Habits of top performers, predicting dreams by measuring brain activity, and can lowering baseball’s pitcher’s mound help prevent injuries?


Monday, June 19

You Might Not Feel Tired, But Your Brain Needs More Sleep


Sleep debt is highly individual, as is sleep need. Be wary of trusting how you feel; the body is very resilient and will make do with sleep deprivation.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation:


Tuesday, June 20

Four Things Top Performers Do Every Day


1. Avoid Decision Fatigue: A study found that judges granted prisoners parole 65% of the time at the beginning of the day, but nearly 0% of the time at the end of the day. As the decisions accumulated, the judges became mentally tired and had less ability to think critically, defaulting to an easier choice. Even trivial decisions, like choosing which color shirt to wear, the brand of shampoo to buy, etc. leave a person depleted and impairs their performance on future activities.

Bottom line: we have limited energy so devote it only to decisions that matter, and make routine everything that isn’t core to your mission.

2. Take Advantage of Your Chronotype: “Larks” are those that are most alert in the morning and “Owls” are most alert in the evening. Individual difference is due to the body’s unique biological rhythms–the rise and fall of our body temperature and the timing of hormone release that aides focus.

Bottom line: be intentional with your schedule to do your most demanding, deep-focus work when you are naturally most alert. Fill in the more rote tasks where your energy naturally wanes.

3. Choose Your Friends Wisely: A study tracked a cohort of cadets over fours years and found that the determining factor for improvement was the motivation of the least fit person in the group. Not only is motivation (or lack there of) contagious; so too are emotions. Research has shown that when we see someone express happiness or sadness, the neural networks associated with those emotions become active in our own brains.

Bottom line: Your social circle has a huge impact on your behavior. Building a better self goes hand-in-hand with building a better community.

4. Show Up: The best performers are not consistently great, but they are great at being consistent.

Bottom line: Do the work, no matter what. Be present.


Wednesday, June 21

Brain Activity During Sleep Can Predict When Someone is Dreaming



Thursday, June 22

Science of baseball evolving: Help pitchers avoid injuries



Friday, June 23

To debug your gut (and maybe your brain, too), make nice to the bugs that live inside it