Sleep: Boost & Power Nap Your Brain!

Sleep to Boost Your Brain

A good night’s rest is one of the best brain boosts. It’s crucial for your brain to function properly. Sleep deprivation may negatively impact your cognitive function, your mood, your judgement and even your waistline. Isn’t that enough incentive to ensure you get adequate zzz’s?

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is when we dream. 25% of our sleep is in the REM stage. Researchers believe that during REM, your brain selects the most important bits of information that it has processed throughout the day.

Deep or stage IV sleep is vital to brain function. As we get older, we are in less of this phase and it’s probably no coincidence that our cognitive skills change as well.

There’s still debate on how much rest we need, but on average, most people need 7 to 8 hours per night, some require less and others more.

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4 Tips for Better Sleep
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* Reduce your caffeine intake
* Increase your physical activity
* Listen to calming music
* Meditate

Wake up your brain with our fun brain games.

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How to Meditate When You Think You Can’t

Woman Who Meditates

Meditation is a powerful practice that is good for both your brain and body. And, just like Fit Brains, you can do it for just 1 to 2 minutes anywhere, anytime with immediate benefits. So it’s a no-brainer that we should all do it.

Meditation 101 ‘Ommm’

1. Pick a general time

Meditate to start off your day but if you are too rushed in the morning, any time that’s convenient is fine. Just try to pick a time that you can do daily so it becomes easier to make it a habit.

2. Find a quiet spot

It can be your bed, a bench on a park or the beach.

3. Get into a comfortable position

Either sit or lie down. Don’t slouch. The ‘Savasana’ aka dead corpse pose in yoga is a great one, lie down with your palms facing up.

4. Keep your eyes open & soft

Focus your eyes on one spot and soften your eyes. If you have trouble concentrating, you can shut your eyes.

5. Focus on your breathing

Clear you mind of all thoughts. Follow the natural flow of your breath from your nose all the way down to your lungs. Notice how your chest, rib cage, shoulders and belly ebb and flow with each breath. If you start getting distracted (and you will), gently re-focus back on your breath. If you still can’t focus, then count to 5 while focusing on your breath. Don’t worry, in the beginning you may have thoughts flittering in and out of your mind or you may even fall asleep! Keep at it!

6. Do this for 1 to 2 minutes daily

Once you master meditating for a few minutes, increase the number of minutes the next week.

Namaste! Congratulations you’ve mastered your inner yogi. Now why not challenge your brain further?

Delight & Challenge Your Brain

Fit Brains Fun Brain GamesFit Brains is easy to pick up and hard to put down. With over 60+ games, we have the most and the widest variety of games on the market.

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The Fit Brains Team

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Discover the Brain Benefits of Labor Day!

Man Working His Brain on Labor Day

Why your brain celebrates labor every day! It’s almost Labor Day, the unofficial end to summer, and by some reports, hot dog season. But we’re celebrating anyway! Aside from the positive contributions that workers of all kinds have given our society, work is good for your brain. Doing something new and challenging, like your work, benefits your mind. Fit Brain’s own Dr. Paul Nussbaum acknowledges the challenge and stress that can come with learning a new skill at work, but reassures that “You will develop new neural circuits, and your brain will thank you for the effort.” You will benefit the most if you try to continually challenge yourself by trying new tasks and learning new ways of doing things.

Even if you aren’t employed, learning a new skill or taking up a new hobby are other ways you can keep your mind active, challenged and engaged! Music lessons, sports, or a new language, are just a few examples of hobbies that can give you a new lease on life and stimulate your brain too.

Fun Fit Brains Games for the Brain

And, if you want to challenge and entertain your mind play Fit Brains fun games. Fit Brains games will give your brain “smart” entertainment.

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The Fit Brains Team

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3 Daily Habits For a Healthy Happy Brain!

Mom and daughter laughing

1. Tickle Your Funny Bone
There’s a reason why they say “Laughter is the best medicine”! 20 minutes of laughter can fight brain aging according to The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Watch a comedy show, take a laughing yoga class or giggle with friends. This will reduce your stress hormones, such as cortisol, which affect cognitive function.

2. Curb Your Sweet Tooth
Eating sugar in excess can affect brain plasticity, the development of new neural pathways between brain cells when we do or learn something novel. A recent UCLA study found that the recovery of brain injured rats who drank sugar water was severely affected. Sugar also hinders cognitive function.

3. Learn Something New
Research findings indicate that learning a new skill for only 10 minutes daily can combat cognitive decline. Studying another language, for example, might be even better at fighting cognitive losses than drugs. So why not play for free one of our language games or another fun brain game today?

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The Fit Brains Team

“Brain Training Success”

Do Your Brain A Favor And Quit Your Job!

How a new job can give your brain a boost!

Quit your job! Quit your job? Bold advice, but according to some experts, it might be what your brain needs!  However, before you start picturing yourself in sweatpants with a remote in hand, the story does not end by quitting your job only to laze away your days. Sorry to disappoint. Let’s rephrase this.  Quit your job and get a different job!  But wait, why should I quit a job that I know how to do and am perfectly good at only to have to learn a new job?  Because doing something new and challenging for your brain is good for it.

A recent article published in The Atlantic Magazine, presents the case for how quitting your job in order to challenge yourself with a new job that comes with new training and new skills can help keep your brain challenged and stimulated, which is good for your brain (and your satisfaction with life in general) in the long run.  While it sounds intimidating (not to mention a lot of work to quit one job only to find another one), according to the article, “But, if you want to thrive in the years ahead, a new challenge, and a new purpose, may be the things your brain needs most.” (Hagerty, 2016) Experts suggest that for many adults, this challenge and purpose can come from their job.

Don’t have a job?  Learning a new skill in general, or taking up a new hobby are other ways you can keep your brain active, challenged and engaged!  Tennis lessons, piano lessons, or a new language, are just a few examples of hobbies that can give you a new lease on life and stimulate your brain too.

Fit Brain’s own Dr. Paul Nussbaum is one expert interviewed for the article.  The author writes, “Paul Nussbaum, a neuropsychologist and co-founder of the brain-training company Fit Brains, notes that after you have mastered a skill, be it balancing the company’s books or (in my case) writing a four-minute radio story, that skill becomes ‘overly learned.’” Nussbaum acknowledges the challenge and stress that can come with learning a new skill, but reassures that “Soon, however, you will develop new neural circuits, and your brain will thank you for the effort.” (Hagerty, 2016)  

So, even if you aren’t inspired to quit your job just yet, we hope this can inspire you to find a way to keep purpose and challenge in your life.  You’ll feel better and so will your brain!   And, if you want to challenge and entertain your brain with much less commitment, try a FREE TRIAL of Fit Brains fun brain games!  Fit Brains games will give your brain “smart” entertainment. Challenge your Memory, Focus, Logic, Speed of Thinking, Language and Visual-Spatial Recognition skills with a Fit Brains FREE TRIAL!

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Reference: Hagerty, Barbara Bradley. (2016) “Quit Your Job”. The Atlantic Magazine. 317(3), 22-24.