Long Day? The 3PM Slump Might Make It Feel Longer…


Working the long hours between 9 am and 5 pm in an office-bound job can make the day stretch forever. Some people may even find lapses of concentration affecting their ability to do their work, which may occur later in the day.


Known colloquially as the 3 pm slump, these lapses of concentration can feel incredibly frustrating when you’re in a crunch and trying to reach the end of the day with a feeling of accomplishment. However, they are a well-known phenomenon with a scientific explanation behind their occurrence.


Feeling tired in the afternoon is a normal response to the effect of our circadian rhythm (or body clock). At this time, your body clock is responding with a drop in body temperature, which triggers the sleep hormone, melatonin production and a dip in the stress hormone cortisol. 


Enduring stress, bad eating habits, a poor night’s sleep and even dehydration can add to the afternoon lull you might experience. 


If you find yourself looking for an energy hit in the afternoon to combat this 3 pm slump, try the following to kick that caffeine hit out of your routine: 

  • Look at your lunch and snack for the day, and opt for higher-protein options (such as greek yoghurt, nuts, chicken or tuna). 
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Take a short break and get out of your seat, take a walk or simply move around the office. 
  • Maintain a healthy bedtime routine, or plan a 20-minute nap into your workday (if your time allows for it).
  • Plan ahead for how you want to structure your workday – save the tasks that are more routine for the afternoon, and use your mornings to tackle tasks that require more brainpower.



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