Increasing Your Brain Health to Avoid Dementia – Nutrients, Sleep, Working Together
One of the essential parts to increasing your brain health, particularly when avoiding dementia, is to ensure that you’re giving your body proper sleep, getting enough nutrients for your brain, and when you start experiencing symptoms, start working with a specialist to get unique recommendations.
The Importance of Sleep To Avoid Dementia and Alzheimer’s
“He’d be happy just to sit and watch tv or sleep during the hour or two my grandma and her daughters (one is my mom) would go grocery shopping together. He was a very loving and doting grandfather, but the Alzheimer’s was super frustrating for him.” ~ Carolyn
If there was one thing we have to say about dementia is that sleep plays a critical role. At any age, when you are sleep deprived, your memory takes a beating. When you sleep, your short-term memory moves over into long-term memory, and habits are correctly formed. Depriving yourself of sleep impairs your ability to create a long-term memory.
A lack of sleep also impairs your ability to form acetylcholine, an essential neurotransmitting hormone found in the brain that helps protect the myelin sheath around nerves, form new memories, and improve memory recall. Supplementing acetylcholine can help for a little while, but it is only a short-term solution.
Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. However, some people need a little less while some people need a little bit more. And, the amount of sleep you need can depend on the time of year, your level of health, and your age.
People who tend to need longer sleep are those who are younger or have physical illnesses. Also, most people will find themselves sleeping more in the winter when there is less sunlight.
An easy way to tell if you need more sleep is to see how you feel in the morning. If it takes you a while to get going, or you feel like you need some stimulant, such as caffeine, during the day, your body needs more sleep.
Supplements For Brain Health
In some cases, supplementing certain nutrients can help give your brain a boost and help avoid dementia. They can help fill in the gaps missing in your diet or act as a fill-in when you’re not feeling well. Three key nutrients work immensely well for your brain.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is significant because it helps form new neural connections and is a necessary component for the production of acetylcholine. Deficiencies in B6 have been known to increase the chances of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Unfortunately, B6 is one of those vitamins that’s very difficult to absorb from fruits and vegetables if you have digestive issues. Things like IBS and Crohn’s tend to hamper a person’s ability to absorb B6.
Additionally, if a person is deficient in B6, they often lack B12, which can only be obtained through quality meat sources or supplementation. A good rounded B vitamin complex supplement can help alleviate some of these problems.
Women have more of a need for magnesium than men, but everyone would benefit from more magnesium supplementation. Magnesium is primarily found in green leafy vegetables. Magnesium stimulates electrical activity in the brain and can help the ability to process information. It’s one of the initiating factors for quality sleep.
The protective myelin sheath that surrounds nerves are composed primarily of fatty acids. When the body is deficient in fatty acids, nerve cells damaged by oxidative stress cannot repair themselves. And without the ability to repair, memories are lost, and new memories cannot be formed.
Working With A Dementia Specialist for Health & Supplement Recommendations
Most doctors know a little bit about dementia and memory problems, but working with a professional specializing in memory problems takes you farther to find a solution to avoid dementia. Above, we have several resources that you can download to help find a quality doctor and start taking proactive steps to maintain your health.
A dementia specialist will also help put you in contact with at-home services that can help with household chores, managing medications, and doctor visits so you can stay in your home, independent, longer.
In the little story above, having a home health aide come in two to three times per week to help with household chores, and companionship could have saved the family a lot of hardship and stress.
Keeping your brain sharp, active, and vibrant is one of your highest priorities to keeping you safe and secure in your home. Remaining independent and slowing down cognitive decline is your key to staying independent and safe in your home.
Supplementation, sleep, and working with a specialist can keep you healthy and active longer. Because if you’re not fit in your body, if your brain is not healthy, all of the activities and recommendations don’t really matter.