Tips to avoid the mid-afternoon slump!

» Posted on Jun 4, 2013

Tips to avoid the mid-afternoon slump!










Tips to avoid the mid-afternoon slump!

Tim Altman is an expert naturopath, respiratory therapist and founder of Natural Flow Retreats health & wellbeing program. We caught up with Tim recently so he could share with us his top tips on avoiding that usual after-lunch drowsiness when it hits. We all know the feeling, but don’t always want to combat it with a fourth cup of coffee for the day…



Tip 1: Nutrition – Prevent 3:30itis by regulating your blood sugar levels throughout the day.

The best way to achieve this is to start the day with a substantial breakfast that includes a palm to a palm-and-a-half portion of protein (about 20-30g).

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for regulating blood sugar levels and sustaining energy levels throughout the day. In fact, research has suggested that those who have a substantial, protein based, breakfast eat less for the next 24-36 hours.


The old adage ‘breakfast like the king/queen, lunch like the princess/prince and dinner like the pauper’ is definitely still relevant. Great options for a substantial breakfast include:
+ Eggs; with vegetables (spinach, mushrooms, avocado, onion, tomato etc. – sorry, hash browns and tinned baked beans don’t count as food) and minimal or no toast.
+ Smoothies; start with eggs or protein powder and add low GI fruit and milk/juice as well as a variety of nutritious ingredients including nuts and seeds, chia seeds, Vital Greens (spirulina, chlorella, barley grass etc.), goji berries etc.
+ Muesli with lots of nuts and seeds and not as much grain filling and no dried fruit – add your own fresh fruit.
+ Whole grain cereals, but add LSA (100g = 20g protein) or almond meal.



















2. Diaphragmatic Breathing Rhythms – take 2-5 minutes out of your daily work routine in the afternoon to breathe using your diaphragm. Breathing using your diaphragm is the only bodily function controlled by the autonomic nervous system (or automatic – meaning they work whether we are aware of it or not) that we can directly and easily control (when trained).

This nervous system also controls the stress response and it has two aspects – the fight or flight (or sympathetic) aspect that we use in response to stress and the relaxing and rejuvenating (or parasympathetic) aspect.


Spending too much time during the day being stimulated or stressed mode can exhaust you later in the day as the fight or flight mechanism is only designed to be sustained for shorter periods of time.

By learning diaphragmatic breathing rhythms that emphasise the part of the breathing cycle that is enervated by the relaxing and rejuvenating aspect of our nervous system, allows your body to find balance and increases energy levels in a very short amount of time.

Our breathing is a function that is taken for granted, but is a very powerful ally in maintain balance in our nervous system and maintaining vitality.

Tim Altman B.Sc. B.H.Sc. (Naturopath)