We’re all trying to make the most of our brains, but it can be hard to know where to start. After all, you have so many choices regarding supplements and activities that promise to boost your cognition. But no matter how many resources you have at your disposal, one thing is sure: You need sleep. Dr. Harbagh Singh, a leading neuro specialist in Patiala at Patiala Heart Institute, shares his tips for getting a good night’s rest—and staying in tip-top shape after that alarm clock goes off in the morning.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is when your brain recharges, so getting enough sleep is key to maintaining optimal brain health. In addition, your body and mind need a nightly rest period to prepare for the next day’s challenges.
Sleep helps you process information and make decisions, improves memory and concentration, and helps with mood regulation (including depression). It also regulates appetite hormones that affect weight control.
In addition, it reduces stress levels by boosting the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (the feel-good hormone) and norepinephrine (which boosts focus). You also have better control over pain signals sent from nerve endings throughout your body–these signals can interfere with sleep if they’re too intense or frequent during the night.
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve your brain health. Just as training builds muscles, it also strengthens the connections between neurons in your brain. As a result, it can help you think faster and more clearly, leading to better memory and moods.
Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress and improve sleep quality- essential for optimal brain function! For example, a study done by Harvard Medical School showed that people who engaged in moderate physical activity were less likely than non-exercisers or those who exercised vigorously (more than three times per week) to develop dementia later in life.
This same study found that “vigorous” exercise was associated with an almost 50% lower risk of developing dementia than with no physical activity! In addition, another Harvard study found that even just 20 minutes of brisk daily walking helps reduce anxiety levels among women ages 55-85 years old diagnosed with depression or anxiety disorders.
Eat a Healthy Diet
- Eat a Healthy Diet
- Establish a daily routine that includes a balance of nutrients, physical activity, mindfulness, and relaxation. A diet rich in whole foods, lean proteins, and healthy fats is key to supporting brain health.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables; eat less processed foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages and refined carbohydrates (white bread).
- Limit saturated fats (found primarily in animal products like red meat) by choosing leaner cuts of meat or poultry without skin. It keeps your intake of trans fats low by avoiding hydrogenated vegetable oils (trans fats are often found in baked goods).
Stress is one of the biggest killers of brain health. When you feel stressed, your brain releases cortisol and other hormones that increase blood pressure and heart rate, making it harder for oxygen to get where it needs to go to keep your neurons firing at total capacity.
In addition, it can lead to headaches, difficulty sleeping at night, and even depression–all things that will make maintaining optimal brain health more complicated than it needs to be!
“To reduce stress levels,” Dr. Smith says, “you need some kind of physical activity every day.”
He recommends walking or running outside if possible (or doing some light weight lifting) because they’re good ways to burn off excess energy and improve circulation throughout your entire body–including the brain itself! But, of course, if the weather isn’t cooperating where you live right now, there are plenty of other ways besides exercise alone. Yoga classes are great, too; meditation has been shown scientifically and time again how effective it can be at reducing stress levels over time the list goes on!
Stay Mentally Active
- Stay mentally active.
- Keep your brain in shape by challenging it with new tasks, whether learning a new language or playing chess.
- Do puzzles and brainteasers to keep your mind sharp and agile.
- Play word games like crosswords and Scrabble, which can help improve your memory and concentration skills.
Avoid Substance Abuse
Alcohol and cigarettes are drugs that can harm your brain health, mainly if used frequently. Alcohol abuse can damage the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory formation and storage. Additionally, alcoholics may develop Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (WKS) if they consume large amounts of thiamine-deficient foods over time or if they drink excessively without eating enough food containing thiamine.
In this condition, individuals experience severe degeneration of nerve cells in their brains and other parts of their bodies like their muscles and heart muscles–this leads to problems with movement control and vision loss due to damage done by these conditions!
Continuous learning is a key component of brain health. Learning new things helps you stay mentally sharp, leading to greater creativity and productivity.
To maintain optimum brain function, try to learn something new every day–even if it’s just a fact or concept you didn’t know before. Set aside time each week for reading or writing (such as writing in your journal), which are excellent ways of staying engaged with new information.
Socialize and Connect with Others
Social interactions are an essential part of maintaining brain health. Social connections may help protect the brain from the effects of ageing by reducing stress and boosting mood, as well as helping prevent cognitive decline. In addition, some research suggests that people with more robust social networks have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia later in life.
Social interaction is also associated with better overall health and well-being—especially for older adults who might otherwise feel isolated or alone–so it’s worth taking steps to ensure you’re regularly connecting with others (and not just online). If this sounds intimidating, try starting small: maybe invite someone for coffee once per week; join a book club; attend religious services together; play games like bridge or Scrabble together; organise volunteer opportunities at your local library; the list goes on!
Manage Chronic Health Conditions
If you have a chronic health condition, it’s essential to take care of your body to take care of your brain. Several chronic conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, raise the risk for dementia. If you have one or more of these conditions–or any other medical problem that requires medication–your neuro specialist in Patiala can help guide you through an optimal treatment plan that will protect your physical and mental health.
In addition to managing your medications and dosages carefully (and keeping track of them!), talk with your neuro specialist in Patiala doctor about any side effects affecting how well they work for you. For example: if I’m feeling dizzy because my blood pressure medication causes low blood pressure during exercise sessions at the gym but doesn’t affect me otherwise, then perhaps there’s another option available with fewer side effects.
If you’re concerned about your brain health, the best thing to do is see a specialist. A neuro specialist in Patiala can help you develop a plan to manage any conditions or symptoms that may affect it. They can also guide how to pursue healthy habits and avoid harmful ones–so if you have questions about what kind of doctor would suit your needs, get in touch with us today!