Taking breaks throughout the day to move and stretch is a highly effective way to beat the afternoon slump.It’s midafternoon, and suddenly you can’t stop yawning. Your eyelids may begin to droop — not great if you happen to be in a meeting — or maybe your brain becomes a little fuzzy and unable to focus.

This period of decreased alertness is called the afternoon slump, and it’s something most of us have experienced.

While the afternoon slump could be caused by insufficient or poor quality sleep, it’s part of our normal sleep-wake cycle. It’s also tied to the amount of cortisol in our bodies.

Levels of this hormone, which helps us respond to stress, among other things, typically are higher in the morning and fall throughout the day.

There are many tips for beating the afternoon slump, such as eating healthy foods (no candy bars), drinking plenty of water, listening to music and even aromatherapy. But one of the most effective ways to stay alert and on task is to get moving.

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