4pm Exhaustion Explained

You know the feeling…you’re feeling pretty okay all day. Ya, maybe you’re not at 100%, but you’re a solid okay.

And then, around 3 or 4 pm, your energy crashes. You’re suddenly foggy, tired, and have a bad case of the “I don’t wannas”.

But your day isn’t done yet, you still have work to do. And you had planned on going to the gym. Plus, you still have dinner to make. 


If you’ve felt this way, and especially if you feel this way often – then I’ve got super fantastic news for you.

There is a VERY easy solution to this very common problem.

With one caveat – if you’re in a later stage of adrenal fatigue, and instead of feeling exhausted you feel like all of the energy has been sucked out of you at 4 pm…well, these tips will help. But they won’t bring you back to your old self right away, there’s other healing that needs to be done.

(wanna know how your body is handling stress? Take my quick quiz here :)

BTW, you know how all of the main roads are littered with fast food restaurants? They love your 4 pm crash because they know you’re too tired to cook dinner. Don’t let the fast food restaurants win!

My 3 simple tricks to eliminate 4 pm exhaustion -

1. Balance your blood sugar with breakfast

Breakfast plays a key role in your afternoon energy. A great breakfast (meaning, one that works for your unique body) = steady energy all day.

A not-so-great breakfast = energy ups and downs.

The key to finding your perfect breakfast is experimentation. Try different breakfasts and see which type your body loves. Like –

High protein breakfasts – like eggs, a smoothie, or yogurt and berries

Carb-lovin’ breakfasts – like steel cut oats, muesli, or wholegrain toast and nut butter

Or a mix of the two – like eggs and toast, or yogurt and muesli.

You might be surprised by what your body likes :). If you LOVE it and feel satisfied all morning, then you’ve found your perfect breakfast!

2. Have a high energy snack around 4 pm

This is the simplest AND most effective thing you can do to keep your energy steady. And it’s this –

Eat an apple at 4 pm

Or any fruit or veggie. A piece of fruit is a perfectly packed piece of sweet energy goodness. It will give you exactly what you need to pull your blood sugar up while also giving you an boost of energy.

If you don’t love fruit, try a few pieces of dark chocolate. Or a handful of nuts. 

…just have something to eat around 4 pm :)

3. Respect your energy in the afternoon –

This one might be a bit more difficult for you depending on your day/work schedule. 

Your cortisol (the source of your energy) naturally starts its journey down after lunch. This is important so you can sleep at night…but it’s trouble if you’ve got lots on your to do list. It makes that second or third cup of coffee so very tempting.

But, if you can plan your day a little bit differently and respect your gradually decreasing cortisol level, then you may find yourself needing less caffeine and sleeping better at night.

This is what I do –

Cortisol climbs up in the morning, so I plan any tasks that need lots of energy, creativity, or courage for around mid-morning. It’s the time of the day that I feel lots of “I CAN DO THIS!” running through my veins.

In the afternoon, I spend my time getting the lower energy (but still important) tasks done, like – emails, editing articles, planning, meetings, etc.

This way of planning my day has REALLY helped keep my energy in the afternoon steady :)

Do you have any great mid-afternoon snacks or energy tips?! I’d love to hear about them, let me know in the comments :)