10 Tips for Good Brain Health
There are some controllable health factors that will influence your memory and brain health:
Check your hearing and vision.
Hearing or vision problems can affect how well you are able to take in information to be remembered.
Manage your stress.
When you are racing around during the day and feeling overwhelmed, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Too much cortisol can interfere with the ability to take in new information or recall it later.
Pay attention to your mood.
When you are feeling anxious or depressed you tend to be distracted by your own thoughts and feelings, making it hard to pay attention to things you want to remember. Chronic depression has also been linked with the development of dementia, so it is important to seek professional help if you are feeling this way.
Get good quality sleep.
Not only can poor sleep affect your mood and ability to pay attention during the day, but it also interferes with how the brain stores memories at night. A disorder called sleep apnea can also have negative effects on brain health by decreasing the amount of oxygen that reaches the brain.
Ask about your medications.
Some medications can interfere with memory and attention. It is worth talking to your doctor about the medications you take if you are worried about your memory.
Manage your pain.
Poorly managed pain is distracting when you are trying to store new memories or access old ones.
Make sure your diabetes is well controlled.
Type 2 diabetes and problems metabolizing glucose have been connected to increased risk of brain disease, including dementia. Keep your brain healthy by keeping your blood sugars stable.
Monitor your heart health.
Cardiovascular disease is a significant factor in the development of vascular dementia.Try to reduce cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, smoking, and obesity.
Address any new medical issues.
There are many acute medical problems that can affect your cognitive functioning and are treatable. See your doctor regularly to monitor your physical health.
Stay engaged physically and socially.
There is evidence that physical activity, a healthy diet, and social engagement can improve cognitive functioning and decrease the risk for dementia.