Tips for Staying Alert All Day and Avoiding Afternoon Slump


There are times when we need to be on our “A-game,” which means staying alert and sharp throughout the day. Here are some tips for enhancing your energy and avoiding the dreaded afternoon energy slump.

What is the afternoon energy slump?

Before we address the topic of staying alert, let’s take a moment to look at the so-called “afternoon energy slump” to understand what it is to better overcome this mid-day fatigue.

First of all, a drop in energy in the afternoon is a normal response to your circadian rhythm, GoodRx reports. At the same time, it’s not something you want to ignore. An afternoon slump can cause you to lose focus, have mood swings or even induce cravings.

Afternoon slump is a signal

This afternoon sleep is also your body’s way of signaling several things: (A) You’re not getting enough sleep. (B) You’re suffering from excess stress. (C) You’re dehydrated. (D) You’re eating poorly.

There are a few things you can do to combat this fatigue.

One way is to give your body some rest by taking a nap. However, this article aims to maintain alertness throughout the day. For that goal, one way to boost your energy is to exercise.

How to stay alert all-day

Here are some tips for actions you can take to boost your alertness, as well as the right fuel to give your body.

  1. Eat energy-producing foods

Many people reach for an energy drink, caffeine or sugar when they feel low on energy. But unfortunately, those are short-lived fixes that are often followed by an inevitable crash.

Instead, consume foods that promote stable energy and blood sugar levels. Dietitian Keri Gans recommends eating the following to feel your body with energy-producing foods: 100% whole grains, fruits, legumes, and vegetables.

  1. Exercise regularly

Exercise has multiple benefits for your body, which includes the promotion of blood flow, getting oxygen and nutrients to your brain, and producing important hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine which will impact your alertness, mood, attention, and motivation. On the flip side, a lack of activity can negatively impact brain health, as a 2018 study demonstrated.

  1. Activate your senses

Use specific techniques to activate your five senses, resulting in an overall boost of alertness. There are particular steps you can take throughout the day to make your senses work, keeping you alert.

For example, you activate your sense of smell. A study has shown that using a diffuser and essential oils, such as spearmint or rosemary, has created a boost in focus, learning, and memory, MBG health reports.

Other techniques involve using bright light or cool lighting, such as blue light. These work by reinforcing your body’s natural circadian rhythm to make you feel more alert when you should be. And don’t forget sounds, such as listening to music, which can also have a positive effect.