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Why It Feels Like You Lose The Will To Live Between 3-5 PM Every Day

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woman stressed and struggling to focus at work

If you have noticed that your energy levels seem to dip excessively between 3 and 5 p.m., you’re not alone.

Instead of pouring yourself another cup of coffee to combat the mid-afternoon slump, it might be time to face the sleepy problem at the source.

If you’re frequently experiencing an afternoon crash, it’s because of your body’s biological clock. 

An X user, who goes by bug girl, began a thread addressing the relatable problem, and other users offered some wise tips and experiences.

RELATED: Doing 5 Simple Things After 7 PM Can Drastically Improve Your Life

The reason for this dip in energy is your body’s natural clock, also known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm is influenced by a variety of factors, most notably light and dark, which let our body know whether it's time to wake up or wind down on an instinctual level. It also explains why we feel so tired during certain times of the day. 

Wakefulness and sleepiness vary for everyone, so it’s important to understand your circadian rhythm so you can learn how to overcome afternoon fatigue.

Here are 8 ways you can combat that 3 p.m. slump:

1. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet

Avoid skipping meals and prioritize mindful eating. Consider eating foods rich in protein and nutrients. You’ll notice a spark in creativity and focus when you drink protein shakes and smoothies and take vitamin supplements.

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No one can function properly if they’re not eating proper meals throughout the day.

2. Drink water

The key to many of our problems— staying hydrated!

If that migraine won’t let up or you can’t shake a feeling of dizziness, it can likely be due to dehydration.

According to Mayo Clinic, men should be drinking around 15 cups of water a day, and women should drink 11.

Especially if you are drinking caffeinated beverages frequently, certain drinks, namely alcohol, can cause dehydration, so even if you’re consuming other liquids during the day, remember to drink your water, too. And if plain water bores you, add fresh fruit for a tasty treat.

3. Incorporate physical activity

While working out can naturally improve your strength and boost endurance, any type of physical movement can be beneficial for your body and your mind.

   

   

Sitting in one place for too long can stiffen your body and hinder your concentration.  

Get into the habit of moving your body regularly, whether it’s going for walks, stretching, or changing scenery. It will keep your blood flowing and help you stay energetic and motivated.

4. Go outside to watch the sunrise or sunset

There’s a reason why witnessing the sun rise and fall leaves you with a glimmer of hope and elation.

   

   

The amount of sunlight you get actually has a huge impact on your circadian rhythm, according to nutritionist, Debbie Williams, on TikTok. Not getting enough natural light (those fluorescent office lights do not count) during the day can be a reason behind your dip in energy.

That’s why it’s important to reset your circadian cycle, and a great way to do this is by immersing yourself in the natural lighting of a sunrise or sunset. 

RELATED: 11 Tiny Habits Of The Most Motivated People On Earth

5. Prioritize sleep

Rest is much more significant than many people realize when it comes to regulating our circadian rhythm. Without it, we are pushing ourselves with little to no fuel.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night, and if you’re struggling with falling asleep easily at night, taking naps throughout the day can also help nourish the mind and body.  

The optimal length of naps for adults is 20-90 minutes, as the body completes a full sleep cycle in 90 minutes.

6. Consider mindfulness practices

It’s important to step away from tasks and responsibilities when the brain begins to feel overwhelmed.

Taking 5-10 minutes every few hours to practice mindfulness and sit with yourself in peace will help you reconnect to your body and detach from any lingering stress or anxiety.

   

   

According to energy coach, Clark Richardson, on TikTok, carving time for a meditation practice at least once a day is scientifically proven to reduce activity in your amygdala, the area in your brain that creates stress.

7. Listen to music

Music has the power to heal and boost confidence, so finding an uplifting playlist with some of your favorite songs will help improve your enthusiasm as the afternoon slump kicks in.

Some genres of music that have the strongest influence on focus and concentration include lo-fi, piano, and frequency music. 

8. Drink tea

Afternoon tea or high tea, is a popular custom in most of the world outside of the U.S. Often attributed to Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, she was said to have developed this routine after getting a “sinking feeling” during mid-afternoon time, and found scheduling high tea with her peers helped aid in this lack of energy.

By incorporating time for tea, light snacks, and social interactions with peers during this restless period, you’ll find it a little easier to push through afternoon fatigue.

Pay attention to your body and your needs, and incorporate healthy habits to increase productivity.

Not every day will be the same, and not everyone can maintain the perfect routine, but taking baby steps toward these habits will gradually improve your productivity and motivation, helping you beat that sleepy afternoon slump.

Especially in the digital era, remember you are a human who requires sunlight, water, and connection to stay grounded and improve mental clarity and adaptability. 

RELATED: Psychologist Reveals 4 Tiny Habits That Absolutely Kill Productivity

Francesca Duarte is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team based in Orlando, FL. She covers lifestyle, human-interest, adventure, and spirituality topics.