Lumosity Unveils Surprising Effects of Sleep, Exercise and Alcohol on the Brain [Infographic]

750,000-Person Study Reveals Tips to Better Brain Health for Brain Awareness Week

San Francisco, CA, March 2012 : In honor of Brain Awareness Week, Lumosity, the leader in online brain training, today announced results from its brain health survey on how sleep, exercise and alcohol consumption correlate to cognitive abilities. The study used online tests of memory, speed and problem-solving to map how cognitive performance relates to healthy (or unhealthy) lifestyles. The survey also looked at how video game play, word games, reading, and playing an instrument affect cognitive abilities.

To view an infographic on these survey results, please visit

Lumosity’s science team analyzed more than 750,000 survey results from the past nine months, and discovered these three findings that can lead to higher cognitive scores:

1. Get a good night’s sleep. For every extra hour of sleep each night up to 7 hours, users were 4% higher in the speed measure, solved 4% more math equations correctly, and increased their spatial memory by 1.2%. Surprisingly, performance actually declined with more than 7 hours of sleep.

2. Even being a little more active can make a difference. Users who reported doing aerobic exercise just once a week performed 9.8% better in speed, solved 5.8% more math equations, and had 2.7% higher spatial memory than those who never exercise.

3. Drinking is okay – in moderation! Users who had one drink per day outperformed those who had no drinks, but there was a decrease in performance on speed, problem solving and memory with three or more drinks per day.

“These results are really interesting because they are a slight departure from the conventional wisdom of 8 hours of sleep, lots of exercise and zero drinks, but they also offer insight into how we can improve our cognitive performance by making small lifestyle changes,” said Michael Scanlon, Chief Scientific Officer at Lumosity. “Our survey results are part of our database of human cognition – currently the largest in the world with over 320 million data points – which allows us to continue to learn more about brain training and the best ways to achieve better brain health.”

Survey results also showed that people who reported participating in one or more of the following activities at least once a week scored higher overall than those who don’t: Playing video games, word games, reading books, magazines or newspapers, or playing an instrument. Refer to the infographic for more detail on how much each of these activities affect cognitive performance.

All results were controlled for age, gender and education.

About Lumosity
Lumosity is the leading online brain training program that improves core cognitive abilities such as memory, attention and intelligence. Launched in 2007, Lumosity now has more than 35 games, 20 million members, and paying subscribers from 180 countries. Lumosity’s exercises are based on the latest findings in neuroscience, with continuing independent third-party studies being conducted by researchers at Harvard, Stanford, UC Berkeley, and other academic institutions. The company closed $32.5 million in Series C funding in June 2011. Lumosity is available at and on the iPhone. Lumosity is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit

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