Here are five techniques to help harness your best you:
1. Drinking coffee
Alleged brain benefits: Improves performance on tests of cognition and memory; protects against age-related mental decline.
Does it actually work? Boosts alertness (as you've noticed); evidence for the other stuff is less clear-cut.
Downside: Jitters, coffee breath, moderate risk of conversations about single-origin beans.
2. Endurance exercise
Alleged brain benefits: Builds resistance to cognitive fatigue, improving ability to concentrate; promotes formation of new brain cells.
Does it actually work? Yes.
Downside: Time-consuming, uncomfortable, high risk of wearing spandex.
3. Audio brainwave training
Alleged brain benefits: Repetitive sound patterns supposedly elicit analogous patterns of cortical activity, promoting states of alertness or focus.
Does it actually work? Solid experimental support for its use as a therapeutic tool; evidence on performance enhancement is mixed.
Downside: Your Spotify recommendations will be all Philip Glass.
4. Multiphasic sleep
(breaking sleep up into multiple blocks throughout the day and night)
Alleged brain benefits: Improved energy and mood from following circadian patterns of evolutionary ancestors.
Does it actually work? It's probably not any better than sleeping through the night.
Downside: Buying a lot of crap from the infomercials you'll be watching at 3 a.m.
5. Inversion therapy
Alleged brain benefits: Hanging upside down increases blood flow to the brain, theoretically improving overall cognitive function.
Does it actually work? Well, no. But don't let that stop you ...
Downside: ... unless you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, or a family history of stroke. If so: Please let that stop you.