If you, like me, have an afternoon habit of taking a short walk outside to get an iced tea or coffee, there’s a reason you feel more alert afterward, and it’s not just the caffeine. As a new video from the American Chemical Society points out, research has demonstrated the energy-boosting effects that bright light has on the brain and body, a reaction that may be caused by the neurotransmitter hypocretin, which is released in response to exposure to light.
It’s similar to what happens when you read your phone or a backlit e-reader before bed and then can’t fall asleep, only in the afternoon, you can use the biological response to your advantage. Then again, if you’re more of an indoor person, the ACS also suggests allowing yourself a few minutes to watch a cat video or two, as a recent study found that people reported feeling more energized after doing so. It always comes back to cats, doesn’t it?