Have you ever walked into a room and immediately forgotten why you went there in the first place? Can’t remember where you last put your glasses? Worried these memory lapses could be a sign of early-onset Alzheimer’s?
Don’t panic! Most short-term memory loss is stress related. Factors such as sleep, diet, and drug use can also affect memory. Here are some suggestions to keep your brain in shape:
- Stay physically active- Exercise gets your blood pumping, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the brain. It also stimulates production of a protein that maintains and creates healthy neurons, potentially staving off diseases like Alzheimer’s. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every other day.
- Exercise your brain- Just as physical activity keeps you physically fit, mental stimulation keeps your brain in shape, strengthening communication pathways. Pursue a hobby, learn a new skill, or try memorizing some important phone numbers and addresses.
- Sleep- Though the relationship between sleep and the brain is not entirely clear, many experts hypothesize that sleep is necessary for learning and memory consolidation. According to the National Institutes of health, skipping just an hour of sleep consistently can affect your performance, mood, and ability to process information.
- Get organized- Take advantage of calendars, maps, planners and address books to record routine information. Make to-do lists and, check off items as you complete them. Keep your wallet, keys, glasses and other important items in a designated area.
If your memory lapses significantly interfere with your ability to complete daily activities, you should consult your doctor. Even if you are not concerned about your memory, following the suggestions listed here will support overall health and wellbeing. Indeed, Home Care Assistance’s unique approach to care, the Balanced Care Method, captures many of these behaviors to promote healthy mind, body and spirit.