The Surprising Reason You Should Chew Gum After a Crappy Night's Sleep

woman chewing a piece of gum

Whether you're not much of a coffee person or you've already had three cups and you're still falling asleep at your desk, here's an energy-boosting alternative: Chew a stick of peppermint gum.

We first learned about this semi-strange tip from 5-Minute Energy, a book by Isadora Baum that suggests more than 200 activities to put a little pep in your step. Activities, in turns out, that include freshening your breath. Huh.

Per a study at Coventry University, chewing gum stimulates the autonomic nervous system, which increases alertness. Chewing also increases blood flow to the brain, which can wake you up.

But before your reach for a stick of Juicy Fruit, consider adding to gums' energizing effect by sticking to peppermint. According to Baum, peppermint gum is particularly effective, since “studies show that the smell of peppermint can uplift mood and energy as well as bring a sense of mental clarity and focus.”

Bet your 4 p.m. slump won't see this one coming.

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