What Can Keep You Awake Other Than Coffee: 5 Surprising Strategies for Enhanced Alertness

I’ve always been a night owl, struggling to stay awake during the day and falling into a deep slumber as soon as the sun sets. It seemed like no matter how much coffee I consumed, my energy levels would inevitably plummet, leaving me in desperate need of a nap. But recently, I discovered that there are ways to stay awake and alert without relying solely on coffee. In fact, there are five surprising strategies that can enhance alertness and keep you awake throughout the day.

Exercise Regularly

Nature’s Energy Booster

One of the most effective strategies to boost alertness is regular exercise. Engaging in physical activities, such as jogging, swimming, or even a brisk walk, can help increase blood flow and release endorphins, the body’s natural energy boosters. Exercise not only wakes up your body but also your mind, making you feel more alert and focused throughout the day.

Timed Workouts

To maximize the energizing effects of exercise and enhance alertness, timing is key. It is recommended to engage in physical activities in the morning or early afternoon to kickstart your day and keep you awake. Avoid vigorous exercise close to bedtime, as it may interfere with your sleep schedule and result in feeling groggy the next day.

Take Power Naps

A Brief Refreshment

Power naps may seem counterintuitive when it comes to staying awake, but they can actually work wonders for enhancing alertness. Taking short naps of around 20 minutes can provide a quick refreshment and boost cognitive function. These power naps can help combat the mid-afternoon slump and keep you awake and alert for the rest of the day.

Strategic Timing

To reap the benefits of power napping, timing is crucial. It is recommended to take power naps after lunch, as this is the time when our body naturally experiences a dip in energy levels. Additionally, limiting the duration of your nap to 20 minutes ensures that you wake up feeling refreshed without disrupting your nighttime sleep.

Expose Yourself to Natural Light

Sunshine for Alertness

Natural light plays a significant role in regulating our sleep-wake cycle. Exposure to bright sunlight can stimulate the brain, suppressing the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for inducing sleep. By spending time outside in the morning or even opening your curtains to allow sunlight into your workspace, you can naturally enhance alertness and keep those drowsy feelings at bay.

Light Therapy

When natural light is not readily available, light therapy can be a useful alternative. Special lightboxes emit bright, artificial light that mimics natural outdoor light. Using these lightboxes, especially in the morning or during the mid-afternoon slump, can help regulate your circadian rhythm and increase alertness.

Stay Hydrated

The Power of Water

Dehydration can lead to fatigue, lack of focus, and even headaches. Drinking enough water throughout the day is essential for maintaining optimal energy levels and staying awake. It is recommended to drink at least eight glasses of water daily to replenish your body and keep yourself alert and energized.

Sip on Herbal Teas

While we’re talking about staying hydrated, herbal teas can be a great alternative to coffee for enhancing alertness. Certain herbal teas, such as green tea or peppermint tea, contain natural compounds that provide a gentle energy boost without the jitters associated with coffee. Additionally, these teas offer various health benefits, making them a guilt-free choice for staying awake.

Engage in Brain-Stimulating Activities

Challenge Your Mind

Keeping your brain engaged and active can significantly enhance alertness. Engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as puzzles, brain games, or learning something new. These activities stimulate the brain, increase focus, and prevent feelings of drowsiness. Additionally, they can improve cognitive function and enhance overall mental performance.

Take Regular Breaks

Avoid prolonged periods of sitting or monotonous tasks, as they can induce drowsiness. Taking regular breaks to stretch, walk around, or engage in a quick brain-stimulating activity can reenergize your body and mind, keeping you alert and focused throughout the day.


While coffee has long been hailed as the go-to solution for staying awake, there are many surprising strategies to enhance alertness without relying solely on caffeine. By incorporating regular exercise, power napping, exposure to natural light, staying hydrated, and engaging in brain-stimulating activities, you can boost your energy levels and stay awake and alert throughout the day. So, next time you feel the need for a pick-me-up, try one of these strategies and discover the surprising power they hold in keeping you awake.

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