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© 2018 by Nisha Jackson

*this degree is from an unaccredited college and is not approved for use in Oregon

  • Nisha Jackson, PhD

Getting Past the Afternoon “Wall”

Many of us feel it at one time or another – that big wall we hit mid-afternoon, often after lunch. Suddenly it seems as though the end of the day could not be farther away and we don’t have an ounce of energy left to power through our priorities for the day.


It’s not just you and you’re not crazy. There’s real science behind that sudden wall you slam into – and it is rooted in cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone. For most of us, cortisol peaks early in the day. This gives us that boost that many of us feel in the morning.


But it doesn’t last all day. The production flattens out over time and drops, resulting in that feeling of tiredness or even exhaustion in the afternoon or early evening. In short, there’s a specific reason why you so feel so worn out.


Luckily, there are steps you can take to mitigate this feeling and many of them begin in the kitchen with your meal prep. Try to eat a breakfast high in protein and fat, ideally between 7 and 9 am. This type of breakfast will help you to prevent afternoon cravings by reducing heavy carbs and will improve your focus and memory throughout the day.


As you reach that afternoon period, you may consider eating a small amount of dark chocolate in the afternoon – and I mean small, as in around 1 oz. This move will help you boost dopamine and prevent that afternoon slump.


Others swear by taking an afternoon walk to boost their energy levels, or even a nap if you have the rare work arrangement that makes this possible. What steps do you take to prevent hitting that afternoon wall?

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