Nine ways to overcome the 3 p.m. slump

Nine ways to overcome the 3 p.m. slump
Want to overcome the late afternoon slump? Try listening to a little background music while you work. It will stimulate your brain and block out white noise in the background that can make you feel drowsy.

Do you find yourself reaching for a sugary snack or caffeine-pumped latte in the afternoon, just to make it through the work day?  The Problem Solvers have been looking into easy energy enhancers to get you over that three o'clock slump.

1)  Stand up and move
“Get up after 45 minutes and move around or do light stretching, so you're never sitting continuously for more than 45 minutes,” recommends Dr. Kerry Kuehl, head of OHSU’s Human Performance Lab.

Or you can try a standing desk. You'll burn up to 400 calories a day while boosting your energy.

2)  Rock out
Listen to a little background music on headphones at work. Music stimulates the brain and covers up white noise, like a humming air conditioner, that can induce drowsiness.

3)  Plant it
Researchers from Washington State University found real green plants in the workplace help keep folks on task and actually increase their productivity by 12%.

4)  Snack every two hours
Here's the rule:  if you'd find it on the outer edges of the grocery store – fruits, vegetables, dairy, whole grains, lean meats – it likely would make an energy-packed snack.

5)  Check your posture
For every inch your head tilts forward, the amount of weight your neck supports doubles. All that effort leads to significant fatigue.

Posture NOW, a Portland company, sells a product to help force your shoulders back.

6)  Stay cool

Set your thermostat between 68 and 72-degrees. Warmer temperatures will slow your mental function.

7)  Check lighting
Aim your task lighting toward a wall or ceiling. Direct lighting causes eye strain and fatigue.
8)  Take short nap
“A 10 to 15-minute power nap is enough to restore your energy without going too far into a deep sleep,” advises Dr. Kuehl.

You can also fake a nap by doing a few minutes of deep breathing. It decreases stress, so your body doesn't have to work so hard and gives you an extra burst of energy.

9)  Drink
Dr. Kuehl says a small cup of coffee isn't terrible, but green tea is better. In addition to caffeine, it's loaded with antioxidants.  

Even a cup of warm water can increases the body's metabolism.