Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Boost Your Brain Power in 60 Seconds by Michelle Schoffro Cook

Author:Michelle Schoffro Cook
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: Rodale
Published: 2016-12-27T05:00:00+00:00


Sleep Your Way to a Super Brain

Get at least 8 hours of sleep to boost your creative juices.

Seriously, you can sleep your way to a healthier brain . . . and that’s a strategy even couch potatoes can appreciate. According to new research at the University of Notre Dame and Boston College, getting at least 8 hours of sleep helps your brain to think more creatively. The scientists also found that people who get more sleep are better able to organize memories and reconfigure them in a way that produces new insights and creative ideas. From this study, researchers determined that sleep helps consolidate memories, fixing them in your brain so you can retrieve them later.1

Other research shows that not getting enough sleep on a regular basis is a recipe for memory disaster. According to sleep expert and author of The Promise of Sleep, William C. Dement, MD, PhD, we need at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Dr. Dement also found that your body keeps track of a sleep debt. If you don’t get sufficient sleep on a regular basis, it is comparable to making ongoing withdrawals from a sleep account. We need to make up the lost hours soon afterward or our sleep account continues to go further and further into debt.

How to Benefit

So how exactly do you reap the rewards of sleep if you’re having trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, or if you experience restless sleep? Here are some of my favorite sleep-improving strategies.

■Avoid eating for at least 3 hours before bed, as indigestion, bloating, or heartburn can interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Definitely skip the caffeine in the evening or anytime after 3:00 p.m. if you have difficulty sleeping.

■Get into a regular evening relaxation ritual: Dim the lights, stop working, take a bath, or do something relaxing before bedtime. Once you’ve made this a habit, your body will naturally start preparing you for sleep when you begin your routine, and over time, getting a good night’s sleep will become easier.

■Unplug electronic devices and blue light–emitting appliances such as televisions, smartphones, computers, etc., because the blue light can interfere with your sleep cycles. If you need a night light, choose a red bulb; red light doesn’t seem to interfere with the body’s ability to fall into a state of deep sleep.

■Go to sleep at the same time each night. Your body will start to adjust to these patterns, helping you feel sleepy when your bedtime approaches.

■Alan Hirsch, MD, author of Life’s a Smelling Success, found that smelling pure lavender calmed the entire nervous system in only a minute, helping people to feel more relaxed and sleepier. Sniff some lavender essential oil or flowers, or spray lavender water on your pillowcase (water only, because the oil may stain). Be sure to choose organic lavender oil, not fragrance oil, since the latter has no health benefits and frequently contains toxic substances.

Super Health Bonus

Getting more sleep helps you lose weight if you are overweight.


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