Maintain Your Brain: 5 Ways to Improve Senior Memory
It's normal to experience occasional lapses in memory as we age. However, there are many things you can start doing now to get a head start on battling mental decline. Take a look at the following ways you can help your brain perform at its best right now and in later years.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Are you getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night? If not, you should start! Sleep allows the brain to transfer information across the brain, helping us produce fresh ideas and recall old ones
2. Train Your Brain
Our brains need to be trained just like our muscles. Participating in activities that exercise the five different areas of the brain can significantly improve memory function. Some of these activities include crossword puzzles, memorizing song lyrics, reading, and solving math problems in your head.
3. Socialize Often
The part of our brain where our memories, ideas, and facts are stored is the same part that is affected by social interaction. This is referred to as our semantic memory. When we are talking to another person, our brains have to come up with responses, thus stimulating our brains.
4. Avoid Sugary Foods
Our brains need sugar to function properly; however, too much sugar can be harmful. Research has shown that higher levels of sugar are directly related to an increase in mental decline. Check the sugar content on your food labels and be on the lookout for any ingredient containing the suffix -ose (dextrose, fructose, glucose, etc.). These ingredients are simply different names for sugar.
5. Believe in Yourself
Did you know confidence is key when it comes to your memory? Oftentimes, older adults are exposed to negative stereotypes about aging and memory. These stereotypes make them believe they can't do anything to control their memory, which can increase their risk of mental decline. When you start believing in your ability, you improve your chances of boosting your memory!