Nap/Caffeine Break Combo

If you’re home during the day or have an office door you can close, quickly drink a cup of cool coffee or black tea, then take a 20-minute nap. (Set a timer on your phone or computer so you don’t oversleep.) After 20 minutes, the caffeine should start kicking in and you will have gotten some rest while waiting, says Dr. Breus.

2. Doing Jumping Jacks

Vigorous exercise (the kind that really boosts your heart rate quickly) is the next best thing to a nap in terms of making you feel refreshed, says Ann Romaker, MD, medical director of St. Luke’s Sleep Disorder Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Even short bursts of activity can increase levels of adrenalin and cortisol, two body chemicals that give a shot of energy to your system.

3. Strolling In The Sunshine

Natural light blocks melatonin, a chemical your body produces to induce drowsiness, so stave off the sleepies by getting out and walking around the block on the sunny side of the street. Bonus: Getting your muscles moving will increase blood flow to the brain and help you wake up, says Kathy Gromer, MD, director of the Minnesota Sleep Institute.

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Have you tried any of these afternoon energizers? What's your favorite way to get out of an afternoon slump?

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    the stroll idea sounds like a winner. - 7/9/2012   7:48:21 AM
  • 16
    I take lots of strolls when the boss isn't around! Maybe I'll try doing jumping jacks while she's there - I'd like to see her reaction! Haha! :) - 1/17/2012   3:57:47 PM
  • 15
    I can't really do any of these at work, but I'll try to find a closet or empty office and do jumping jacks? - 11/28/2011   1:19:04 PM
  • 14
    I have never been good at taking naps during the day. However, the jumping jacks and walk in the sunshine are doable for me:) - 11/28/2011   10:36:36 AM
    I also cannot take a nap because it takes me too long to fall asleep and I would feel worse after 20 minutes then I did before I started. I have tried taking a walk in the sun. It helps not only to give me a little energy boost, but also to warm me up...my office is always freezing. - 10/7/2011   3:55:13 PM
  • 12
    I have done the sun one a couple of times. Wish I could nap but it takes me more than 20 minutes to fall asleep and once I'm asleep I almost feel worse when I wake up plus it's hard to wake up after only 20 minutes. So that one probably isn't for me currently. - 10/4/2011   10:28:11 AM
  • 11
    I always take a nap in the afternoon, if I can. When we were children in order to go to a picnic or event at night, my mother always made me and my brother take a nap so we weren't tired while my parents visited with friends. It was better than staying at home with a babysitter and having to go to bed at 8 PM. - 10/4/2011   9:58:55 AM
  • 10
    Oooo - thanks for the reminder - now that the weather is better I need to take that afternoon break and walk around outside!
    - 10/4/2011   7:05:41 AM
  • 9
    I like to do jumping jacks or take a walk in the sunshine. - 10/3/2011   8:55:42 PM
  • 8
    I like to go for a walk. Though I have recently purchased a rebounder and I am lucky enough that I can close my door and jump on it. I keep thinking that would be a good thing to do throughout the day - jump for 1 minute every hour or so. - 10/3/2011   4:24:01 PM
  • 7
    I go to the gym after work it helps alot with stress. Great Blog thank you for sharing - 10/3/2011   2:37:17 PM
    Never would have thought to take a nap right after drinking coffee! But it makes sense that it takes 20 minutes to kick in. - 10/3/2011   1:43:14 PM
  • 5
    I normally go to the gym around this time and it definitely wakes me up! - 10/3/2011   12:36:30 PM
  • 4
    I work in a church office - so I do a couple of laps inside the church including the stairs - a good eye-opener!
    barb - 10/3/2011   9:54:53 AM
  • CLAYTON913
    I'm definitely going to try the jumping jacks. Great idea.
    - 10/3/2011   9:37:08 AM
  • 2
    I'm gonna try the jumping jacks this week
    - 10/3/2011   8:54:52 AM
    Can't nap on the job but the jumping jacks is a idea I may try.
    - 10/3/2011   7:39:19 AM

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