The Times from Shreveport, Louisiana on September 18, 2005 · Page 134
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The Times from Shreveport, Louisiana · Page 134

Shreveport, Louisiana
Issue Date:
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Page 134
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Continued-from previous page 6 Brew a mug of green tea. Green tea is a much better pick-me-up than your regular latte. Although it does have some energizing caffeine, it also contains theanine, a compound that has a stress-reducing effect on your brain. "It calms you while giving you mental clarity," says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! If you can't imagine life without a morning cup of coffee, consider swapping your extra grande for a small: Large doses of caffeine can cause the jitters, insomnia and anxiety. Instead, drink half a cup in the morning and half in the afternoon, or a quarter of a cup every hour (or mix those amounts with a decaf brew). In a Harvard Medical School study, a gradual intake of caffeine helped sleep-deprived men perform better on mental calculations and reaction-time tests. 7 Soak up a little sun. "One reason for the fatigue that is rampant in our society may be light deprivation," says Michael Terman, director of clinical chronobiology at the New York State Psychiatric Institute in New York City. Research suggests that exposure to bright light in the morning can boost energy throughout the day. One theory: Light stimulates neurotransmitters in your brain, such as sero- 1 a- ". . V.'-' ' -S i ' J!v"T 1 I ' "Mil. IB I U I y" jft"-'- ' - 1 J Sunlight stimulates your brain, li tonin and dopamine, which improve your mood and increase motivation. Exposure to any sunlight can provide a little boost, but Terman says that "the dawn signal has a particularly strong therapeutic effect" So take a morning walk or quick stroll during your coffee break; even a cloudy day offers enough light to have a stimulating effect on the brain. u O Pop a peppermint. jp' Not only will you freshen your breath, youU perk up your brain. In a NASA-funded study, scientists from Wheeling (WVa.) Jesuit University monitored the emotional responses of 25 people during simulated driving scenarios. The volunteers reported that the smell of peppermint lowered fatigue by 15, increased alertness by 30 and decreased frustration by 25. Oils in the peppermint plant increase alertness by stimulating your trigeminal nerve, "the same nerve that's 1 activated when you revive someone with smelling salts," says I Alan Hirsch, M.D., director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago. For a quick pick-me-up, take a ' long whiff from your mint case, or stash a bottle of peppermint oil in your desk or purse. 9 Take a belly breath. "People are so overwhelmed by everything they think they must do that they rarely take time to breathe," says Monica Mykle-bust, M.D., of the University of Michigan Integrative Medicine Clinical Services. "Proper breathing helps quiet the body and mind, which can refresh the spirit" Yet most of us don't breathe correctly, she says. Taught to suck in our guts and puff out our chests, we're a nation of shallow chest breathers. Few people are Continued on page 10 8 USA WEEKEND. Sept 16-18, 2005 4

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