Monday, August 11, 2008

Wake Up! - 12 Rules for a Better Brain

How's your brain feeling today? Right now, at 10:30 in the morning, mine is a bit sluggish. When asked "How are you?" by coworkers first thing in the morning, "tired" is the word I've used the most. No different today.

I need more sleep. A fellow named John Medina would agree. He wrote a book called Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. In it, he puts forth his 12 rules for a better brain.

Most of the rules are pretty obvious: exercise more, eat better, get more sleep. However, he's built a website where he lays out the science behind each of them - how a portion of your brain is physically influenced by external factors. For instance, regular exercise stimulates a part of the brain related to the thalamus, which aids in memory. A lack of sleep hinders your attention span, promotes moodiness, and impacts your logical reasoning. Your brain will better retain new information if exposed to it repeatedly.

And so forth. I find this stuff fascinating (it, uh, provides mental stimulation). If you're at all interested in how people learn, and how customers do what they do, then check out this site. All of these rules are presented in both text & video format (again, repeated exposure to new information helps in learning . . . a tip for website designers).

Best of all, the author is a strong advocate of never scheduling meetings around the 3:00 hour, but instead believes we all ought to take a brief siesta to re-charge ourselves. I've been lobbying for that around here for years!

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