Does Looking Upwards Wake You Up? | Exploring the Science Behind This Simple Trick

Have you ever found yourself struggling to stay awake during a long, dragging day? Perhaps you've tried splashing water on your face or taking a brisk walk to shake off the drowsiness. But have you ever considered simply looking upwards? It may seem like a strange suggestion, but there’s science behind it. Opening your eyes wide and gazing upwards at the ceiling or a light source can actually send signals from the muscles around your eyes to your brain, telling it to wake up. This can leave you feeling instantly energized and ready to tackle whatever the day has in store. So, does looking upwards wake you up? Let's dive deeper into the science behind this curious phenomenon and explore whether this trick really works.

What Does Looking Up Do to Your Brain?

Looking up may seem like a small and insignificant movement, but it can actually have a significant impact on the brain. Rolling the eyes upward is a natural response that occurs when the body is attempting to access lost or hidden information. This movement has been found to trigger the production of alpha waves in the brain, which are neural oscillations in the frequency range of 8-12 Hz.

Alpha waves are known to originate from the synchronous and coherent electrical activity of thalamic pacemaker cells in humans. These waves have been linked to a state of relaxation and creativity, as well as an increased ability to learn and retain information. When alpha waves are produced, the brain enters a more receptive state, making it easier to process information and access memories.

Interestingly, when we look up, our brains perceptual images aren’t competing with images from the mind. This allows our minds to become more focused and productive, helping us to be more efficient and effective. The alpha waves produced during this movement have also been linked to increased brain connectivity and improved cognitive function.

Studies have shown that when we roll our eyes upward, it can help to alleviate stress and tension in the neck and shoulders. This is because the movement helps to release tension in the muscles, allowing the body to relax and release stress.

However, it can have a significant impact on the brain and body. So next time you find yourself lost in thought, take a moment to roll your eyes upward and see the difference it can make!

Our body language can often convey a lot about our thoughts and emotions, even without saying a word. Looking up is one such gesture that can have multiple meanings, from contemplating a response to feeling overwhelmed by circumstances. Let’s explore some of the possible interpretations of looking up and what they can tell us about ourselves and others.

What Does It Mean When You Look Up?

In these instances, looking up can be seen as a hopeful or optimistic gesture, a way to seek inspiration or divine intervention. In this sense, looking up may be a coping mechanism or a way to seek clarity and perspective.

It can be a way to search for inspiration, to cope with stress, to express curiosity, or to show respect (or disrespect). As such, understanding the nuances of this gesture can help us communicate more effectively and empathetically with others, and to appreciate the subtle ways in which body language conveys meaning and emotion.

The History and Cultural Significance of Looking Up in Various Societies and Religions

Throughout history and across cultures and religions, looking up has held cultural significance. In some societies, it was a sign of respect or submission, while in others, it symbolized a connection to the divine or higher power. The act of looking up has been depicted in art, literature, and architecture, and continues to hold cultural importance in modern times.

As a highly complex and dynamic organ, the human brain has long been a topic of fascination and study. One common observation is that people often look upwards when deep in thought. This seemingly insignificant behavior has intrigued scientists and researchers, who’ve sought to unravel the reasons behind it. Recent research suggests that this inclination to look upwards while thinking may have roots in our evolutionary history. The next part of this article explores this intriguing phenomenon in detail.

Why Do People Look Upwards When Thinking?

Moreover, looking upwards while thinking may also be a subconscious way of accessing memories that are stored in our visual cortex. Our brains process information about visual objects in a different way than we process verbal or semantic information, and accessing these memories through eye movements may be helpful when trying to remember something.

Additionally, many people find that looking upwards helps them to concentrate and focus on the task at hand. This may be due to the fact that looking up engages the muscles and nerves that control the neck and head, which may stimulate areas of the brain related to cognitive control and attention.

Interestingly, cultural and social factors may also play a role in why people look upwards while thinking. For example, in many religions and spiritual practices, looking upwards is seen as a way to connect with a higher power or divine force. This may be why people often look upwards when seeking inspiration or attempting to find answers to more existential questions.

It’s worth noting, however, that not everyone looks upwards when they’re thinking. Some people may look down or to the side, or not move their eyes at all. It’s also possible that some people have developed certain habits or rituals related to eye movements while thinking that are unique to them.

While more research is needed to fully understand why we do it, it’s clear that looking upwards while thinking is an important part of how we process information and solve problems in our daily lives.


In conclusion, the simple act of looking upwards can have a significant impact on our alertness and energy levels. While resting our eyelids can induce feelings of drowsiness, opening our eyes wide and directing them towards a light source can send signals to our brain to wake up, leaving us feeling more refreshed and alert. This suggests that there are small, easy changes we can incorporate into our daily routines to help us feel more energized and awake throughout the day. So, next time you feel yourself starting to doze off, try gazing upwards instead – it just might do the trick!