Medical Conditions A - Z

4 Ways to Boost Your Brain Power

brain training

As major school examinations loom, anxious parents will want to do all they can to help their children achieve better grades.

Here are some tips to boost brain power.



Getting enough sleep is absolutely essential. Children may need up to 10 hours of sleep. Dr Alvin Seah, a neurology specialist at Raffles Hospital, feels that sleep is often underestimated in its contribution towards optimal brain function.

"Sleep helps the brain to rest and recover and consolidate memories, though we do not as yet know how exactly this is done," he said.

"Good quality sleep keeps the brain alert and responsive, while lack of sleep can lead to poor focus and memory loss."

Light Meals

Avoid large meals or meals heavy in fats, particularly just before an exam. Dr Seah explained: "When we eat a heavy meal, blood is diverted to the digestive tract and away from the brain. This makes us sluggish and sleepy."


Have a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, which will boost the immune system. Ms Jin Jin Hua, a senior acupuncturist and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner, said this is good for key internal organs which directly affect the brain.


"According to TCM principles, the health of the kidney, spleen and liver are particularly important to the key brain functions of memory and attention," Ms Jin said. 

She suggested soupy meals with fish or chicken and dates. Other brain foods include black sesame, walnut, wolfberry and American ginseng.

In China, children sometimes go for exams with a sliver of American ginseng on their tongues, she said, adding that ginseng helps keep the brain alert and focused. Drink plenty of water too, she advised.

Relaxed Environment

Keep the home environment harmonious and free of argument. Reduce stress for the child so he can focus on his revision. Ms Jin, who has a son sitting for the PSLE this year, said parents should resist nagging their child to study harder.

Good quality sleep keeps the brain alert and responsive, while lack of sleep can lead to poor focus and memory loss.