The decisions you make in a chess game are what get you that winning move, but it's the decisions you make in your daily life that get you the ability to make those winning decisions. Chess is a strategic game, and you need to have the clearest possible thinking processes to win it. How you handle your everyday life provides the stable, healthy base you need to increase your chess wins and ratings.
Sleep and Exercise Are Critical
Saying that you have to get your sleep and be well-rested seems like such a no-brainer, but these have an immense effect on how you play chess. This goes beyond just being awake (falling asleep during a game in a tournament is, surprisingly, not that uncommon) and being able to think. When you haven't been getting enough sleep, that low-level sleep deprivation can really eat away at your thinking processes. You may feel like you're thinking clearly, but that's just because you've become used to how the sleep deprivation feels.
Likewise, exercise helps your brain focus as well. Many well-known chess champions changed their original bad habits and started working with athletic coaches to increase physical fitness. Exercise is known to help you remain calmer and actually get better sleep, so staying physically fit is an excellent way to improve your chess game.
Iron and B12 Levels Affect Your Ability to Think
After sleep and exercise, it's no secret that diet might be another factor, and it is. However, while a generally good, healthy diet goes a long way toward ensuring you sleep and feel well, iron and vitamin B12, in particular, can also affect your thought processes. The two, when deficient, can make you feel like you're in a brain fog and prevent you from functioning well.
This does not mean you have to run out and take huge supplements of both. In fact, don't; too much iron in supplement form can upset your stomach. Work with a dietitian to ensure that you're getting all the vitamins and minerals you need daily, and see your doctor to monitor blood levels of iron and B12 (again, this is not something you have to do often -- just get a test to see where the levels are). If you turn out to have a deficiency, work with your doctor and dietitian to remedy those.
It always helps, too, to talk to other chess players and instructors about how they handle their health. When you sign up for private chess lessons, you can track how your decision making goes and see how you improve as you learn more about the game and as your health improves. To learn more, contact a company like CHESS TEACHER.