Midday Pick-Me-Up

You’ve likely experienced the dreaded afternoon slump. “Somewhere between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., the body has a slight dip in its core temperature, like it does when you’re going to sleep at night,” says sleep expert Michael Breus, Ph.D. “This signals the brain to release melatonin, which key-starts the engine for sleep.” How can you get that midday boost?

Power up on protein

Along with your body’s drop in temperature, what you had for lunch can also play a role in your energy dip. “Many people don’t realize that your blood sugar actually drops dramatically in the afternoon,” says integrative health expert Tasneem Bhatia, M.D. So while it may feel like your pasta lunch gave you a temporary boost, carbs and refined sugar stimulate the body to produce sugar-lowering insulin, making you feel even more sluggish later. Instead, include a protein in your lunch, like chicken or quinoa. Already mid-slump? Grab a small protein-packed snack, like a handful of nuts.

Get moving

“Sometimes it’s electronic fatigue combined with concentrating all day [that causes slug- gishness], and just going outside and getting some fresh air can help,” says Bhatia. Take a 15-minute walk, or even just go up and down the stairs a few times. If that doesn’t help, Bahtia recommends a cup of green tea for a low dose of caffeine, or aromatherapy: a quick whiff of stimulating herbs like peppermint or rosemary can sometimes do the trick.

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