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Aisha Cortoos

Dr. Aisha Cortoos received her Master in Psychology in 2004 (VUB), her PhD in Biological Psychology in 2009 (VUB) and her postgraduate in systemic psychotherapy in 2013 (IPRR). In 2008 she started as a sleep psychologist at the sleep lab of the University Hospital Brussel. Together with her colleagues in Antwerp and Leuven, and in collaboration with the Belgian Association for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (BASS), she developed the landscape of insomnia treatment in Belgium.

As a Postdoctoral fellow she collaborated with the Royal Military Academy (RMA) on projects regarding sleep, fatigue and performances. Currently she is a voluntary scientific collaborator at the VUB (Human Physiology and Sports Physiotherapy Research Group – MFYS), and at RMA (Vital Signs and Performance VIPER) and is part of the teaching staff for several trainings organised by the BASS. She is the founder of Brainwise, which focuses on bringing the science about maintaining a healthy brain for peak performances to the public. She gives lectures and workshops in companies and for other healthcare professionals and sees clients with sleep complaints, chronic fatigue, stress and burnout.


Take a break to accelerate

Healthy habits to increase resilience and energy

Recently, more attention has been given to the value and importance of taking a break during and after work. We know that our performance on the long term depends on the alternation between activation and recovery. However, due to the pandemic and the sudden imposed homeworking, people have found it very difficult to balance these two conditions. The boundaries between work and private life have become vague and difficult to maintain. People experience more fatigue, stress and sleep complaints.

During this session we will talk about the science of performance and fatigue. We will link this knowledge with the current typical symptoms and difficulties related to homeworking. Finally we will discuss easy to use tips and tricks to maintain a healthy balance between activation and relaxation, and provide guidelines for future hybrid work.

Shut your eyes to Energise

Get a fresh start by getting a good sleep

Our sleep is an important part of our wellbeing. Circumstances can often have a negative impact on our sleep quality. During the day, it’s harder to concentrate and you perform less well. At night, you lie there and worry. You dread going to bed more and more and develop the wrong sleep behavior. Fear of being unable to sleep increases your stress and escalates the sleep problems.

This session gives you more insight into what (good) sleep is. We look at the system which ensures that we get high-quality sleep and discuss the impact of our behavior on our sleep. We also formulate recommendations for optimizing sleep in spite of external circumstances. A workshop with concrete tips on sleeping (even) better.

Strive to thrive

Combining mental wellbeing and mental performance

The focus on mental health and wellbeing is omnipresent. We have all become aware that mental health is equally important as physical health, but we do not always know how to act upon it.  The struggle lies in the fact that we also live in a performance society and currently high mental performance often comes with a cost: a decrease in mental health. The biggest challenge that lies ahead is to combine both: how do we invest both in mental health, as well as in excellent mental performance?

How others think about Aisha Cortoos

When Better Minds at Work CEO Elke Geraerts introduced Aisha to guide Umicore through its mental well-being program, we immediately knew this would become a hit. With Aisha’s knowledge and experience, we developed Umicore’s (evidence-based) mental well-being model as a basis for a 3 hour interactive workshop. Starting with Umicore’s Management Board, Aisha has facilitated numerous mental well-being workshops throughout the organization. Invariably, participants praise her knowledge, insights while underlining her talent to guide the audience through the often animated discussions, challenging comments and many questions raised. Thanks to Aisha’s commitment and involvement, I can truly state that awareness among management on the importance of mental well-being as a key-condition to be successful as an organization is undisputable.

Dr. Med. Bert SwennenGroup Director Health & Wellbeing - Group Medical Officer Umicore

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