How to Increase Your Alertness Naturally

A lot of people turn to caffeine when they want to be more alert, Which is OK but it isn’t a natural way and it can have unpleasant side effects (you could get rattier with other people for example or not get to sleep at night).

Check out these ways to naturally increase your alertness.

Take a power nap

mental alertnessGoing to sleep may not immediately sound the best way to become more alert.

But a power nap is different – it’s short (this guided power nap is only 10 minutes) and focussed.

You’ll be in good company – all sorts of people have taken power naps including the scientistsl Albert Einstein, the philosopher Aristotle, the inventor Thomas Edison and the actor & politician Ronald Reagan. Plus others including Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Napoleon Bonaparte and Winston Churchill.

Try a power nap if you want to refresh yourself in the time you’d previously have taken to sip a coffee.

Do some exercise

This takes a bit longer than a power nap but not necessarily much more.

HIIT (high intensity interval training) is designed to get all the benefits of a major gym workout in record time.

It’s scientifically tested and, like all exercise, it will help boost your energy levels and alertness naturally.

Don’t multi-task

Computers pretend to multi-task but they’re really just running lots of different things at the same time in different sections of their processor.

Humans are really bad at multi-tasking.

We like to think that we can do it but, time and again, we prove ourselves wrong.

You’ll get more done, faster, if you focus on one thing at a time. And you won’t feel as frazzled either.

Take a rest every now and then

Or even better, take a 5 minute rest every 25 minutes.

The Pomodoro technique does this: work for 25 minutes, take a 5 minute break, repeat the cycle four times then take a longer break (it’s probably time for lunch by then anyway) then repeat the cycle of four times again.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised how much more you get done and how fresher you feel.

Take a walk in the park

Getting back to nature (even if it’s a man-made park) helps to ground you and get you back to being normal.

It doesn’t have to be a long walk – even 30 minutes a week has been shown to help cut stress levels.

But ideally a regular break – I’d suggest most days – will help bring you back refreshed and raring to go.

Cut the clutter

Clutter slows us down.

Wherever it is in our life, it gets in the way.

Your desk, your workspace, your home, your phone or computer or smart TV,

Declutter any and all of them.

You’ll free up the time you spent hunting down the thing you were sure was “there” but wasn’t.

Take some deep breaths

OK, I know you remember to breathe but there’s a good chance that the breaths you take aren’t as deep as they could be.

Maybe they’re slightly deeper now that I’ve prompted you (much the same as the Sharks and Dragons take a sip of water on their TV shows when they’re reminded of the importance of staying hydrated) but consciously taking time out to relax and take some deep breaths is an excellent idea.

You probably know what you should do – deep breath in, slowly exhale it, maybe holding your breath between those two parts of the cycle – but if you want to go deeper (pun intended) then use a guided breathing exercise to lead you through the whole process.

Eat some brain foods

I know that superfoods get a lot of hype and that, often, that’s all it is.

But some foods such as blueberries, water, oily fish and leafy green vegetables work wonders with your brain.

Choose a few brain foods to include with your regular meals and snacks and you’ll find your alertness improving,

Listen to become alert

There’s a certain state that our brain hits when it’s at its most alert,

Scientists have measured this and figured out that they can use brainwave beats (often also called binaural beats) to get your brain quickly to that state.

Whilst the process is complicated behind the scenes, all you need to do is download an audio track and play it to yourself whenever you need to be more alert.

It’s simple and natural and very effective.