Tag Archive: sleep

  1. 10 Tips to Improve Your Memory

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    Walk into a room and forget why you came?  Can’t recall the name of the new neighbor you just met yesterday?  You are not alone. We all forget things from time to time. Yet, memory loss can be a more serious condition.  While there is not an iron-clad solution to prevent memory loss or dementia, there are a number of brain fitness tips to reduce our risk and improve our memory function.  Try these ten simple tips to boost your memory.   Talk with your doctor when you feel you need help.

    No. 1: Exercise your body

    Physical exercise is still the number one thing you can do for your brain.  When we exercise, oxygen and blood flow to the brain increase which helps to support improvements in short-term memory function and retrieval of information.  Aim to break a sweat every day.

    No. 2: Exercise your mind

    Cross-training is the best way to improve memory function. On Monday, dive into a new book.  On Tuesday, play 15 minutes of brain games.  Try Making Curfew on BrainSpade.com to challenge your visual memory skills.  Continue to tackle new challenges for the remainder of the week – card games, board games, or even trying a new recipe are all part of keeping your memory fit.

    No. 3: Keep it Social

    Maintaining social relationships helps to reduce stress levels and depression, both of which are major contributors to memory decline. Make plans to spend time with friends and family.

    No. 4: De-Clutter

    Forgetting things can be more of a problem if your home is in disarray. Organize papers and throw away things that aren’t needed.  Get in the habit of putting your keys and other important items in the same place each day.

    No. 5: Stop Multi-Tasking

    Resist the urge of tackling multiple tasks at once.  Multi-tasking elevates stress which can hinder memory function. Divide your day into chunks and concentrate for periods of time before stopping to do other things.

    No. 6: Turn Up the Music

    Studies show that listening to music can improve our ability to recall information.  Choose music that lifts your spirits and add that into the mix when you are exercising, cleaning, or working on something familiar.

    No. 7: Eat Your Veggies

    A diet rich in dark-green leafy vegetables is essential for keeping your memory strong.  Find creative ways to add more greens to your diet.  Look for green smoothie recipes as a start.  Dr. Oz has an excellent spinach smoothie which is actually quite tasty: Dr. Oz’s Green Drink.

    No. 8: Spice Things Up

    Countries like India that incorporate a variety of spices into their daily diet, show a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s and other dementia related illnesses.  Look for new recipes and menu options that incorporate spices like cumin, cinnamon and ginger into your diet.

    No. 9: Drink Up

    Are you staying fully hydrated?  Our brain is made up of 75% water.  By the time you feel thirsty, you are already a bit dehydrated.   If you don’t enjoy drinking water consider dropping in fresh lemon, basil or cucumber.  Herbal tea is a great option too.

    No. 10: BrainSpade.com

    We would be remiss if we didn’t share that our team of clinicians are hard at work developing new brain exercises and brain teasers to keep your mind sharp, challenge your memory, and boost your spirit. Remember to make Brain Games part of your daily routine.

  2. 12 Steps to Better Sleep

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    Falling asleep might seem like an impossible dream when you’re awake at 2 a.m., but deep sleep may be within your reach. Following these healthy sleep habits can put you on the right track. Researchers have identified a variety of “sleep hygiene” techniques that can help anyone maximize the hours they spend sleeping, even those whose suffer from insomnia.

    1.  Avoid exercising in the evening.

    2.  Eat a lighter evening meal and avoid snacking before bed.

    3.  Turn off all electronics a full hour before sleep.

    4.  Take a warm shower or bath.

    5.  Turn the temperature in your bedroom. Cooler temperatures are help to improve your breathing and encourage deeper sleep.

    6.  Invest in the perfect pillow.

    7.  Make your room very dark.

    8.  Ban the blue lights in the bedroom. Insomnia feeds on the soft blue glow from a cell phone, PDA, or digital clock resting on your bedside table.

    9.  Jot down any worries or concerns you have and save them for the next day.

    10.  Block the clock. Don’t watch the time in the middle of the night.

    11.  When you wake in the morning, let the natural light into your room.

    12.  Aim for getting at least 20 minutes of sunlight every day.

    Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to good health. Study after study has found a link between insufficient sleep and a number of serious health problems including heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity.

  3. 9 Tips for Training Your Brain Today

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    While nothing has been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, there is abundant research showing we can delay the onset of mental decline by building a brain-healthy lifestyle.  Here are some tips to training your brain today.

    1.  Sleep. Sleep defragments your brain and organizes information you’ve learned during the day.

    2.  Focus. Quit the multi-tasking. It not only lowers your productivity but it may increase your risk for dementia when you are older.

    3.  Exercise in small bursts. Take the stairs. Walk the block. Try a tango class. Exercise is still the number one thing you can do for your brain.

    4.  Play games. Games are good for your brain and variety is key. When you tackle new problems, you form new neural pathways.

    5.  Meditate. No tie-dye T-shirt required. Clear your mind and focus on positive things.

    6.  Make time for fun. Laughter enhances creativity and lowers stress. Your brain thrives on fun.

    7.  Drink more fluids. By the time you feel thirsty, you are already slightly dehydrated.

    8.  Target your working memory. Make a point to push yourself to store details quickly. Work on names and faces to start.

    9.  Be aware that your brain makes mistakes. When solving a problem, ask yourself what the big picture really looks like. Are you afraid of change? Experiment more.

  4. Sleep Spindles – Just One More Reason to Sleep

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    If 8 hours seems like an impossible dream, read on to discover the brain benefits of sleep.

    Besides increasing alertness, sleep–particularly rapid eye movement (REM) sleep–is a great way for the brain to store new information in long-term memory.  The brain accomplishes this through a phenomenon that scientists have recently come to understand: sleep spindles.

    Sleep spindles are short bursts of brain waves that occur during REM sleep. The REM phase usually takes place toward the end of the night, between hours 6-8,  when people are most likely to dream.

    Imagine that you are taking golf lessons and have worked with a coach to improve your swing.  If you sleep 6-8 hours the night after you take the lesson you are much more likely to retain the fine details you learned during your training.

    Bottom Line: If you want to improve your golf game (or retain information in general), sleep longer.