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WELLNESS

5 Ways to Wake Up Without Coffee

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We all love a good cup of joe, especially when an energy boost is in order. But if you’re looking for alternative solutions, here are five caffeine-free ways to re-energise right at your desk.

Drink Up
Our brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and nutrients to function well – and what delivers these essential goodies to it? Water. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that even a mild case of dehydration can result in fatigue and poorer memory and focus; while those who were well-hydrated displayed better cognitive function and alertness. So next time you’re feeling drowsy, pour yourself a glass of good ol’ H2O. Better yet, drink coconut water. Hailed as nature’s Gatorade, it’s packed with important electrolytes such as potassium, sodium and magnesium, which help with our body’s energy production. Plus, it's delicious!
Power Tunes
Musical patterns are linked to various unconscious physiological responses, including our heart rate and body chemistry, and that’s why music can alter our mood and state of mind. For example, listening to upbeat music keeps us awake as it increases our heart rate and triggers the release of adrenaline. If you’re trying to stay focused at work, however, loud tunes and lyrics may be distracting. Instead, create an instrumental playlist – video game soundtracks are excellent as they’re composed in a fun, motivational rhythm without a complex musical structure that would distract you from your objectives. You can also try music that incorporates beta-frequency binaural beats, as they are said to induce beta brainwaves, the dominant waves associated with concentration.
Laughter Therapy
It’s no joke, laughter is a better refresher than coffee! When we laugh, our alveoli – tiny air sacks in our lungs – expand to facilitate oxygen exchange; so stale air is exhaled to allow fresh oxygen to flow in. Research from the University of Maryland Medical Center also found that laughter could help improve blood circulation, which means oxygen can be carried to the brain more efficiently, making us feel more energised. There’s a million ways to amuse yourself: watch comedy clips or look at funny pictures at lunch break; or exchange jokes with your colleagues and include funny memes in your casual work emails – after all, laughter is contagious so spread the cheer!
Essential Energy
Our sense of smell is probably the most underrated one out of all five senses, but certain scents have been found to increase alertness and productivity. Some essential oils, like peppermint, lemon and rosemary, are known to prevent fatigue and enhance energy levels. It’s easy to keep a bottle of your favourite blend around for a sniff when you need a wakeful boost, or you can also keep an aromatherapy diffuser at your desk, or bring an essential oil-infused facial mist with you for a revitalising spray any time you need a pick-me-up.
Good Pressure
Massage is great for relaxation and stress relief, but it can also wake you up. Not just any type of massage will do, though. Enter acupressure, an age-old Chinese therapy that involves stimulating certain points on the body for different benefits. Studies have shown an increase in alertness after massaging specific acupoints, including the top of the head, the base of the skull, the pad between the thumb and index finger, and three inches below the back of the knee. The technique is simple, so try it yourself the next time you’re feeling less-than-alert: apply firm pressure to the acupoints with your thumb or index finger, then massage in both directions for at least six minutes.


Taking a stroll is also a great way to wake up – read about our recommended art walk around Taikoo Place.
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