Seven common sense lifestyles to build a child’s brain.

Imagine you could optimize your brain health as you could to a child’s brain!?

From Sarah McKay.

All children differ in their biological susceptibility to life experiences in a -for better and for worse- manner.

Some kids are particularly sensitive to both highly stressful and highly nurturing environments.

Like orchids, such children bloom if lovingly cultivated, but wilt and wither if neglected.

In contrast, adaptable, resilient children who do not get easily stressed are like little dandelions; they will grow and thrive anywhere.

The seven influential lifestyle choices are.

1). Attachments and relationships

2). Language development

3). Sleep

4). Play

5). Physical movement

6). Nutrition

7). Executive Function skills.

Read more…



(1). Sleep, Oh Dear Sleep: Where art thou?

Sleep, Oh Dear Sleep: Where art thou?

Why were we created to sleep?

What evolutionary advantage is there to daily sleep, taking a horizontal unconsciousness position for nearly a third of every day/night cycle? Good questions.

Answers are not so easy. Science has an uneasy relationship with sleep questions. Not sure why but maybe just too difficult to get funding for something so explicit.

Just go to sleep and wake refreshed and then ask the right questions about other urgent matters such as DNA wing mutations in the adolescent male fruit fly in autumn due to global warming in Madagascar.

Seriously, though, it maybe the pressure from society, money, broken marriages, epidemic levels of obesity, addiction, and poor education outcomes that could force the hand of public health officials, parents, religionists, educationists and corporations to prize a good nights sleep, every night, as an aspirational and inspirational goal for mankind.

It might just turn the compass of the citizens of the planet to more flourishing lives.

Sleep debt, either after an all nighter or built up over years or decades, will teach that short term to long terms loans (borrowing from scare resource of sleep time) for more awake moments – read to do the non-urgent and not important tasks – ends in tears.

Sleep debt like financial debt, if not managed nor resolved will teach manners to the borrower.

Sleep debt side-effects are manifold: depression, poor memory, irritability, junk food addiction, suboptimal decision-making. Not surprising that the latest hypotheses on the need to have uninterrupted deep sleep are that mechanisms are switched on (the ‘glymphatic system’) to clear the brain dust of the day’s work.

Some estimates are about 7g of brain waste, every day. Inability to fulfill this task leads to toxic waste build up. Short term = brain fog; long term = dementia?

So reframe your approach to sleep. See it perhaps as going on vacation every day, a sacred non-negotiable loving act to self. Wake up good, rejuvenated and clean the next morning, and your ability to bounce back from the challenges that life throws at you, will be refreshing and and energizing.

Premier league choice to build resilience.

You gotta do it, to believe it!

(Reference. Why We Sleep  by Dr Matthew Walker)

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

YouTube Playlist Link. Dr Jonathan Moch


Listen to “Sleep Debt” from Jonathan D Moch on Anchor:–2018-a3t8i4


Sleep and the teenage brain.

Teenagers are being damaged by the  school system because of early start times and exams at 16 when their brains are going through enormous change, a leading neuroscientist has said.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore said it was only in recent years that the full scale of the changes that take place in the adolescent brain has been discovered.

“That work has completely revolutionised what we think about this period of life,” she said.

Blakemore, a professor in cognitive neuroscience at University College London, told the Hay festival

that teenagers were unfairly mocked and demonised for behaviour they had no control over,

whether that was moodiness, excessive risk-taking, bad decision making or sleeping late.

The changes in the brain were enormous, she said, with substantial rises in white matter

and a 17% fall in grey matter, which affects decision making, planning and self-awareness.

Read more….

Repaying your sleep debt

Why sleep is important to your health and how to repair sleep deprivation effects.

May 9, 2018 :
If sleep were a credit card company, many of us would be in deep trouble.

Medical evidence suggests that for optimum health and function, the average adult should get seven to nine hours of sleep daily.

But more than 60% of women regularly fall short of that goal.

Although each hour of lost slumber goes into the health debit column, we don’t get any monthly reminders that we’ve fallen in arrears.

Do weekend lie-ins reduce weekday sleep debt?

Many people complain they do not get enough sleep, and it seems they are right to be concerned.

Researchers have found that adults under the age of 65 who get five or fewer hours of sleep for seven days a week have a higher risk of death than those who consistently get six or seven hours shut-eye.

However the effect of short sleeps over a few days may be countered by a later lie-in.

The research found that individuals who managed just a few hours’ sleep each day during the week but then had a long snooze at weekends had no raised mortality risk, compared with those who consistently stuck to six or seven hours a night.

Want better sleep. Leave your work at the office.

It will come as no surprise that taking your work home with you ups your stress levels and impacts sleep quality.

But here’s the catch: work is not just about what you do in the office.

It’s also about other work-related baggage, such as experiencing rudeness, which may prove extra difficult to leave behind.

Six reasons you know you are getting enough sleep

We all know some of the signs indicating that we are not getting enough sleep, but there are clues that we are getting enough sleep, too.

Waking up without an alarm, maintaining weight, not needing a caffeine boost, and not craving junk food are all signs that you’re getting enough sleep even if you don’t think so.

Clear glowing skin may be a result of more than a good skincare routine.

Sleep is essential for survival. We need it, our bodies crave it, and most of the time, we feel like we just cannot get enough of it.

Sleep specialist and author, Dr. Michael Breus told INSIDER,

Sleep is a process — it’s kind of like slowly pulling your foot off the gas and slowly putting your foot on the brake. It should take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes to fall asleep. So when you fall asleep in under five minutes, that means you’re sleep deprived.

But how do you know if you’re actually getting all of the sleep your mind and body need? Here are 6 signs you’re getting enough sleep even if you do not think so.

Tips to get a better night sleep

From Harvard Medical School Newsletter

Tips for beating anxiety to get a better night’s sleep

Many people with anxiety disorders have trouble sleeping.

That is a problem.

Too little sleep affects mood, contributing to irritability and sometimes depression.

Vital functions occur during different stages of sleep that leave you feeling rested and energized or help you learn and forge memories.

Sleep usually improves when an anxiety disorder is treated.

Practicing good sleep hygiene helps, too.

Here are some steps to take:

1). Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.

2). Daylight helps set sleep patterns, so try to be outdoors while it is light out for 30 minutes a day.

3). Exercise regularly (but not too close to bedtime). An afternoon workout is ideal.

4). Keep naps short — less than an hour — and forgo napping after 3 p.m.

5). Avoid caffeine (found in coffee, many teas, chocolate, and many soft drinks), which can take up to eight hours to wear off.

6). You may need to avoid caffeine entirely if you have panic attacks; many people who experience panic attacks are extra-sensitive to caffeine.

7). Review your medications with a doctor to see if you are taking any stimulants, which are a common culprit in keeping people up at night. Sometimes it is possible to switch medicines.

8). Avoid alcohol, large meals, foods that induce heartburn, and drinking a lot of fluid for several hours before bedtime.

9). If you smoke, quit. Smoking causes many health problems, including compromising sleep in a variety of ways.

10). Keep your bedroom cool, dark, and quiet, without distractions like TV or a computer.

11). Avoid using an electronic device to read in bed; the light from the screen can trick your brain into thinking it is daytime.

12). If your mattress is uncomfortable, replace it.

13). Reading, listening to music, or relaxing before bed with a hot bath or deep breathing can help you get to sleep.

14). If you do not fall asleep within 20 minutes of turning in (or if you wake up and cannot fall back to sleep in 20 minutes), get out of bed and do something relaxing until you feel sleepy.

For additional tips and strategies for living with anxiety, buy Anxiety and Stress Disorders, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.