What Causes Your Brain to Become Alert?

Buzz! Buzz! Buzz! Ugh…the sound of your alarm clock rings in your ears. You were having a fantastic dream. You roll over and manage to hit the snooze button to gain nine more minutes of precious sleep. When the alarm rings again, you know it’s time to get out of bed. Another day of school awaits.

Your feet touch the floor of your bedroom and you slowly start to go through your morning routine. You need to shower, grab something to eat, and get dressed before you make the walk to the bus stop.

If you’re like many children, you may go through these typical morning tasks without much enthusiasm. After all, you stayed up late the night before reading. Your brain simply doesn’t seem to want to wake up in the morning! But you also don’t want to start your day off on the wrong foot. You need something to break out of your sluggish state. So what can you do to wake your brain up?

How about some coffee or an energy drink? A caffeine boost is sure to do the trick, right? After all, that’s what most of us have learned over the years. Caffeine, whether in the form of a strong cup of coffee, an ice-cold soda, or a sugary energy drink, will wake you up and give you energy, right?

Scientists have discovered that caffeine may not have the effect we anticipate in many situations. Why is that? Experts believe that caffeine creates addiction and our bodies quickly become accustomed to its effects.

As a result, regular caffeine consumers often will not experience the true energy boost that they expect. Instead, the caffeine only makes them as alert as a person who doesn’t consume any caffeine on a regular basis. Without caffeine, regular users are less alert, so the caffeine does improve their alertness, but only up to the point experts would consider normal.

Experts note that caffeine does provide a boost to those individuals who don’t consume caffeine regularly. At the same time, however, it also tends to make them jittery and anxious. So, if drinking coffee regularly won’t enhance your brain, what will?

If you’re having difficulty waking up your brain and getting started, there are several things you can do that don’t involve consuming excessive amounts of caffeine. Here are a few ideas to help you wake up refreshed and energized:

  • Start your day by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Your body needs water daily and this will help boost your metabolism.
  • When your alarm goes off, resist the temptation to hit the snooze button and get up. Make sure you get enough sleep by going to bed at the right time. Hitting snooze only causes stress if you have to rush.
  • Let in some light! Open the curtains and turn on the lights in the morning to stimulate your brain. This will release neurotransmitters that can improve your mood.
  • Wake up your brain by splashing cold water on your face or taking a cold shower. This will help clear your mind and fully wake you up.
  • Listen to lively music and exercise in the morning, even if you’re not a morning person. Your body will appreciate the healthy exercise and it’s a great way to start your day.
  • Have a nutritious breakfast to fuel your brain and body. Breakfast is important for staying alert and ready for the day.
  • If you have extra time before school, stimulate your brain by doing a crossword puzzle or playing a thinking game on your smartphone. This can help improve productivity throughout the day.

Give It a Try

We hope today’s Wonder of the Day has awakened your brain! Keep your brain active by trying out the following activities with a friend or family member:

  • If you struggle with waking up in the morning, use the information from today’s Wonder of the Day to create a list of things you can do to make your morning routine easier. You might be surprised by the positive impact it has on your day. Share your thoughts and ideas with friends and family and see if they can help you implement some of your ideas.
  • Is your brain in need of a boost? Perhaps it’s time to nourish it! Go online and explore a list of 33 Brain Foods that can help improve your productivity. Take note of the ones you already consume regularly and consider adding new ones to your diet to provide your brain with the necessary nutrients it needs to function at its best. Ask an adult friend or family member to include these items in your grocery list so you can try them soon!
  • Could getting more sleep give your brain a boost? It’s possible! Remember, even though the rest of your body is asleep, your brain remains active. Read about 5 Amazing Things Your Brain Does While You Sleep to discover more about the nighttime activities of your brain.

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