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You know that feeling of tiredness that sometimes hits right around two or three o’clock in the afternoon while sitting at your desk or in a meeting? There’s a name for that – it’s called “office fatigue.”

We’ve all been there. The morning starts off great. Fueled by caffeine, you get to work and start knocking out projects, calls or whatever task is on the agenda for the day, but by mid-afternoon the yawning starts, the eyelids get heavy, and soon you’re reaching for an energy drink.

One of the obvious culprits of the afternoon slump is lack of sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a third of adults don’t get enough sleep.

If your workplace is progressive and has a designated area for R&R, you can catch a few zzzz’s on the couch and recharge, but that is not the case for most of us.

So what can you do?

Get more sleep!

The CDC recommends that adults should get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Feeling well-rested is vital to staying energized throughout the day. A couple tips to help with getting a good night’s rest:

  1. Put the phone away! Your phone can be very addicting and scrolling can rob you of precious sleep time. Also, research has shown that it messes with sleeping patterns.
  2. Create a bedtime routine to help you wind down before bed and stick to the same sleep-wake schedule
  3. Avoid caffeine late at night and avoid the booze
  4. Eat foods high in magnesium, like halibut, almonds, cashews, and spinach, and foods high in vitamin B complex, like leafy green vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Some experts also recommend taking supplements of taurine, vitamin B6, and magnesium.

Stay active at the office!

Movement makes you more alert. Here are a 10 ways to keep your body moving while at the office:

  1. Try an under-the-desk elliptical or exercise bike to provide you with seamless movement that doesn’t pull you from your work. Alternatively, take short, brisk walks around the office or down the hall.
  2. Stand when you can. Desks that can adjust to standing positions are a great option if you can get them!
  3. Adjust lighting, temperature and noise levels to improve alertness. You’d be surprised to see what added lighting, cooler temps and increased noise levels can do to get you kick-started.
  4. Mild dehydration is a common and often unnoticed cause of fatigue. It can reduce blood flow to your organs, slowing down your brain. Keep lots of water at your desk and condition yourself to drink about eight glasses of water a day, which will include drinking when you’re not thirsty.
  5. Afternoon energy may be as simple as chewing gum (seriously) . Stick to the sugar-free kind, or be on the lookout for the caffeinated versions .
  6. Grab a pair of headphones and listen to music!
  7. Suggest an outdoor meeting or a walking meeting for something different and to get you up and moving.
  8. Eat a snack to help boost energy levels. Try an ounce of cheese, a handful of nuts, or another high-protein snack to keep alert.
  9. Switch up tasks. If you’ve been working on the same project for five hours, try tackling something else to stay stimulated.
  10. Avoid Sugar! Eating sweets may provide a sugar-high, but that will quickly lead to a sugar crash!

At The Lee Group, we are never asleep on the job and are always here to help with your recruiting and job search needs!

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Ellie Howard in the Lee Group Newport News office Tuesday May 31, 2022.