Medliorate

Improving medical students

Why You Lose Focus & How to Recover

Posted by medliorator on November 21, 2008

Lack of Sleep – Even one night of tossing and turning can “give you symptoms that resemble ADHD… says Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., director of the Chesapeake ADHD Center of Maryland, in Annapolis.

  • Get a good night’s sleep: You should try to get the amount of sleep required for you to wake up without an alarm.
  • Have a snack: If you’re running on fumes… drink a glass of water and eat a snack with a balance of carbohydrates, fat, and protein, like an apple and a piece of cheese, recommends Hallowell. “This hydrates you and keeps your blood sugar levels even, both of which aid focus,” he says.

Stress and Anger – When you’re tense, you get a rush of brain chemicals, like norepinephrine and cortisol, that cause you to hyperfocus “like a deer in the headlights,” says psychologist Lucy Jo Palladino …this only means that you have a harder time focusing on work… When you’re irritated by something, your stress hormones rise and your concentration levels decrease.

  • Start moving: A quick burst of aerobic exercise relieves stress and improves concentration by flooding the brain with oxygen and activating brain chemicals such as dopamine. Recent studies have shown that people who engage in aerobic exercise [at least two days a week] have better concentration levels than do nonexercisers.
  • Think happy thoughts: Thinking of things that promote warmth, connection, and happiness reduces the hormones associated with stress, fear, and anger that can impede concentration,” says author Edward Hallowell

Fuzzy brain? Improve your attention span [CNN Health]

Correlate: How to Sharpen your Focus

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