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6 Brain Boosting Herbs To Improve Your Productivity

6 Brain Boosting Herbs To Improve Your Productivity

    Does your brain feel tired sometimes?

    Do you sometimes feel that your brain’s capacity is not up your daily demands?

    Do you sometimes become forgetful because your brain is overtaxed?

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    Is your memory sometimes weak?

    Can focusing be difficult for you some of the time?

    If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are like the rest of us, struggling to be productive in an extremely fast paced and complex world.

    The good news is that there are ways to protect your brain from excessive demands so that you can function at your best.

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    How To Help An Overtaxed Brain

    Lifestyle choices make a big difference in your mental resilience. Poor food and unhealthy daily practices are an unnecessary burden to your body including your brain – like trying to jog with 50 pound weights.

    However, we all know that our circumstances are less than ideal and that we cannot always make ideal choices

    Medicinal herbs can overcome excessive amounts of stress and lifestyle challenges to help you function at your best. Here is a list of herbs for the brain that will help you get rid of those 50 pound weights.

    6 Top Brain Herbs

    1. Brahmi is the top herb for rejuvenating the brain and nervous system. It helps the left and right sides of the brain to work together. Brahmi improves all aspects of mental functioning including the ability to learn new information, to retain what we learn and our ability to remember.Brahmi packs a double whammy of benefits because it supports our intelligence while reducing the effects of stress on the brain. It offers 4 primary benefits:
      • improved capacity for attention and focus,
      • improved ability to withstand emotional stress
      • reduction in nervousness and anxiety
      • improved immune system function.

      Brahmi also helps with insomnia, helps prevent senility, and heals adrenal grands debilitated by stress which can lead to adrenal burnout. Although brahmi is sometimes called gotu kola in english, gotu kola is actually a different herb.

    2. Gotu kola is another herb that has high impact on brain functioning.  Known as mandukaparni in sanskrit, it also balances the brain and helps all aspects of brain functioning, but is best known for its ability to improve blood circulation and memory.
    3. Ashwaghandha is another top herb for the brain. It reduces the effects of overwork and is one of the best for promoting mental clarity and cognitive functioning. It boosts the brain’s memory and is very helpful in supporting the immune system.Ashwaghandha does wonders for nervous exhaustion and protects the brain against brain cell deterioration.  It is an important protective herb.
    4. Vacha which means “speech” is an important herb for the brain.  It promotes better concentration, clarity and speech. It has a stimulating effect which means that it treats depression and mental sluggishness. Vacha promotes mental clarity and a strong memory at the same time it detoxifies brain tissues.
    5. Tagara known as Indian valerian helps emotional and nervous conditions.
    6. Tulsi oxygenates the brain and improves circulation which improves feelings of well-being and mental cognition.

    Essential Oils For The Brain

    Essential oils are an excellent way to treat mental fatigue and to boost your mental capacity. Here are three that can be a useful supplement to herbal remedies for times when you need to stimulate your brain.

    1. Rosemary is a bright and sharp essence that improves clarity in the mind and emotions.
    2. Peppermint is stimulating It enlivens the mind and  is one of the best oils to boost energy, creativity and learning.
    3. Basil improves mental fatigue and focus.

    Improving Your Brain’s Performance

    Nourishment is essential to your brain’s functioning. The circulation of your brain and amount of oxygen in the brain are also critical for its functioning.

    It is important to realize that your body is an ecological system and naturally, your brain is part of that ecology. So when you think about your lifestyle choices, you can then keep in mind that food in your stomach will affect all parts of you including your brain and mental functioning.

    When you understand that your brain is part of your human ecology, then you will naturally consider its needs.

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    Basic health practices of good food, exercise and rest are necessary for good brain health.  Relaxation techniques like meditation help as well.  However, in our mentally intense modern world it helps to support your brain with herbs and essences that minimize the wear and tear of overwork and stress.

    Many of the herbs listed above are available individually or in combination with others so that you can select herbs that target a specific issue or use a herbal preparation that supports general mental well-being.  I find that both approaches work.

    Taking care of your brain has so many benefits. A healthy brain makes good decisions and therefore supports your life. When not functioning well, your brain can create problems for you.

    Essentially taking care of your brain makes your life easier. These herbs can help you get there.

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    (Please note: The information in this article is general information and not a substitute for medical care. As always, consult your own physician should you have any concerns.)

    (Photo credit: Brain via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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