What did you eat last night?
Did it take you a minute to remember? That’s alright! It doesn’t mean that you’re having memory problems. It’s pretty normal to forget things like the name of a phone representative who wakes you up early Saturday morning. How about forgetting where you put your car keys? I know, they’re right where you always leave them, which is…. where again?
It’s very normal to blank once in a while and forget a restaurant name even though you eat there all the time.
Many people think that memory loss is inevitable as they grow older. Say it isn’t so! It might be more difficult to learn something new, but you don’t have to lose what you already know.
There are some things that you can do to prevent memory loss such as:
- Exercise: It maintains good blood flow to all the body including the brain, and it reduces the risk for disorders that could contribute to memory loss like Diabetes or Cardiovascular disease.
- Eat Healthy: Especially choosing live foods like fruits and vegetables. Avoid saturated and trans fats. Also eat foods rich in Omega-3, and protein.
- Reduce Stress: Stress causes us to produce Cortisol, the stress hormone, it can damage the brain over time.
- Get plenty of sleep: It’s obvious that you can’t think when you are tired. But what is new is that sleep deprivation could reduce the growth of new neurons in the hippocampus which can lead to memory problems later in life.
- Quit smoking: Smoking can constrict arteries that deliver oxygen to the brain and so, affect some of the brain functions including memory.
- Have fun: It’s noticeable that isolated people are always at a higher risk for memory problems than people who have strong social relations. Having fun helps to keep your mind engaged, and stimulated.
- Brain exercise: Play chess, word puzzles, learn something new like a foreign language or a musical instrument. Take a project that involves planning.
There are also some things that could contribute to memory loss like:
- Medications: Memory loss could be a side effect of many medications such as sleeping aids, some antihistamines, some blood pressure medications, some antidepressants, some anti-anxiety medications and narcotic painkillers.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency: B12 deficiency can affect the memory and may even lead to permanent damage to the brain. You can find vitamin B12 over-the-counter or get a monthly injection from your local pharmacy as directed by your doctor.
- Alcohol abuse: It leads to memory loss and may even increase the risk of dementia.
- Head injury or trauma
- Depression or anxiety
Now that you get the idea, it might be time for more chess practice and some Sudoku!