Energy slumps: Perk up your afternoons
Do you suffer from a post-lunch energy dip? Learn how to keep your batteries charged all day
Research shows that the most common time for energy slumps is 2.16pm. This is when many people hit a brick wall – and wish they could hit a pillow. and the body's circadian rhythm hitting a natural low are the culprits. But you can take action.
Don't fight it
"Short naps of five to 15 minutes are very effective at promoting energy renewal and increasing cognitive function," says Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep and energy coach at Capio Nightingale Hospital, London. Studies show grabbing 40 winks boosts memory too. You don't have to nod off – in fact, you want to avoid deep sleep. "Just sit or lie comfortably in a well-ventilated room, relaxing muscles and breathing deeply from the stomach. You'll approach a near sleep state without falling asleep and will probably remain conscious of your surroundings," says Dr Ramlakhan. If you're afraid to power-nap because it leaves you groggy, fear not. This is so common that it has a name – "sleep inertia", the inability to shrug off sleep. The trick is not to cat-nap for more than 15 to 20 minutes, because the most you'll get is light sleep, which is easy to get out of. Or sleep longer, say about 60 minutes, to get out of deep sleep and into REM.