Feeling sleepy in the afternoon is something we all contend with from time to time. Although highly common, this sleepiness can often result in losing focus at work (not ideal!). For a quick fix, many reach for caffeine. However, its effects are short-lived and unreliable long-term.

But if not an afternoon coffee, what’s the best way to beat this afternoon slump?

Alternative ways to beat the afternoon crash

Avoid the crash by fueling your body and mind

Carbohydrate-heavy lunches can be the biggest culprit of the afternoon slump. Instead, opt for high-protein lunches and snacks to refuel and recharge for your afternoon!

Try introducing foods like greek yoghurt, nuts, chicken, tuna and hummus with vegetable sticks. These high-protein, nutrient-rich foods will help boost energy. Slower to release than high-carb meals, these foods will allow you to feel more alert for longer. 

Staying hydrated is also important. Along with good foods, ensure you get your recommended daily water intake over the day. Eating fruit is also an excellent option should you require a booster. High in natural sugars, fruit is a healthy way to get that short high your body may be craving. 

Take a break to refocus

Did you know the Medibank CEO will play his cello for 5-10 minutes when he feels his energy and focus dipping?

Taking a short break, whether it’s playing an instrument, listening to your favourite song, going for a light walk or getting fresh air, can have an incredible impact on your energy levels. 

Perhaps try a walking meeting in the afternoon? Stand instead of sitting for a spell, or take a stroll around the office between calls. Find ways to introduce movement into your days and take breaks to refocus by putting your attention elsewhere as needed. 


Proper sleep can make a world of difference

Ensuring you incorporate a healthy bedtime routine will help adjust your body clock and set you up for a more productive day. 

Some people work better by incorporating a 10-20 minute power nap into their day. Listen to your body – if you know you’re one of these individuals, explore ways to introduce this into your routine. 

Using your lunch break to find a quiet space to meditate or a nap might be the ticket to beating the afternoon crash you’ve been looking for!

For great tips on sleep hygiene – check out this article by betterhealth.vic

Crash less by planning ahead

Avoid scheduling mentally taxing tasks in the second half of the workday, when fatigue might set in (if this is something you know you struggle with).

Think about your “return on energy”. What tasks should you focus on when you have the most energy (and when that time of the day is for you) and when you have lower energy levels – what tasks would be best to focus on then?

Try scheduling the more draining, tedious tasks for when you’re at the peak of your energy, and then break up these tasks with things you love, movement, good food, and other people!

Other people can either be a drain on or a source of energy. Learn what types of people give or take your energy and plan your meeting times wisely where possible.


By incorporating the above, you can optimize your day and beat the afternoon crash! Take charge by scheduling adequate time for everything and that your routine is in working order. Everyone’s preferences differ, so make sure your day is tailored accordingly.

Feeling uninspired in your current position? Boredom and sleepiness go hand in hand. If you’re still struggling to reenergize it might be that your role isn’t challenging enough, or you’re feeling underappreciated/unseen.

Chat to us about available opportunities. Experience the difference an inspired workplace makes to your energy levels!


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