February 27, 2018
For years nootropics have been surrounded in secrecy. It started with the Russians in the 60’s while they did research on a new class of substances to investigate their use in their armed forces. After this research was leaked to the United States it soon became popular among high-level executives and CEOs in silicon valley.
More recently, however, we’ve begun to see an expansion of interest in nootropics by workplace employees across the globe as a means to improve their productivity, and achieve more at work than ever before.
David Rock, the author of “Your Brain At Work” talks a lot about how our brain functions at work, and what makes us productive. He references a study that showed the average workplace employee spends 11 minutes focused on a project before becoming distracted. The study then found that it takes an average of 25 minutes for that person to get back on track again. This level of distraction and inability to focus is common, and significantly affects productivity in the workplace.
Companies have recently started acknowledging this problem and are beginning to rethink their metrics of productivity. In the past, this metric was on the amount of hours logged, but is beginning to transition more towards metrics that measure the level of productivity of its employees.
Many companies, both large and small, are seeking to hire freelancers instead of employees because it allows them to pay by the job. This dramatically improves workplace productivity with its staff and encourages them to find ways to be more productive on the job. See this article by Forbes for more information on this.
For this reason, nootropics aimed at improving focus and concentration have become a common practice among those in the workplace. Increasing our ability to focus on a task can make us more productive overall.
One of the most important steps when it comes to better productivity at work is getting a good night's sleep. According to The Sleep Council, up to 80% of people in the UK report irregular or disturbed sleep on a regular basis.
This is significant when you consider that poor sleep is one of the main causes of stress, poor memory, and difficulty concentrating in the workplace.
When we sleep our brains undergo a state of repair. Adenosine molecules that build up throughout the day and bind to our neurons cause us to feel slow and interrupt our ability to concentrate. While we sleep our brains are able to remove this adenosine and eliminate it from the body, allowing us to feel refreshed and clear headed the next morning.
When we’re deprived of good quality sleep, this process of removing adenosine doesn’t have a chance to be completed. We wake up feeling unrefreshed and groggy. Coffee helps for this, but only for a limited amount of time. By the time lunch comes around we’re already feeling the effects of this adenosine all over again.
Nootropics that promote sleep help us prepare for the work day by giving our brains the best opportunity to remove adenosine.
Nootropics like L-Theanine, Magnesium, and RESTored are especially useful for ensuring we get a good night's rest, allowing us to wake up refreshed, clear-headed, and ready for the workday.
Another reason nootropics have seen such a rise in the workplace is that they have the ability to increase our focus and memory directly.
For this reason nootropics aimed at improving focus and concentration have become one of the most popular forms of nootropic supplementation amongst those in the workforce.
Supplements like Huperzine-A, Alpha GPC, and Rhodiola Rosea are all popular for this reason.
Another area that has seen a lot of interest lately among those in the workplace is adaptogens. This class of substances is used to regulate the bodies ability to adapt to stressors. This stress can be emotional or physical, and is common in the workplace. Especially by those tasked with a lot of responsibility, or hard and demanding tasks.
Adaptogens work by regulating the stress centres in our brains known as the HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, & adrenals). By regulating this system, it allows us to work harder and longer before becoming tired and unproductive.
We’ve seen significant increases in the interest of nootropic among those in the workplace. Combine this with changes in company structures that emphasise productive behaviour over the hours logged and it’s easy to see why employees are seeking new ways to optimise and sharpen their minds. It’s likely that we’ll see a continuation in this growth in the coming years. As more and more people learn about the benefits of nootropics, productivity is going to continue to be valued more than the amount of hours worked.
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