5 Scientifically Proven Effective Practices For Sharper Mind
Lifestyle • August 12, 2022 • 13min read
- Brain activity may decrease under stressful conditions in the workplace
- Lack of focus may make you less productive, unable to prioritize important tasks, and lead to job burnout
- Famous longevity expert Dr. David Sinclair and neurologist Dr. Andrew Huberman share their tips for enhancing brain activity
- To regain your energy, a sharper mind, and be constructive at your workplace you may adopt the healthy eating and lifestyle habits we discuss in this article
- Along with daily practices of a healthy lifestyle, several supplements may assist in your brain function and productive work
In the fast-growing world of thousands of new jobs and positions, where you think intensively, you need easily-adaptable brains and a sharper mind. Your brain is oftentimes exposed to stress and tension in the fast-paced environment of your workplace. These culprits may even leave us with brain fog. Plus, you may experience a lack of focus, attention deficiency, and an inability to prioritize important tasks.
If you are a TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday) type of person, you may enter the week with a high load of energy. But the chances are you may crave an idle Friday night with films or a refreshing drink. There can be different reasons for low energy levels, lack of focus, and brain fog. And the solutions to these issues can be found inside your body.
We will discuss the reasons for lack of concentration, and lower productivity. Yet, we will not leave you without solutions to these challenges. So, read on this article to learn what Harvard University Scientist Dr. David Sinclair and Neurologist Andrew Huberman advise to revive your sharper mind and ability to focus while living in your professional world.
5 Tips For Keeping Professional Attitude And Sharper Mind
The new conditions of working remotely and mostly from home can be distractive. While family and pets need your absolute attention it is getting harder to be productive and focus on daily important tasks.
There can be different reasons for lack of focus and low energy in the workplace as well. This may cause additional stress and job burnout. The latter two are undesired outcomes when you need to make business decisions, be attentive while reading documents, focus on the priority tasks with approaching deadlines, and stay alert during meetings.
It may not always be possible to avoid mistakes, yet it is possible to lower the possibility of repetitive errors in your work. David Sinclair, an eminent expert in longevity, and Andrew Huberman share several ways to improve your fast learning and focusing skills.
By improving brain function you may become twice as productive and able to cope with complex challenges. The 5 tips from Sinclair and Huberman that may help you develop a sharper mind and focus, are the following
- Quality sleep
- Proper eating
- NMN supplementation
- Social connection
- Regular exercise
1. Quality Sleep
Your whole body and its functions are dependent on your brain function. The brain “chooses” to be alert focused or distracted according to many aspects of health and activities. One of the key factors for better brain function is quality and ample sleep.
If your brain is not well nourished by sleeping or when your circadian rhythms are destroyed you get easily distracted and less productive. Your energy levels are always low caused by a lack of proper sleep. Then irritation and depression emerge as side effects of poor sleeping habits.
This is how you can improve your sleeping.
- Light. When you are preparing for sleep shade the blue light sources. Avoid any screens and wind down 30 minutes before you go to bed. The reason Sinclair and Huberman advise closing blue light is that it suppresses the production of melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that raises drowsiness. This hormone is produced naturally by your body, moreover, several scientifically proven supplements also promote melatonin production and sleep.
One of these supplements is Vitamin B12. Boosting your sounder sleep with Vitamin B12 will also help to regulate your circadian rhythms. The latter is important if you aim to have a scheduled day and manage daily tasks on time.
In the mornings you should get the blue light to wake up quickly. David Sinclair advises opening your shades right after you open your eyes, and taking a short walk with your four-legged friends as soon as you get up. This can be a fresh start for the upcoming productive day.
- Temperature. Recent scientific research showed that high room and bedding temperatures may impair sounder sleep and cause sleep deprivation followed by depression and lack of focus the next day.
Both Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Huberman advise lowering the room temperature by 3 degrees. You may use room ventilators, and special cooling mattresses or keep your windows open 3-4 hours before you head to sleep.
The opposite goes for the morning. To stay alert manage your job at its best and be focused on important duties, you can wake up and take a 3-4 minute cool shower. By doing this you will assist your brain to wake up quicker and become sharp for the rest of the day.
Another advantage of cool showers and cold therapies in the morning is the raise of dopamine levels. This hormone goes with the name “feel-good hormone” and it is because dopamine gives you a feeling of contentment and high motivation. Don’t you agree that oftentimes what we need most at work is motivation?
- Avoid caffeine. You may have a mug of coffee earlier in the morning to help you wake up. Yet, the consumption of caffeine before sleep can be deteriorating. If you aim for better sleep and regained next-day focus, you should try to avoid caffeine at least 5 hours before bedtime.
Though, black coffee without additives may boost your energy levels and focus.
2. Eat To Have Peak Brain Function
It is always beneficial to boost your health naturally. This can be done through exercise, food, and a mindful lifestyle. If through exercise you can intervene your brain function, by eating certain foods you can directly enhance the brain function and the ability to focus better.
This main driving gear requires proper eating of foods that naturally improve your brain health and activity. Let us talk about some of these foods and nutrients succinctly.
- According to Dr. Huberman, your brain continues to think thanks to neurons. And their invariant activity is supported by fats. But these fats that create the cells in the neurons are different from the fats we know. And the right foods can be the building blocks for neurons that back your brain function.
Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids are the fats your brain needs. You can enhance the operation of your brain neurons with Omega 3 fatty acids via supplements such as fish oil, Omega-3 capsules, and other widely available natural oils. Dr. Huberman advises using 1-3g of Omega-3 a day.
The foods that contain essential fats for improving sharper mind and healthy brain function are seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines), seeds and nuts (such as chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds), and plant oils (flaxseed oil, canola oil, hemp seed oil).
- Another substance that the brain neurons need for sustainable function is Phosphatidylserine. Let this word not fear you as it is a simple type of fatty compound also known as a phospholipid.
This substance is crucial for protecting brain cells and neuron health. Moreover, Phosphatidylserine plays a central role in keeping your mind sharp and improving your memory.
The main sources of this substance are egg yolks, soy, white beans, and liver meat. Plus, you can obtain Phosphatidylserine supplements in powder and capsule forms.
- Hydration is always the king of your health. The fresh oxygen you receive from a glass of water can effectively enhance the electrolyte levels in your body. Electrolytes in the brain keep the essential communication of your brain neurons. Balanced levels of electrolytes will hinder tiredness, seizures in your head, headaches, and lack of concentration.
So, start your day with a glass of fresh water. And remember to have a glass of water on your desk to maintain a clear mind and enhanced focus. Help your brain clean up the exhaustion and stress with every sip of oxygen.
- Mental fatigue and depression are sometimes not avoidable during 8- or more hours of work. So, Dr. Huberman shares a comparative study that shows the effects you can get from creatine substances.
According to the study, creatine which is present in animal foods such as milk, meat, and seafood, is associated with low depression and cognitive function. If you are vegan, you can buy creatine supplements to intervene in your brain health for sharper thinking.
- Other superfoods beneficial for brain health are dark skin berries including black currant, dark grapes, blueberries, gooseberries, black mulberries, and red figs. According to a study, berries improve the communication of brain cells.
Dark skin berries also improve memory and cognition in adults and children. Consume them in a form of smoothies or as a spread for your morning cereal to support your brain and be productive at work.
3. Take NMN For Sharper Mind
NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) is an essential natural molecule in your body supporting your DNA protection through the activation of the NAD+ molecule. The latter is the short name of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide and is the core molecule for human and every living creature’s existence.
NAD+ is present throughout your body and in all your cells. So, the brain also gets its portions of NAD+ molecule. Sadly, NAD+ levels decline with age caused by external and internal stresses such as poor health, diet patterns, sedentary lifestyle, unattended inflammations, and others.
Although the hypothalamus is a small part of the human brain, it performs an essential role in human energy regulation, glucose metabolism, circadian rhythms, and aging-associated physiological complications. There is an ample concentration of NAD+ in the hypothalamus. Yet, the levels of NAD tend to decline over time.
Along with NAD+, NMN is also naturally present in your body. And similarly to NAD, NMN levels also deplete with age. David Sinclair talks about NAD+ boosters or precursors as one of the means to slow down the degenerative processes or even reverse them.
The NAD+ boosters are NR or NMN supplements that are now available in online stores. These supplements showed numerous benefits on metabolic functions, energy levels, and brain function improvements during human and animal studies.
Noteworthy is the study where scientists treated 3 groups of mice with NMN supplements for 2 weeks to see the effects of it on their learning abilities and problem-solving skills. The groups of young and healthy mice, old and impaired mice, and NMN-treated old mice were put into a maze. The task is clear, to see which group of mice can pass the challenge without errors.
The young mice, no surprise, were the ones to solve the problem without any error. However, aged and unhealthy mice made two errors in total. Significantly, the mice treated with NMN succeed to escape the maze leaving one error.
This study indicates that mice treated with NMN regained their fast learning ability to levels equal to that of young mice. Using the method of measuring cognitive function, scientists concluded that NMN helped mice restore recognition memory that helps them easily and quickly explore new or familiar objects.
From the results of this study, we can conclude that even short-term NMN supplementation may convey numerous healthy impacts both for fast learning, and focus but also problem-solving abilities. The last two are important skills for succeeding in your professional and daily life. Eventually, as Dr. Sinclair mentions “…there is no reason I can think that what works in mice shouldn’t work in humans too.”
4. Stay Socially Connected
Every quality meeting, talk, or interaction with other people requires attention and interest in each other. Moreover, while listening not to answer but to understand your interlocuter you train your brain to stay focused and remember new useful information.
Every new connection brings new interests, and new information, and sometimes you can learn new skills from other people. And this process of continuous learning and evolving as a professional helps you think creatively, seek future development, and of course, boosts your brain’s healthy activity.
To make your circle of friends wider and your life active, try to join different activity groups. You can accompany a group of mindful activities to stay socially connected and sharpen your thinking while meditating. And as Dr. Wendy Suzuki shares in the podcast with Dr. Huberman, meditation helps not only to lower depression but also improves your ability to stay focused.
As a part of socializing you can speak to people of foreign nationality to not only make new connections but even learn new languages. According to numerous studies, learning new languages, solving puzzles, and acquiring new hobbies helps you keep your mind sharp.
The company of your beloved pets can also be one of the best types of social connection. This way you not only enjoy the time with your fluffy friends but also feel connected with nature.
5. Exercise As A Fuel For The Brain
Both David Sinclair and Andrew Huberman suggest exercise for elevated energy levels and focus. Exercise or balanced physical activities are double-edged helpers for sounder sleep and awakening in the morning.
For instance, if you love intense exercises, you better practice it in the morning 2 hours later you wake up or during the second half of the day, 5 hours before you go to sleep. And you already know that exercises are a great tool for gaining more energy.
Yet, it is also great for devouring energy, tiring you up, and making you crave sleep. And as you already learned, sleep is an impeccable component of a sharper mind and concentration.
The morning exercises are great for boosting your endorphin levels helping you better cope with stress and anxiety, and also giving you a feeling of relaxation. Besides the mentioned positive side effects of exercise, energy and concentration levels peak after a morning exercise.
The corporate world requires loads of energy, concentration, and a sharp mind. But sometimes you may lose your power, become nervous, and experience burnout. The lack of motivation may be the reason for easy distractions and nonproductivity.
Fortunately, scientists and neurologists work unceasingly to help us out by finding practical ways how to restore a sharper mind and better focus. According to Dr. Sinclair and Dr. Huberman, the 5 effective ways of enhanced brain work are exercise, quality sleep, NMN supplements, nutritional food intake, and social connection.
Implement these 5 effortless techniques in your daily life and the improvements will not make you wait too long.