Taking the right nootropics will improve your cognitive functions. You will be more focused, have an easier time remembering things, and solve complex problems quicker than ever before. That being said, there are many other factors that affect how well your brain can carry out these tasks. You could be hindering the effects of your nootropics without even knowing it. This article outline four factors you should take into consideration before starting with nootropics.
Engage in Regular Exercise
One common misconception is that physical exercise only affects bodily health. The fact is that the benefits you could gain from regular exercise include boosting your immune system, lowering your chances of depression, and improved cognitive function. Regular exercise improves your brain’s overall health and boosts cognitive function through three mechanisms of action.
- Increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain -Your brain uses oxygen as fuel. When your brain gets more oxygen it operates on a higher level improving nearly all cognitive functions.
- Increases the nerve growth factor and promotes synaptic plasticity – The nerve growth factor is the rate at which your brain is able to produce new brain cells. Synaptic plasticity ability for the connections between your nerves to change in strength. In other words, not only does regular exercise cause you to produce brain cells and a quicker rate, but it also strengthens the connection between them.
- Increases the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain – Some of these neurotransmitters include dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Higher levels of these neurotransmitters lead to an assortment of cognitive benefits.
Exercise Your Mind
The brain is like any other muscle in your body. The more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. When mental stimulation occurs, neurons connect with other neurons to form a network. Generally, people with higher IQs also have a larger, stronger, neuron network.
So how do you cause your brain to experience mental stimulation? It is simple really. You just need to “think”. Any task that plunges you into deep thought and forces you to use reasoning and logic is stimulating your brain. Many people play “mind games” to improve various parts of their brain. An excellent site to visit if you want to find good games to exercise your brain is Lumosity.
You can read more about how mental stimulation makes you smarter here.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Believe it or not, what you eat can have a substantial impact on your brain’s day-to-day functions. Have you ever noticed that after you eat a Big Mac and a Large Fry from McDonald’s you feel sluggish, have trouble focusing, and just want to sleep? There is a reason for this. High-glycemic-index foods can cause dramatic changes in blood sugar and restrict blood flow to the brain leaving you to feel mentally slow, tired, and sluggish.
So how exactly can you optimize your diet to improve your cognitive functions? WebMD provides an excellent article that can be viewed here to help.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Think of your brain as a rechargeable battery. Sleeping is when that battery recharges. If you don’t charge your battery enough at night your memory and ability to focus will suffer. You will be irritable and tired. You will not be functioning anywhere near your maximum capacity. Why does all this happen?
- During REM sleep your brain consolidates information – This consolidation of information is extremely important for not only creating new memories but also protecting old ones.
- Your brain repairs itself and boosts your immune system during sleep – If you are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis you cognitive health will decline faster as you age and you will be more susceptible to disease and infection.
Studies suggest that an average adult should get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you are not getting at least 7 hours of sleep your cognitive abilities are likely suffering.