How to Manage Your Body to Improve Your Mind
All throughout academia and higher education in general, advice can be found on how to learn or how to more effectively absorb the knowledge that is being presented. While there is plenty of information to be found on how to take notes or how to review for a test. There is the equally important but much less talked about impact of the body and mind connection. The impact of having a body that is malnourished or sleep deprived can greatly affect the minds ability to pay attention to, or recall what has been learned.
While there have been numerous studies involving alcohol or drugs and the effects it can have on the body and mind, the intent of this paper will be to focus on a healthy lifestyle. The effects of a foreign substance in the body are well known to have a negative impact on mental abilities. It would be more advantageous for the majority of people to determine how much time they should devote to sleep or exercise and what kind of foods they should eat. Then armed with this knowledge they could not only feel better, but could perform better.
Why is it important to know how much exercise is enough? Exercise raises serotonin levels, lowers the production of stress hormones like cortisol and if outside can increase the skins production of vitamin D an essential nutrient for strong bones. (More evidence 2011) Dealing with finals can be hard enough but if you add into that missed days from being sick, it might be overwhelming. Moderate exercise can also reinforce your immune system which can help you fight off a cold or the flu. (More evidence 2011) Numerous studies have shown a connection between fitness and improved memory. Frequent exercise leads to increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor, these molecules have been shown to be essential to memory function. If all these factors were not enough there are also the added benefits of more energy and self confidence.
How much influence sleep can have on our bodies can be determined by such things as duration and whether or not it is interrupted sleep. For example “William and Kathryn Kelly surveyed 148 undergraduate students in an attempt to prove a correlation between the hours of sleep a student gets per night and their GPA. The results of their survey showed that long-sleepers (more than 9 hours per night) had a significantly higher GPA compared to short sleepers (less than 7 hours per night)” (Paul, M. Panton, C. & Marzigliano. N. 2008) Also neuroimaging studies have shown that regions of the brain involved in the implementation of a serial reaction time task are reactivated during REM sleep. (Parmeggiani, P.L. Velluti, Ricardo A 2005) Sleeping right after a task was taught meant that the subjects had a higher performance level on that task.
These studies show that the amount of sleep per day is important as well as...