Back-to-school time has always held a special spot in my heart. As a former university student of 13 years, I always looked forward to the fall campus vibe–seeing old friends, meeting new friends, the social life and parties, and the freedom of living away from home. Oh, and I forgot to mention the class work… there was always lots of that, which I thoroughly enjoyed too. After all, despite the distractions, learning should be the ultimate reason why we seek higher education.
I know the student lifestyle well, simply because I never left it. The difference being, now I am the professor, and no longer the pupil. Nonetheless, I still get that great feeling every September when I see all the excited students returning to campus with their bright minds primed to continue their journey in academia!
Then comes October….
They say all good things must come to an end, and for new college and university students this couldn’t be more truthful. For most, Frosh-Week/Orientation-Week is over within the first week of school and then reality sets in.
It is during this time that many students struggle to develop a structured routine of good diet, daily exercise, regular study habits, and adequate sleep. This time also coincides well with students ‘attending lectures’ with their head down on their desk and laying in a puddle of drool (“catching up” on their sleep). This is not the most economical or efficient approach to learning and retaining knowledge, and it is a terrible way to get restful sleep.
Then midterms start….
For many students, it is around midterm time when their lifestyle habits start to negatively affect their classroom performance. This is when late nights out with friends promote cramming for exams, increased caffeine consumption, and the use of dangerous stimulants.
According to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future study, the rate of amphetamine use has been steadily rising since 2008 among college students. Estimates are that over 20% of college students abuse prescription stimulants (like Adderall, Ritalin, and Concerta) for academic purposes– most often these drugs are not prescribed to them.
Not only does this expose these students to potentially dangerous health effects (e.g., high blood pressure, dependency, etc), but misuse of prescription stimulants also causes issues with self-monitoring and promotes cognitive decline– including problems with working memory.
Overall, this sets up a poor environment for mental and physical health that results in weakened performance inside and outside the classroom—not to mention a poor return on a substantial financial and time investment.
So, in an effort to protect your investment, here are 9 simple ways to set yourself up for academic success:
- Set goals. Goals should be (S.M.A.R.T.) Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. Clearly defined goals provide:
- Increased focus and attention
- Reduced anxiety
- Improved confidence
- Have a positive mindset
- Get excited about your classes
- Be positive and confident in your ability to succeed
- Choose subjects that you are drawn to or are curious about
- Manage time
- Put together a monthly schedule and be realistic
- Be aware of time wasted
- The golden rule: 2-3 hours of studying for every hour of classroom time
- Read… Read… Read…
- Review textbook and classroom material before each class
- Re-read textbook and classroom material after class
- Make good study notes
- Attend all lectures and labs and remain engaged in the material (this one is obvious)
- Sleep well
- Get 7-9 hours sleep EVERY night with no exception
- Relax for an hour before going to sleep
- Practice good sleep hygiene (there are a ton of resources for this online)
- Exercise daily
- Studies show that students who get at least 20 minutes of high intensity exercise daily have higher GPAs than those who don’t exercise
- Eat well
- Eat a well-balanced diet daily
- A recent study published in Nutrients (hyperlink: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7692202/) reported that good sleep quality and adherence to a Mediterranean diet improved academic performance in nursing students.
- Before reaching for stimulants, use Vibe Mushrooms pharma-grade organic Lion’s Mane extract
- Lion’s Mane Mushroom prevents and treats nerve damage in the brain. Once
past the blood-brain barrier, the erinacines in Lion’s Mane stimulate the release of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF)
- In the brain, NGF simulates the growth, regeneration, and protection of
- As we age, the synthesis of NGF in the brain declines. This is thought to be a
contributor to age-related decline in cognition, memory, and recall
- Lion’s Mane does not contain stimulants, but anecdotal reports suggest it produces stimulant-like improvements in cognition and focus
- Lion’s Mane is effective in reducing anxiety and depression
- Lion’s Mane improves mood and mental energy over the long term
- Lion’s Mane improves concentration, decision-making, problem-solving ability, and learning
- Lion’s Mane benefits gut health and decreases inflammation, which improves communication between the brain and gut (Gut-Brain-Axis)
Vibe Mushrooms Lion’s Mane extract is a true pharmaceutical grade organic mushroom extract produced under the exacting specifications of the TCM Pharmacopeia. Our extraction procedures assure pharmaceutical potency and purity in all our products.
Our Lion’s Mane is 3rd party proven to contain > 3% erinacines, > 25% beta-d-glucans, > 7% terpenoids, and > 1% polyphenols– making it the most potent NGF stimulating and cognitive health supporting mushroom extract available.
If you are interested in using Vibe Mushrooms Lion’s Mane to boost your cognitive performance: Take 1 gram (1/2 tsp or 2 capsules), up to 3x daily before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For heavy study periods, take a 4th ½ gram dose right before nighttime study sessions.