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Those are the tools and resources I recommend and most of them I personally use to enhance my brain performance, health and productivity. I may earn a small affiliate commission on some of them. Those products are marked with a symbol *. 

 

Brain training:

dual-n-back – THE brain training game which has scientifically proven track record of increasing the fluid intelligence or IQ by as much as 1-2 points per hour of practice. You can get free version for download here or paid online version with the option to upgrade here.

Q-WIZ – powerful EEG neurofeedback device for clinical and personal use. I am using it together with TLC7 assesment and the TAG-sync protocol. It requires several hours of learning and preparation, but and the price is rather high (around 2000$ with software and accessories) but the benefits may be remarkable.

nir-HEG – used together with Q-WIZ or HEG pendant, this headband gives you feedback about the blood flow in your prefrontal cortex, letting you increase it which positively affects cognitive functions and focus.

Emotiv EPOC – consumer grade EEG headband used for basic neurofeedback, brain-computer interaction and monitoring your brain-wave activity. I use it to monitor my brain patterns during meditation, n-back or intense study.

Inner Balance* – HRV training device used for lowering stress response by optimising sympathetic activity. Basically, it monitors the difference between heart beats and calculates your relaxation level. You receive a “coherence” score as a feedback. Available for iPhone/iPad or as a standalone device.

Brain Evolution system* – meditating while listening to some kind of music is definitely a personal choice. After playing with holosync, hemi-sync, brain-sync and some other free providers of brainwave entrainment, I’ve found brain evolution to be the best. Good enough to recommend it, even for the price. I highly recommend you to least try it for free for 30 days and than you’ll see.

Optimising Sleep:

Withings Aura* – if you want to track and improve your sleep simultaneously, you can use either mobile apps (which are not that accurate and sleeping with a smartphone next to your head is not a good thing), activity trackers and dedicated sleep monitors, such as Aura from Withings. This device tracks your sleep cycles, measures the quality of your sleep, helps you wake up when you need it and improves your sleep through light therapy which modulates melatonin secretion. At $299, it is not the cheapest device, but if you are serious about improving the arguably most important factor of brain performance – your sleep, Withings Aura is probably a good investment. You can also get a Beddit device for half the price, which is only a tracking device.

Light therapy lamp* – Light is able to synchronise the body clock and stimulate the brain cells to produce sleep or wakefulness hormones at the right time. This can also help with SAD (seasonal affective disorder) or depression.  Therefore, using good quality light therapy lamp in the morning or after a nap helps your body to better regulate the circadian rythm and be more wakeful. Always make sure that you are using medical-grade light like this one.

Low blue light* – blue light is known to block sleep hormone melatonin. That’s why we like to use blue lights in the morning. In the evening, at least 2 hours before bed, it is however advisable to use only low blue light lights. This can be achieved with bulbs like these.

Red laser glasses* – to block blue light before bed, you can use red laser glasses. They will block out most of the blue light spectrum leaving you just with the non-interfering red light. It is advisable to use them at least 2 houts before bed.

F.lux – this is a piece of software that makes automatically makes your screen turn red and emit less blue light in the evening. Can be used on PC as well as mobile devices. And it is free!

High quality latex mattress– you (should) spend almost 1/3 of your time sleeping and your choice of mattress is crucial for the quality of sleep you will get. I sleep on a high quality latex mattress with a bamboo sheet which is made from natural rubber is your best choice because of it’s great support, anti-bacterial properties, high durability and thermoregulation. If your budget is a little lower, go with a combined latex + high density foam matress.

Memory foam pillow* –  even if you have a crappy mattress, high quality pillow is not a high investment and helps a lot with supporting the neck and spine while sleeping and therefore improves the quality of sleep.

Sleep mask* – it is crucial for sleep quality to sleep in complete darkness. If you are unable to manage it in your room, sleep mask might be a good option. I use a sleep mask while taking a nap in the afternoon.

Ear plugs* – same as with sleep mask, sleeping in a quiet room makes difference in the quality of sleep.

Sleep optimisation for brain performance – sleep can be optimised not only with the use of tools and devices. This is my article about all the things I’ve found to be beneficial for optimising sleep. It contains every step I do in order to obtain better sleep quality as well as the results I’ve had by following these methods.

Optimised ketogenic diet:

Ketosis test strips* – when you are starting with ketosis, this is a must. It measures your ketone levels from your urine. It is not as precise as blood ketone monitor, but substantially cheaper. However, if you are not sure about your ketosis or you want to experiment with it a bit more. the blood ketone monitor may be a better choice. Or there is also a breath ketone analyzer.

Withings Smart Scale* – this is the scale I use. It measures weight, body fat, heart rate and tracks CO2 levels in the room. And everything synchronises via wireless connection with your PC and smartphone. Can be paired with Beeminder. It is rather expensive scale but it works and looks great.

Salt and pepper grinder* – you want a durable salt and pepper grinder. You can’t beat this one in the price, durability  and convenience department.

Pressure cooker* – optimised ketogenic diet is not only about what you eat, but also how you prepare it. I eat mostly raw and when I cook, I use a high pressure cooker. This one is the best value.

Kitchen scale* – measuring food portions made easy. This is a modern looking kitchen scale I use.

Glass food containers* – for keeping my food fresh and safe, I use glass-lock containers. You can get cheaper plastic containers made from BPA free plastic, but I like to stay on the safe side (especially when I’m putting hot meals inside such as bone broth).

MCT oil– medium chain trygliceride oil is a “direct infusion” of ketones for your body. It helps with getting into ketosis and can be used as a quick energy source while in ketosis. Like a glucose, only ketogenic.

Sea salt* – using enough salt while on ketogenic diet is very important (I aim for 5g/day). I use himalayan sea salt for it’s optimised mineral content. It is free of anti-caking agents which stand behind the “salt is a poison” movement.

Cool fat burner – for activating BAT to burn fat while just sitting. It has been shown that it’s best used in combination with ketogenic diet. You can burn as much as 5 pounds of fat per month while wearing the cool fat burner for 30min a day.

Organic store finder – find organic food stores and farmer’s markets near your home

WellnesFX blood tests  the most convenient method I’ve found for getting your bloodwork done and finding out more about your body.

Cronometer – my tool of choice for tracking dietary intake, micro and macro nutrients.

HIT Exercise:

What I use every day to get my morning high intensity exercise:

 

Vibration plate* great for anyone who sits all day on a chair with a host of benefits. Increases the flow of lymph and improves immunity, stimulates production of HGH and strengthens bones and joints. Great as a post workout active recovery tool.

Vibram fivefingers* – there is a lot of discussion going for and against fivefingers, but I believe that being barefoot is superior to wearing cushioned shoes. I will wear them all year long and my hope is to straighten and strenghten my spine, ankles, knies and hip joints and perhaps gain a few milimeters of height.

ithlete – app with a heart rate monitor which monitors your HRV every day for a minute and gives you feedback about your stress levels. A must for anyone serious in exercising.

Polar HRM* – chest strap of my choice – durable with bluetooth functionality. I use it in combination with the ithlete app.

Red LED light* – low level laser therapy is know to promote healing injuries. I will use it after my workouts for faster recovery. A bit experimental.

 

Productivity tools:

RescueTime* – tracks the time you spend on your computer/mobile and allows you to block distracting pages. You get detailed reports in forms of charts and graphs. There is a free version and paid version with more options. I use the paid version.

Lift – tracking your habits while staying social and accountable. You pick a habit you want to build, join a group of other habit builders and check in every day when you have accomplished the task associated with the habit. Free for PC, iphone and android.

Beeminder – if you want to accomplish a goal or build a new habit, you put money on the table, track your progress and once you slip off, you will pay. This keeps you motivated and accountable. Can be paired with different services and devices such as Withings, RescueTime or Code school.

Pomodoro timer – lightweight productivity app which counts down your working intervals and breaks. It has been shown that attention span of an average adult is roughly 20-25minutes, so with pomodoro, you can time your break afterwards.

Evernote – best tool for organising literally everything I find on the web.

The owner of this website, Radek, is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking www.effectivebrain.com to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com.
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