By Drake Lowthers
March 6, 2015
Eating dark chocolate and taking 20 minute naps can improve your overall health, physiologist Greg Wells said in a presentation to students at Holland College Feb. 11.
Minor changes to your lifestyle such as eating healthier, getting proper sleep and regular physical activity will increase your productivity and decrease your risk for disease.
Wells said a person who averages seven-and-a-half hours of sleep each night has the longest life expectancy.
“Stress directly impacts the access to learn.”
Bryson Locke, a first-year wildlife conservation student from Ajax, Ont., said he could definitely use more sleep.
“I don’t get much sleep living in residence. There are a lot of distractions and I stay up late. I might get five hours on a good night.”
Locke said he usually stays up late playing video games but finds it difficult to fall asleep afterwards even though he feels tired.
Wells has an explanation for this. All electronic devices need to be turned off 45 minutes before going to bed to allow your brain enough time to wind down, he said.
“When you shine a light into your eyes you’re basically announcing it’s morning and the sun is up.”
Wells said when you are feeling sluggish in the afternoon you should eat a small cube of dark chocolate 70 per cent cocoa or above.
“It expands the blood vessels and supercharges the brain.”
Wells said to maximize effectiveness and efficiency regardless to what you’re doing, people should adopt a 90/30 principle.
In regards to studying for tests you shouldn’t cram for hours on end but rather study in 90-minutes intervals and take 30-minute breaks in between, Wells said.
Nicole DeLong, a first-year business administration student from Campbellton, N.B., said she definitely will change her studying habits after listening to Wells.
“I’ve pulled a couple of all-nighters this year. They’re tough. I’ll try his 90/30 thing and see if it works any better for me.”
If you’re not willing to make a change, you never know what might be, DeLong said.
Wells asked students to simply unplug themselves more often from the highly technological driven world.
“Completely unplug yourselves for one hour a day. Three days a month. Two weeks of the year.”
DeLong said Wells’ unplugging idea is definitely do-able with a little bit of self-motivation.
“Even though I can’t live without my cell phone, I think I’ll be able to unplug myself.”