You Can Stay Alert Without Drinking Caffeine - Try These Science-Based Tricks The Next Time You Feel Tired


Breathe deeply.

Calm and relaxed employees make for productive employees. Breathing deeply shuttles more oxygen to various parts of your body, which can boost your dipping energy levels and help keep you feeling Zen.

Deep breathing also decreases stress and anxiety, which in turn helps to boost your immune system, keeping you healthy and strong. But make sure you are practicing deep belly breathing to reap the benefits. Try some exercises here.


Listen to music.

Grooving to your favorite song releases multiple feel-good chemicals in your brain that can give you a boost

A study from 2011 showed that when people listened to music that gave them — as science writer Virginia Hughes put it — "goosebumps or chills" for 15 minutes, their brains overloaded with dopamine, a brain chemical that is involved in pleasure and reward. Your favorite tunes also activate other feel-good chemicals like serotonin and oxytocin.

Some studies of drowsy drivers have also found that music — especially loud music (that's what headphones are for!) — can help keep people alert, though the effect may not be long-lasting. And certain playlists might be better than others: "The more varied the music," noted a 2004 review, "the more [stimulating] it is."

Gary Nichols via U.S. Military

Chew gum.

Keeping your mouth busy seems to keep your mind alert as well. Some studies have suggested that chewing gum might be an effective way to reduce daytime sleepiness, perhaps because the act of chewing somehow increases circulation and activates certain regions of the brain.

Recent studies have also demonstrated that chewing gum can help people concentrate on exams, reduce anxiety, and increase reading comprehension. Just make sure you're not smacking your gum too loudly if you're around coworkers.

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