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Jan 01

Tip of the Month – December 2019

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Coach Monika Says…


No Snooze, You Lose

Image result for asleep at desk images

Researchers keep reporting that more and more children, teens, and adults show signs of tiredness during their daily undertakings. Obviously, this also becomes an issue with many younger and older athletes, and those experiencing a sudden growth spurt. College and University students are likewise affected, especially in classes after lunch, leading to a lack of focus and concentration. In numerous cases, schools in the USA and Canada usually begin between 8:00-9:00 AM, and given this situation in Calgary, Alberta, many children have to take the school bus to be transported as early as 7:00 o’clock. This means ‘rise and shine’ around 5:30 AM! If bedtime and ‘tech gadget’ access are not strictly controlled by parents, children are just not getting enough sleep!

Here are tips from NeuroNation, Germany:

Week 1: Give High-Tech Gadget ‘A Break’ (especially at night)

The Journal of “Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes” published a study, showing that people, who use smartphones after 9:00 PM were more tired the next day, and therefore less resilient and able to perform under pressure. Transfer these findings toward athletes’ training or having to achieve performance standards! Being on the phone late at night makes it more difficult to fall asleep, and impedes regeneration of the body, especially if calls or communication involves the job or business decisions … take note Coaches!

Week 2: Increase Daily Fluid Intake – Stay Hydrated

Tiredness and sleepiness can be ‘triggered’ by poor circulation or limited blood flow to the brain. When drinking less, the blood becomes more viscous (sticky), and less blood flows to the brain, resulting in tiredness. Determine the daily amount of fluid required by your body weight
(approximately 2 liters/8 cups). Have a bottle of mineral water at your office desk, and at your bedside.

Week 3: Adults – Avoid Alcohol late at Night

Most likely, children and teens are not part of this scenario but coaches and older athletes could be affected. Do you like a nightcap, beer or glass of wine, to help you relax? Some people report that alcohol makes them sleepy and it helps them to fall asleep more easily. However, researchers found that sleep quality suffers, resulting in either restlessness or wakening sporadically because adrenalin is produced. It is recommended to avoid consuming alcohol 3-4 hours prior in order to have optimal sleep quality.

Week 4: Stick to ‘Lean Cuisine’

The more fatty food is consumed, the more sleep disturbances can be experienced, according to the Journal of Sleep Medicine. In addition, not only sleep is affected but also tiredness during the day is attributed to the consumption of fatty food. In other words, not only our body shape but also our sleep is going to benefit from proper nutrition.

Keep the ‘Brain Fit’

We receive and absorb a lot of information during the day. In order to ‘survive’ the brain has to make imperative decisions on storing the information that is important and ignoring the lesser one. The more we take in, the more demanding and stressful it is for our brain… and exhaustion sets in. According to the Journal of Neuroscience, even a disorderly or messy desk (homework or studying) can produce fatigue and exhaustion! The best results have been attributed to engaging in ‘brain fitness’ exercises, and of course, having quality sleep. ‘Brain fitness’ strengthens especially work-related memory, which is responsible for sorting out the information base. The stronger and fitter the brain, the less the chance of fatigue and exhaustion.

Examples of Brain Fitness Exercises:

Test your recall: Make a list of things to do, or anything else that comes to mind, and memorize it. An hour or so later, see how many items you can recall.

Do math in your head: Figure out problems without the aid of pencil, paper, or computer; you can make this more difficult – and athletic – by walking at the same time.

Learn a foreign language: The listening and hearing involved stimulate the brain. What’s more, a rich vocabulary has been linked to a reduced risk for cognitive decline.

Create word pictures: Visualize the spelling of a word in your head, then try and think of any other words that begin (or end) with the same two letters.

Draw a map from memory: After returning home from visiting a new place, try to draw a map of the area; repeat this exercise each time you visit a new location.

Challenge your taste buds: When eating, try to identify individual ingredients in your meal, including subtle herbs and spices.

Refine your hand-eye abilities: Take up a new hobby that involves fine-motor skills, drawing, painting, assembling a puzzle, etc. Use your non-dominant hand for selected skills or writing

Try a new sport: Start doing an athletic exercise that utilizes both mind and body, such as yoga, golf, or tennis.

Start writing or type / to choose a block

References: 

NeuroNation, Germany: https://sp.neuronation.com/en/

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