How to improve cognitive function – meaning the ability to think more clearly, be productive and perhaps to work successful towards meaningful goals – has been the subject of academic study and review for decades now.
If we can learn to think more clearly, be more analytical and focused on the achievement of long-term objectives rather than only being focused on the pleasure received from immediate gratification, then individuals and society as a whole can benefit enormously from a shift in global focus.
What are some ways that we can each individually improve our cognitive function to perform better each day? Some of the following methods may seem obvious, but ask yourself, ask you doing them every day? Or do you just know they make sense, but they’re not part of your daily habits?
Getting Enough Sleep
Without enough REM sleep especially, the body cannot repair itself, regenerate cells (including those in the brain) or provide recovery from the stress and strain of the previous day’s activities. Getting 7-8 hours a night of non-interrupted sleep is essential for most people, especially as one gets older and gets tired more easily.
You may have noticed if you’ve reached age 30 already then without sufficient sleep you just don’t function as well, your brain is sluggish, your memory isn’t as good, and you just aren’t as capable.
Exercise Several Times A Week
Despite the wear and tear that exercise puts on your body (especially your poor feet) and however difficult it is to put one foot in front of the other the first few times you go out to exercise, there are numerous health benefits from regular exercise including helping with cognitive function.
It is as if working out also gives your brain a workout. I find that I can clear my mind and think through different kinds of more global problems at a 50,000 feet elevation looking down, rather than thinking about the most immediately problems in front of me. Exercise therefore is not just beneficial to clearer thinking, but it can also help to focus more on long-term objectives and verify whether you’re still going in the right direction or not.
Protein At Breakfast
Western diets often are lacking in protein for the first meal of the day that fuels you. It’s important to address that by adding in some nuts or other protein sources beyond a sugary cereal and low-fat milk.
Protein can help with thinking more clearly and medical reports suggest that the body converts meals into energy more effectively if they are balanced with a portion of protein with every meal, including breakfast.
A good percentage of office workers reach for their cup of Joe in the morning for that rich taste and much needed caffeine kick to get their engines started. But there is a better alternative…
Caffeine and L-Theanine
Green Tea Focus is a pill-based supplement with L-Theanine (originating from green tea) and caffeine. Research for both these substances made clear that combining them delivered better cognitive results than caffeine did alone, and in just 30 minutes instead of the hour that caffeine takes.