5 Ways to Combat That 4 p.m. Energy Slump

I've dubbed 4 p.m. the workplace witching hour — symptoms include feeling frozen in time, lack of motivation, fatigue, body aches, hanger, and foggy brain.

Not today, though; I'm finally waving my coffee-stained white flag.

Fed up with my semi-saving grace that is the K-cup, I've called in two professionals to resuscitate us all from that dreaded midday lull.

Opt for Some Citrus

Having an orange or grapefruit on deck as your midday snack is a great way to boost energy — or keep some citrus-scented essential oils on hand, says Dr. Tania Elliott, MD, a dual board-certified internal medicine physician.

She says the smell of citrus can improve mood and give an uptick of energy.

Avoid Carb-Heavy Lunches

On yawn-heavy days, it may be best to skip the pasta lunch and opt for a hearty salad, instead.

Carbohydrates contain an amino acid called tryptophan that can induce sleepiness, reports Sleepfoundation.org — hence the strong desire to nap post-pizza.

Up Your Water Intake

According to Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, a board-certified internist and best-selling author in the fields of chronic fatigue syndrome, dehydration is a widespread cause of energy slumps in the afternoon.

"The cheapest test and treatment all rolled into one that you'll find anywhere is to simply drink 12 ounces of cold water for a boost," he explains.

Drinking cold water has a similar effect to splashing it on your face — Dr. Teitelbaum notes.

Stretch and Walk Around

Enough said — by merely stretching and going for a short walk, Dr. Teitelbaum notes that you'll get the blood flowing back to your brain and muscles, and in return, boost your energy.

Dr. Elliot adds that at least one minute of breathing exercises or standing every hour can help your body fight off fatigue. Walking around while taking calls won't hurt either.

Sneak in a Nap

If you're not getting at least seven to nine hours of sleep at night, you probably aren't functioning at your best.

In the off chance your trendy office space has napping pods, or you can sneak home on your lunch break for a quick snooze, you may find yourself more productive for it.

Studies have shown that taking a 10-20 minute power nap may improve cognitive alertness and mental capacity, and Dr. Elliot agrees.

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