Published on November 22, 2021

Hitting the Mid-Day Slump: How to Boost Energy Without Caffeine

AA man sleeping at computerImagine this, after a productive morning and healthy lunch, you feel ready to take on your lengthy to-do list during the afternoon, until out of nowhere you are hit by the mid-day slump right around 3 p.m. All of your energy has disappeared, and you want nothing more than to lay your head down and take a nap right on your desk! To prevent potential embarrassment from drooling on your keyboard, you would likely reach for a caffeinated soda or cup of coffee. Before slipping into that habit, try these ideas to boost your energy:

  1. Find something to laugh at. A study published by the National Library of Medicine found that genuine laughter can increase heart rate and energy.
  2. Go for a walk. A 10- or 15-minute walk or other short interval activity like going up and down the stairs produce more energy than a cup of coffee. Even simply stepping away from your workspace can help you feel less drowsy.
  3. Get a workout in. While not everyone can control their schedule to include a mid-day workout, studies show that exercising during the workday can not only boost energy but also improve productivity.
  4. Chew gum. A series of studies of found that chewing gum at a relaxed and natural pace can enhance alertness, sustain attention, and increase energy expenditure.
  5. Listen to music. Cranking up your favorite tunes, especially if they are upbeat and fun, can boost alertness and attention by increasing dopamine in the body.
  6. Take a break. While it may seem the most productive to push through all your work before taking a break, that is not the case. Experts believe working in 90-minute intervals to be the most productive as the breaks provide time for your brain to rest and recharge.
  7. Take a power nap. If you are working from home or have the luxury of nap pods in the office, take a 10-to-30-minute power nap to combat drowsiness and improve cognitive performance.
  8. Meditate. Short mindfulness exercises can reduce the stress which often leads to being so tired in the afternoon.
  9. Smell peppermint or citrus oils. Such scents can provide a little boost! Try sniffing or rubbing a small amount into your temples.
  10. Eat a healthy breakfast/lunch and drink water throughout the day. To prevent the mid-day slump altogether, nourish your body properly to ward off fatigue as even a 1.5% loss in normal water volume can cause drowsiness and  meals high in carbs can lead to a spike in blood sugar and subsequent loss of energy later in the day. 

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.