Must-Read: Tell Yourself You’re Not Tired

We’ve spoken a lot here about the importance of sleep. That, without sleep, you may not really be able to get through a whole lot of what you want to get done because your brain will be so focused simply on it being so exhausted from not sleeping. And we’ve also talked in these parts about how coffee can help imrpove your feeling in that regard, but only so much, before your body tends to crash and burn. But what if the whole thing was simple enough that all you needed to do not to be tired was to… tell yourself that you’re not?

That’s exactly something that works, apparently. So says a new report from Men’s Fitness that looks at just what can happen if you tell yourself that you’re not tired. They say:

The study used 24 active, young men and women and had them pedal a computerized stationary bicycle until they wanted to quit, measuring the riders? heart rates, pedaling power, and pace. Then, split into two groups, half the riders were told to continue with their normal exercise routine for the next two weeks, and the other group was coached in motivational self-talk. Each person was asked to choose four phrases that pumped them up.

Then, another lab test, where participants were told to cycle on the stationary bike and the coached half were repeating those mantras. They went longer, harder, and faster than the group that only performed regular exercise.

Head on over to read the rest of the experiment. But the main takeaway of the entire study: If you’re feeling tired and really can’t sleep — say, if you’re driving a long way across the country or working late at night on that project — forget everything and just tell yourself to snap out of it!

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About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.