Easy Afternoon Energizers

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By: , – By Abigail L. Cuffey, of Woman's Day
10/3/2011 6:00 AM   :  17 comments   :  13,452 Views

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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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