A strong memory depends on the health of your brain, whatever your age. Misplacing keys or forgetting a name are common experiences. But for older people, such memory lapses can be rather worrying, especially as seniors tend to automatically associate this with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
The World Health Organization estimates that in 2015, there were around 460,000 people with dementia in Bangladesh, and this number is expected to reach 834,000 by 2030. But the good news is that Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging and something that most people will experience. Although our brains do change as we get older, there are things that can boost our memory and improve our mental performance.
Stress and depression can contribute to memory loss, but socializing can greatly help to reduce both. Try to regularly get together with friends and family, which is particularly important if you live alone. If you feel that you don’t have many people you know close by, join some local clubs to help you meet new people.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep should be considered a priority. Many studies show that during sleep, the brain processes the day and stores the events in the memory, allowing you to recall them at another time. Most adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
Train your brain
Using mnemonic strategies improves learning and memory. These are techniques for remembering information that is difficult to recall. They can take the form of acronyms, or sentences that you associate with the item you want to remember.
Don’t stop learning
Exercising your brain is believed to help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication between them. Whether it is by doing jigsaw puzzles, painting, gardening, reading, taking a class or learning a musical instrument, you can also have fun while challenging your brain.
Get your vitamins
Studies have shown that people who take vitamin supplements generally had less brain shrinkage than those who didn’t. Dietary supplements can also help to improve brain function and performance.
Boost your brain with what you eat
The brain needs fuel, just like the body. A diet full of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats like nuts, fish and oil, along with lean proteins offer lots of health benefits. But such a diet can also improve memory. There are also other dietary things you can do to help improve your mental performance, while reducing your chances of developing dementia.
Exercise your body to help your brain
While mental exercise is good for brain health, physical exercise is essential too. Exercise increases oxygen to the brain and reduces the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can lead to memory loss. Furthermore, it enhances brain chemicals and reduces stress hormones. Any activity that gets the blood pumping is good for the brain, so aerobic exercise is ideal. Also, exercising at the beginning of the day can make a big difference and gets you ready for learning throughout the day. If you often get tired in the afternoon, any exercise can help to wake up your brain and keep you alert.