23 January 2020 | Prithvi Pandya
Research for Pro Plus suggests that 2.17pm is the exact point of the day when we are least energised.
A study of 2,000 Britons for Pro Plus, which is made by Gloucester pharmaceutical company Lanes Health, revealed that 71 per cent of us start to feel tired from 12pm onwards.
Fewer than one in 10 believe a full stomach is to blame - the top reasons given for drowsiness are revealed as depleted energy levels, lack of sleep and stress.
A quarter of people admitted making mistakes in their work after this time, and 22 per cent said they feel grumpy during the slump in vitality.
Forty per cent of those surveyed said they attribute poor-quality sleep to fatigue; 38 per cent said it's a lack of sleep, 34 per cent said they feel tired because they wake up too early, while a third admitted they routinely stay up too late the night before.
Stress is a big factor in feeling fatigued said 48 per cent, ahead of life-changing events such as having a baby and moving to a new house. This was closely followed by those who blame the short, dark days and cold winter weather for poor energy levels (40 per cent). Excessive working hours and travelling are also given as reasons (both 31 per cent).
Long working hours and a heavy workload were said to blame for causing tiredness in almost half (47 per cent) of British employees. Forty-four per cent of those surveyed said that they had no time to relax or unwind. Feeling tired is far from rare, with the same amount (44 per cent) of people feeling that they spend four to 10 hours a week feeling drained.
Sport sleep coach Nick Littlehales said: "Sleep is an important health pillar, which enables us to eat well, exercise well and recover well. Daytime slumps are a completely natural form of recovery; afternoon fatigue develops because we try to recuperate in one block at night, despite the fact that we're designed to recover in shorter periods more often. By embracing this redefined approach to rest, it will help you achieve consistent levels of mental and physical recovery, as well as more sustainable personal performance, mood and motivation.
"It's important to take moments to rest and recover. This doesn't just apply to sleep - disappearing for 20 minutes over lunchtime to have a stroll, sit on a bench or eat your lunch with a vacant mindspace can enhance your energy levels in the afternoon."
To combat the afternoon energy slump, the Pro Plus survey discovered that an overwhelming majority (69 per cent) turn to caffeine for a boost. Despite 2.17pm being identified as the time we most need a caffeine kick, only two in five said they consume caffeine in the morning.
Sam George, senior brand manager at Pro Plus, said: "Energy slumps are common, especially between 2pm and 4pm in the afternoon, when circadian rhythms dip. Unfortunately, they can affect your day with irritability, a lack of productivity and making mistakes - symptoms all cited by respondents in our survey."