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alpha brain waves alpha waves benefits what are alpha waves alpha state of mind

Alpha brain waves: 3 ways to increase brain power for productivity.

Published Nov 7, 2023 | Updated Feb 8, 2024

How do you feel when you check off every item on a long to-do list? Pure euphoria with a sense of achievement. Being productive only has pros. A productive mindset motivates you to effectively manage your time and energy. In addition to adding up accomplishments, it also allows you the liberty to pursue activities you enjoy, thus improving creativity. To be truly productive, your brain needs to be rested but alert. Almost in a meditative state, which enhances focus. Find out how you can fine tune your brain function to increase productivity.

Alpha state of mind: The science of  alpha brain waves.

The brain operates via electric activity, much like  gadgets that use electrical signals to power on or off. The brain is more complex than a TV or a toaster. It possesses distinct forms of electrical activity, also known as brain waves. The brain produces certain brain waves when it is relaxed and recharging. These are called alpha waves. There is promising research on alpha waves benefits and why your brain can benefit from being in this state more often.

What are alpha waves benefits?

Productivity is often associated with completing tasks left and right and getting through a multitude of chores at lightning speed. It is important to balance a highly active state of mind with a relaxed but alert state to maximise productivity. And this is how alpha waves can contribute towards productivity. A calm mind (alpha brain state) improves learning and overall mental well-being [1]. Increased alpha waves are also associated with increased creativity, [2] an important skill for enhanced productivity. When research participants’ brain activity was monitored, it was found that they could make innovative connections on a creative task [2]. It helped them look past obvious routes and think of new solutions. Another study found that in long term stress was associated with alpha waves imbalance [3] suggesting its role in maintaining a relaxed but alert state of mind. 

How to be more productive with alpha waves?

Your brain constantly produces brain waves as its normal mode of function. You can modulate these waves to work for you. There are 3 scientific ways that can promote alpha waves production:

  • Increase l-theanine intake for more alpha waves.

L-theanine is a unique nutrient extracted from green tea, accounting for 1-2% of the leaves' dry weight. It is sought after for its ability to induce relaxation without causing drowsiness. Upon intake, you can witness its effects within 30 minutes [4]. L-theanine has also shown to significantly increase the alpha waves activity [4]. This was seen to increase over time for almost 2 hours after intake, making l-theanine an effective way of increasing alpha waves. brain feed has produced l-theanine that is naturally extracted from green tea and provides evidence-backed doses of 250mg/capsule. Read more here. If you are looking to have a relaxed state of mind before undertaking a long list of tasks, take some l-theanine to boost your productivity.

  • Meditation increases alpha waves.

Meditation is defined as “a mental practice aiming to improve the psychological capacity of self-regulation regarding attention, awareness, and emotion.” [5] Part of the reason why you feel so relaxed and focused after a meditation session is due to an increase in alpha waves. When a group of participants were asked to meditate for 20 minutes and compared to those just resting for 20 minutes, it was found that meditators had an increased production of alpha waves [6]. During meditation, the brain processes inner thoughts and organises them without external noise. Regardless of the level of meditation training, being able to meditate can increase alpha waves [7]. Even if you are a beginner, it’s a good idea to take 20 mins of your day, to deep breath, refocus on your mind and activate your alpha waves.

  • Getting a massage can boost alpha waves.

The common theme in these interventions of increasing alpha waves is that these are relaxing activities that allow you to experience zen amidst the hustle and bustle of life. Getting a massage is highly relaxing and is associated with increased alpha waves. A type of massage called the manual lymph drainage (MLD) was done on stressed individuals for 20 mins. When brain waves were measured before and after, the massage led to increased alpha waves [8]. Massages are known to reduce heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormone levels, which can be related to increased alpha waves. 

Swedish massage along with aromatherapy, is another massage that was shown to increase alpha waves. Participants received a 40 mins session, twice a week for 4 weeks, alpha waves were increased for a short term after each session [9].

The takeaway is to improve productivity, it is essential to promote mental states that can help increase restful alertness and creativity. This can be achieved through increased alpha waves. Increasing l-theanine intake can be one of the most efficient ways of increasing alpha waves. Meditating and getting massages are other ways to boost these ways so you can be productive when it calls for focused attention.


  1. Stinson, B., & Arthur, D. (2013). A novel EEG for alpha brain state training, neurobiofeedback and behavior change. Complementary therapies in clinical practice19(3), 114–118. 
  2. Luft, C.D.B., Zioga, I., Thompson, N.M., Banissy, M.J. and Bhattacharya, J. (2018). Right temporal alpha oscillations as a neural mechanism for inhibiting obvious associations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(52), pp.E12144–E12152.
  3. Saeed, S. M. U., Anwar, S. M., Khalid, H., Majid, M., & Bagci, A. U. (2020). EEG based Classification of Long-term Stress Using Psychological Labeling. Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)20(7), 1886.
  4. Nobre, A. et al. (2008). L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr, [online] 17(S1), pp.167–168.
  5. Brandmeyer, T., Delorme, A., & Wahbeh, H. (2019). The neuroscience of meditation: classification, phenomenology, correlates, and mechanisms. Progress in brain research, 244, 1–29.
  6. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). (2010, March 31). Brain waves and meditation. ScienceDaily.
  7. Katyal, S., & Goldin, P. (2021). Alpha and theta oscillations are inversely related to progressive levels of meditation depth. Neuroscience of consciousness2021(1), niab042.
  8. Shim, J. M., Yeun, Y. R., Kim, H. Y., & Kim, S. J. (2017). Effects of manual lymph drainage for abdomen on the brain activity of subjects with psychological stress. Journal of physical therapy science29(3), 491–494.

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