10 Simple Lifestyle Mistakes That Are Actually Making Your Memory Worse
By Janet Ashforth
Are you afraid of losing your mind? If so, you’re not alone. About 60 percent of adults are worried about memory loss. The good news is that your brain is a dynamic organ that is constantly changing and adapting, for better or worse. Some memory loss as you age is unavoidable, but did you know there are a bunch of lifestyle mistakes you may doing that make your memory worse? Check out these simple lifestyle mistakes you could be making and learn how to get a better memory.
The amount of stress we deal with is higher than any other time in history. Stress increases the cortisol levels in your brain. So, does stress make your memory worse? Researchers say yes. Stress increases cortisol levels. Research has shown that high cortisol levels can impair memory. Take charge of your stress and simplify your life as much as possible.
Lack of Sleep
It should come as no surprise that lack of sleep can hinder brain function. You really do need at least 5 to 7 hours of quality sleep per night. Sleep is when your brain rests and cells rejuvenate.
When it comes to brain food, your best bet is a properly balanced diet. The Mediterranean diet has been shown to help with brain function. Foods that make memory worse are highly processed foods that lack essential nutrients. Stay away from prepackaged food, fast food, high sugar and over processed foods.
Prolonged or excessive use of alcohol can cause irreversible damage to your brain and can negatively affect your memory. If you’re drinking every day or binge drinking a couple times per week, think about reducing your consumption.
No Social Life
Your brain is hardwired for social interaction. You need human bonding to think clearly. Unfortunately, social media doesn’t count. You need in-person contact. You don’t have to have a complicated social life. Just a few really good friends that you enjoy spending time with. So if all your relationships are behind a screen, it’s time to get back to the physical world.
It’s a tough habit to break. In fact, smoking is one of the most difficult habits to quit. If you’re still smoking despite overwhelming evidence of its negative effects, here’s one more reason for you to quit. Smoking deprives your brain of much-needed oxygen. This can lead to you feeling fuzzy and cause you to experience a decrease in your overall acuity.
Not Taking Supplements
Unless you’re growing your own organic fruits and vegetables and raising farm animals, you need to take supplements. Standard grocery store fair just doesn’t have enough nutrients. Don’t bother with supplements that haven’t been scientifically proven to be beneficial. There are numerous supplements that have been proven to help with memory.
Vacation is often undervalued in some cultures. But you need a break for proper brain function and many other health benefits. Your body was not designed to be continually on the go. Vacation from work, school or other demands is a time for rest and rejuvenation. If your brain isn’t getting the break it needs, it could lead to memory loss, depression, fatigue and a whole slew of other health issues.
Lack of Water
If you’re having challenges with your memory, lack of water could be the culprit. Even mild dehydration can cause you to have confusion, difficulty thinking and and short-term memory loss. You need between 11 and 15 cups of pure water per day depending on your size and activity level.
Not Enough Sex
You now have an excuse to have more sex. Sex relieves stress, improves sleep, enhances your mood, balances your hormones and relieves anxiety. All of these health benefits work to improve your memory.
Do any of these sound familiar? If so, make a few small changes in your life. Go to bed earlier, slowly add a few more healthy foods to your diet and try your hardest to reduce stress. Make positive changes to these lifestyle habits slowly. You’ll be more likely to stick with them. If you do, you'll notice a vast improvement in your memory.
Janet Ashforth is an Certified Personal Trainer and Licensed Massage Therapist. She has worked at several popular gyms and owned her own fitness company. Janet has helped numerous individuals regain their health and wellness. She also writes about food, nutrition, cooking and baking and is a advocate of eating real food.