Four Habits That May Be Affecting Your Brain Health
A number of everyday habits ranging from skipping a morning work to those numerous bedtime snacks can have a serious impact on your brain health. Here are the common habits that may be speeding the decline of your brain health.
You Drink Too Much
As far as your brain is concerned, there’s a big difference between enjoying a glass of wine with dinner and consuming a lot of bottles. A study conducted in 2012 at Rutgers University used rats to model “moderate to heavy drinking” defined as a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent.
The production of nerve cells in the brain’s hippocampus (the region involved in certain types of learning) of the drunk rodents dropped by almost 40 percent. In the long term this type of behavior could have an adverse effect on learning and memory.
Failing To Care For Your Heart
Heart health is directly connected to brain health. You usually know what’s good for your heart is good for your brain. If your heart is stressed and strained and your brain is not getting proper blood flow, it’s going to age more rapidly.
A 2017 study in JAMA Neurology found that middle-aged individuals with vascular risk factors such as hypertension or diabetes were more likely to develop dementia as they got older.
Failing To Walk
Normal aging brings brain changes that slow cognitive function as some brain regions shrink, communication between neurons may decrease, blood flow in the brain may lessen, and inflammation could increase.
However, certain daily habits may accelerate this brain aging—and there is something you can do about that. Physical activity, managing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (i.e., high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking), getting sufficient sleep, are all good for other health reasons and may be helpful for the brain.
Additional practices such as staying socially active, treating depression, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption may also be beneficial for your brain health.
Failing To Protect Your Ears
Hearing loss is linked to dementia. A 2011 study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the National Institute on Aging found that senior citizens with hearing loss were “significantly more likely to develop dementia.”
It’s possible that the strain of struggling to hear could overburden the brain or that hearing loss could lead to social isolation, which is an acknowledged risk factor for dementia. Protect your hearing as best as you can.