5 Ways To Keep Your Brain Healthy
- Avoid Excessive Alcohol Use
Excessive, regular alcohol use can have some serious negative effects on the brain. “Binge drinking” – having more than 4-5 drinks in a 2 hour period – has been associated with brain atrophy, dehydration, and dysfunction.
In addition, long-term alcohol abuse can cause alcoholic dementia – premature degeneration of the brain caused by the poisonous effects of alcohol.
There’s nothing wrong with cutting loose and having a few drinks during a night on the town, but the evidence is clear. If you want to maintain a healthy brain, avoid drinking excessively.
- Wear A Helmet!
Okay, this may seem a bit silly – but even a single concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI) can increase your risk of developing dementia by 2-4x.
Multiple concussions can also dramatically increase the risk of developing CTE – Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Common among football players, war veterans, and other individuals who are often exposed to high impacts on their brain, CTE can cause memory loss, motor control dysfunction, Parkinson’s, and eventually, dementia.
So if you’re participating in a high-risk activity like riding a bike or a motorcycle, or participating in a contact sport, make sure that you wear a helmet, and reduce your risk of traumatic brain injury.
- Get Your Beauty Sleep
Your brain needs rest, just like every other part of your body. There is a growing body of evidence that shows that sleep is when your brain can truly rest, reorganize, and even repair itself after the rigors of a long day.
This is one of the reasons that a lack of deep sleep is being investigated as a potential cause for Alzheimer’s – during sleep, the brain is cleansed of toxins and allowed to rest. Failure to get adequate sleep interrupts this process.
Chronic sleep deprivation has a number of other negative side effects, too – impaired cognitive function, an increased risk of developing mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety, and even an inability to form short-term memories or to remember how to perform simple tasks.
So even if you’re pulling a 12-hour shift, or you’ve gotten stuck on night duty for a few days, make sure that you take a nap during the day, and that you get an enough sleep to keep your brain happy and healthy! The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours per night for healthy adults.
Follow These Tips For A Healthier Brain!
Whether you’re trying to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, or you just want to ensure that your brain is in tip-top shape, these tips are sure to help! Start using these quick tips today, and take the first step towards a healthier brain!
And to get involved in educating others about the link between brain health and Alzheimer’s, feel free to visit the Alzheimer’s Foundation, and get involved in National Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month! Their website is jam-packed with useful information, tips, and statistics about the fight against Alzheimer’s!