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6 Important Tips For Better Sleep When You Travel

6 Important Tips For Better Sleep When You Travel

When traveling, sleep is one of those things that is crucial to the experiences you have when starting out on your trip. If you don’t get enough sleep, especially when switching time zones, you will find that your sleep will be out of whack and you will end up yawning all day during hiking trip, while feeling restless in the dead of night. Today, we will discuss six important steps to take when attempting to have better sleep while traveling.

1. Modify your sleep.

It’s important to ensure that you tailor your sleep a couple of days before leaving to prepare yourself for the impact of a new timezone. This includes tailoring your bedtime, a couple of days before departure, to that of your new location. Doing this will shift your eating habits and ensure that once you get to your hotel or hostel, you will be ready to tackle the new time. Once there, you can simply keep the blinds cracked and wake up naturally to get yourself acclimated fully with the new timezone.

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2. Stay hydrated.

In high altitudes, along with the air purification, your body and skin will likely get dehydrated. Because of this, it is important to ensure that you increase your liquid intake about 24–48 hours before departure. During your flight, don’t depend on the beverage carts for water. Bring a large water bottle of your own to stay hydrated. This will prevent grogginess when you awaken from rest on the plane.

3. Avoid red-eye flights.

Red-eye flights may seem like something that is only partaken by those who are on international flights. However, there are many individuals who even go on moderate length domestic flights who make use of red eye flights to ensure that they make the most of their time out of town. However, unless you truly have to for international travel, it’s highly recommended not to take red-eye flights. They disrupt your sleep because the air flight is only a small portion of your travels. You’ll also have to deal with baggage claim, transfer to the hotel, and getting allocated there. In the end, this disturbs how you sleep for most of the trip.

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4. Reduce stimuli.

When attempting to sleep, albeit on the plane or in your hotel on the first night, it’s best to try and reduce the amount of stimuli that you have while attempting to sleep. This includes restricting your use of television, computers, or doing a smartphone detox about an hour to an hour and a half before going to bed. It’s fine to go to sleep to music, but it’s best to play music that isn’t distracting or loud. Rock music, for example, may not be the best music to go to sleep to because it will activate a certain aspect of your brain that will prevent you from knowing it’s time to rest.

5. Dress the part.

When traveling and attempting to sleep on the plane, it’s best to dress for the part before departure. Whenever I have an air flight that I know will be longer than two and a half hours, I will ensure that I dress in sweatpants, short sleeves, and a hoodie or sweatshirt. Comfort over fashion, or even a happy medium of both, is important to ensure that your body is comfortable enough for you to get some shut eye.

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6. Focus on what you eat.

Lastly, what you eat will largely influence how you are feeling during the flight and how you will be able to sleep. If you are eating foods that will weigh heavily on your stomach, you will find that because your body is attempting to digest the food, you will feel a bit more tired, but you may not find it easier to get some sleep if your body isn’t ready. Instead, eat a decent sized meal before your long flight, and simply snack during the flight until in-flight meals are provided. This will ensure that if you do get some sleep, you will be able to awaken refreshed.

With these six tips, you will be able to fully enjoy your flight well rested. Let us know in the comments below which tip works best for you and if you have any tips for us.

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Featured photo credit: Gizmodo India via img.gawkerassets.com

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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