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Why am I so tired? Five ways to beat office fatigue

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We're all familiar with that post-lunch, afternoon-slump feeling. Your eyes start to feel heavy, your fingers type at a slower pace and you become convinced that you head is, in fact, stuffed full of cotton wool.

Chances are that you fall into a bout of office sleepiness at least once a day, with research from the NHS finding that at any given time, one in five people feel "unusually tired". The phenomenon is so common it even has its own acronym within medical circles: TATT, or Tired All The Time.

But fear not if you find yourself prone to feeling a little TATT - there's a hack for that.

Below we list five of our favourite tried and tested methods for beating the office slump, some of which are as simple as cracking out a piece of chewing gum. Sit back, take a read and prepare to feel energised...


Get moving

move

The NHS warns, rather alarmingly, that sitting still for a long period of time can put your body into sleep mode. Avoid falling into this office-based version of hibernation by making sure you get up and move, even if its just to do a tea round or pop to the corner shop for a bag of maltesers.

The NHS recommends stretching and walking away from your desk as often as possible in order to keep your body alert and your mind ticking over.


Listen to music

music

Music can be a great motivator: we all know the power of a belting song choice to get us going on our morning jog or see us springing out of bed in the morning.

And studies have suggested that listening to a favourite song or album can help you both cut through tiredness while relieving stress and tension.

So next time you're feeling weary, pop in your headphones and tune out the office hum (you could even try listening to this "wake up" playlist devised by Spotify's data scientists to give you an extra bit of pep).


Sip water

water

Here's a pleasingly simple solution to beating the afternoon office slump: take a sip of water.

Our bodies are made up of a not-insignificant 50-65% water, so it's unsurprising that not drinking enough of it can have a severe impact on how we feel. From fatigue and tiredness to headaches and a lack of concentration, dehydration can wreak havoc with our bodies before we even begin to feel thirsty.

recent study of 300 GPs, carried out by the UK's Natural Hydration Council, even found that one in every five patients visited the doctor with health issues (including tiredness and fatigue) that could be cured just by drinking more water.

To counteract this effect, the NHS recommends we drink eight glasses of fluid a day - and this can include tea, coffee, fruit juice and milk.


Chew gum

gum

Chewing gum isn't just great for the minty freshness and bubble-blowing potential: it could also help you beat fatigue.

A study by researchers at the Department of Psychiatric Research in Zagreb compared the sleepiness of a group of students who had stayed up all night chewing gum to a group of students who had stayed up all night but not chewed any gum.

The study concluded that the students with gum "assessed their sleepiness as lower than the students who were not chewing", hinting that a piece of gum could be a cure to the mid-afternoon slump.


Eat dark chocolate

choc

Brilliantly, there are many recorded benefits to eating dark chocolate, from boosting your mood to relieving stress.

As a natural stimulant it also contains a small amount of caffeine, meaning it can help wake you up as well as making you happy and stress-free.

Nutritionists recommend you opt for a bar with at least 70 per cent cocoa solids to get the full benefits.

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