Three Tips for a Shaper Brain
Have you ever woken up feeling sluggish and tired? Like you just wanted to stay in bed all day? Maybe you reached for some coffee to give you that extra kick. There’s no shame in that game but overtime, we can feel less and less alert and it’s taking more and more to wake up. Maybe our memory starts getting foggy, and words don’t come to us as easily. Maybe we feel less attentive or can’t comprehend what’s going on as well as before. Luckily, there are simple, effective, low cost tips that can make our brain be healthy and sharp again.
1. Deep Sleep
The amount of deep sleep we get every night directly affects how well-rested we wake up feeling in the morning. When we sleep, the body cycles through various sleep stages, each with its unique characteristics. The first stage is light sleep that is marked by slowing brain activity, heart rate, and breathing rate. The next stage is similar to the first and both are relatively easy to be woken up out of. But the third stage is when deep sleep happens and it’s the most important stage for our cognitive and physical well-being.
During deep sleep, the following vital activities occur:
– memory consolidation
– human growth hormone secretion
– cells regeneration
– immune system strengthening
– rest for the brain’s neocortical region
To get the best sleep, try taking a walk in the morning sun for at least 30 minutes, turning off all blue-light emitting devices at least one hour before be. If falling asleep or staying asleep is a problem, try CBD oil. This cannabinoid has a distinct effect on the brain and nervous system that helps regulate the release of hormones that promote deep sleep.
2. Matcha Green Tea
Matcha is a powder form of green tea that uses the whole plant. Because the whole leaf is ground up and consumed, it has a greater concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than what is typically found in green tea. Matcha has both caffeine as well as L-theanine. As caffeine is a stimulant, it gives energy while the L-theanine, a rare amino acid, actually promotes a state of relaxation. It is said that match tea gives an “alert calm” or “relaxed alertness.” L-Theanine can also help memory, learning, focus and clarity of mind so this tea wakes us up without the nervous jitters that comes with coffee.
3. Weight Training
Besides making muscles stronger, when we lift weights, hormone production increases which triggers changes in the brain’s structure like the creation of new blood vessels, the formation of new brain cells, and stronger connections between cells. Consistent weight training also increases the size of some parts of the brain. All these changes in the brain structure have been linked to improved mental function and psychological well-being.
But we don’t need to go hard and long to reap these benefits. Using body weight or light weights is just as effective as heavy dumbbells when resistance training. So, if you prefer yoga to crossfit, that can work as long as you are holding the pose versus flowing through quickly. Also, many yoga studios are now offering classes that incorporate light dumbbells into their yoga practice as they see the value in strength training for better results.
Try these three simple tips for improved memory, focus and clarity. Your brain will be grateful for it.