Everyone experiences the occasional lapse in memory. The phenomenon is obviously more worrisome as you age. But then, is it necessarily happening more often, or are you just more aware of the individual instances when they occur now that you’re getting on in years? There’s always the potential for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia contributing to memory loss, but more often than not, you’re likely experiencing minor memory impairment as a result of the normal aging process. Since some factors can contribute to this condition, you should always keep the lines of communication open with your physician to address any concerns you may have.
Like most aspects of your existence, lifestyle is a primary driver of your cognitive health. If you take care of your body, it will take care of you. When you believe that a forgetful nature may be gaining a foothold in your day-to-day activities, it’s time to take stock of the habits that could be causing the recent uptick in absent-mindedness.
Smoking is a bad idea on so many levels. The cardiovascular implications caused by habitual smoking will eventually impact your memory. Good circulation is essential in getting oxygen to your brain. Smoking can constrict arteries and cause a stroke. It takes a toll on the brain and its functions.
Lack of sleep is another multifaceted risk. Quantity and quality are essential. Besides the restorative physical properties, sleep is also vital to the process of building and saving memories in your brain. Poor sleep patterns inhibit the production of new neurons in the hippocampus, which interferes not only with memory, but also decision-making and concentration. Depression has been linked with too little sleep, and the signs of depression can be strikingly similar to memory loss.
Alcohol is another major culprit. Abusing alcohol has been shown to damage brain cells, and some studies may indicate a link to dementia. Manage your alcohol consumption, so that it doesn’t hinder your daily activities. If you’re taking medication, keep an eye out for possible reactions or side effects.
Medications can also be a factor. As you introduce new medications into your routine, or even take the same over-the-counter drugs you’ve relied on for years, new combinations and mere wear and tear over the years change the way your body processes substances. Memory loss is more common as it takes longer to absorb the medication.So many of these causes can be addressed to stop and reverse the signs of memory loss. In the meantime, there are many practices you can start to incorporate into your regimen to head off premature gaps in memory. Regular exercise and social interaction have been linked to positive brain activity. Stay hydrated, so don’t skimp on water and check out more information on supplements that work to improve brain function. Continue to challenge your mind by trying crossword puzzles, reading books, or learning a new hobby. Most importantly, pay attention to what’s going on with your mind and body, so you can quickly identify issues when they arise.