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In this expert session led by Jerome Gijselaers, we delved into various aspects of healthy lifestyle habits for enhancing cognitive performance. The emphasis was on sleep quality and patterns throughout different stages of life, as well as the importance of nutrition and regular exercise.

Jerome began the session by highlighting the significance of both rem (Rapid Eye Movement) and non-rem sleep for learning processes and brain plasticity. He shared insights into typical sleep patterns across age groups, explaining that infants generally require around 16 hours of sleep per day, while older adults typically manage less than 8 hours. The expert also discussed the role of light exposure in affecting melatonin production and disrupting sleep cycles, as well as suggestions for improving sleep quality by limiting screen time, creating a relaxing pre-sleep routine, and engaging in regular physical activity.

Additionally, Jerome covered the importance of maintaining consistent bedtimes, avoiding alcohol consumption, and addressing stress to achieve optimal sleep hygiene. He also emphasized the significance of creating a cool, dark, and quiet sleeping environment and advised against long naps or frequent wake time changes to regulate sleep patterns.

Transitioning to the topic of nutrition, Jerome shared research on how adequate intake of essential nutrients supports cognitive health. Key recommendations included focusing on a balanced diet with minimal added sugars, avoiding trans fats, and prioritizing breakfast for sustained energy throughout the day. The expert also addressed the importance of meal consistency and variety in promoting overall health.

Jerome further discussed the benefits of regular physical activity for cognitive function and recommended that adults aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise per week. He offered practical suggestions for incorporating movement into daily routines, emphasizing the importance of breaking up prolonged sitting periods.

To wrap up, Jerome touched on stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga, as well as the role of popular food trends like plant-based diets and ketogenic diets in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The session concluded with an opportunity for participants to ask questions and engage in further discussion.

In summary, Jerome's expert session offered valuable insights into sleep quality, nutrition, and exercise practices that support optimal cognitive performance. By emphasizing the importance of consistency, stress management, and self-awareness, attendees were equipped with practical tools for making positive lifestyle changes.

 

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Jérôme Gijselaers

The Biology of Performance

Dr. Jérôme Gijselaers has a master's degree in neuropsychology and a PhD in the field of biopsychology and educational sciences. He has conducted over 8 years of research on biological lifestyle factors. He is a certified coach and works at the Hotel Management School Maastricht as Leqturer Research Skills and Statistics and supervises graduate students. He enjoys mountain biking, swimming, running, and Crossfit and likes to spend time in nature.

Jérôme Gijselaers: Biology of Performance | MentalHealthDay.com

Summary

Neuropsychologist

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Key Learnings

  • Maximizing Your Sleep: Ensure optimal cognitive function and emotional wellbeing by aiming for 7-9 hours of consistent sleep per night, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding caffeine, electronics, and heavy meals before bedtime.

  • Balanced Nutrition for Cognitive Health: Consume a balanced diet focused on adequate protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Explore healthier alternatives to indulgent foods and consider trying intermittent fasting for maintaining weight and overall health.

  • Active Lifestyle and Stress Management: Engage in regular physical activity, including cardio and strength training, for optimal mental and physical wellbeing. Practice stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to cope with daily stressors.

Interaction

During the expert session, Jerome engages the audience through methods like a Q&A session, live demonstrations of sleep hygiene practices, and interactive exercises using the Mentimeter app for polling questions related to sleep quality and habits. These activities help attendees understand the importance of good sleep hygiene, inspire them to implement new strategies in their daily lives, and address their queries about various aspects of sleep and overall health.

Key Learnings

  • Maximizing Your Sleep: Ensure optimal cognitive function and emotional wellbeing by aiming for 7-9 hours of consistent sleep per night, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and avoiding caffeine, electronics, and heavy meals before bedtime.

  • Balanced Nutrition for Cognitive Health: Consume a balanced diet focused on adequate protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Explore healthier alternatives to indulgent foods and consider trying intermittent fasting for maintaining weight and overall health.

  • Active Lifestyle and Stress Management: Engage in regular physical activity, including cardio and strength training, for optimal mental and physical wellbeing. Practice stress management techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to cope with daily stressors.

Interaction

During the expert session, Jerome engages the audience through methods like a Q&A session, live demonstrations of sleep hygiene practices, and interactive exercises using the Mentimeter app for polling questions related to sleep quality and habits. These activities help attendees understand the importance of good sleep hygiene, inspire them to implement new strategies in their daily lives, and address their queries about various aspects of sleep and overall health.

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