Saturday,17 November, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1402, (19 - 25 July 2018)
Saturday,17 November, 2018
Issue 1402, (19 - 25 July 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Optimising your morning routine

Optimising your morning routine

Struggling to focus throughout your workday? Cheer up, you’re not alone. In a world of never-ending distractions, it can be hard for many people to operate at peak mental performance for long periods of time. But because what you do in the morning can make or break your brain’s performance, a few simple changes to your morning routine can significantly boost your functioning. 

Neuroscientists recommend adopting these habits for a morning routine that’s kind to your brain. You can start with just one change at a time.



Eat breakfast at the same time

Eat breakfast at the same time: 

Constant energy is the key to mental performance. Eggs, avocados, salmon, nuts, seeds, and berries are great brain-friendly breakfast choices. Try to avoid pastries, white bread and sugary cereals, as they will give you a mental and physical dip a few hours after eating them. Eating your breakfast at the same time every day also helps regulate your rhythm and digestion, priming your brain for peak performance and reducing the need for unnecessary decision-making.


Get enough sleep

Get enough sleep: 

Aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep since any less will likely impact on your pituitary function that regulates crucial hormones governing your appetite, mood, alertness and eventually your overall strength.


Start with difficult tasks

Start with difficult tasks: 

Your brain’s energy is at its peak in the early morning, so arrange challenging meetings or complex tasks then that are likely to be most cognitively demanding. A morning routine that optimises your brain for peak performance is as much about what you do after waking up as how and when you do it.


Meditate every morning

Meditate every morning: 

Regular mindfulness meditation can improve your focus and executive functioning, the higher-level thinking required for effective and flexible problem-solving. These practices also decrease the negative thinking that acts like a brain-energy sponge, especially in the morning. You also don’t need to meditate for long to gain the benefits: according to an American study, just 12 minutes a day is enough to increase mental resilience.


Don’t drink coffee

Don’t drink coffee: 

Start your day with a glass of water, or hot water and lemon, or a cup of turmeric or green tea instead of your regular espresso. Caffeine is the worst thing you can do for your brain and body first thing in the morning. Though green tea does contain caffeine, it contains considerably less than coffee and is packed with antioxidant compounds that boost brain health. If you add a teaspoon of coconut oil to the mix, you may even get an extra 20-minute brain boost.


Stretching

Stretching: 

Some people may feel stretching is a luxury they can’t afford when rushing to work, but it is a great way to wake up your brain and your muscles. Doing a mini-yoga circuit for a few minutes in the sun will improve the oxygen flow to your brain. Any upside-down pose enhances the blood flow and redistributes nutrients to the upper half of your body.

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