Sleep for better brain health
Is your memory not as good as it used to be?
Are worries of dementia or Alzheimer’s plaguing you?
Did you know that sleep plays a key role in keeping your brain working efficiently? Although sleep seems like a period of inactivity, it is anything but.
As you get older, sleep can easily become elusive. Bathroom trips, night sweats, restless legs and everyday stress can effect the quality and quantity of your sleep. But your sleep is as important as food and water. And great sleep keeps your brain sharp.
As you sleep, your brain is actively working to maintain neural pathways that enable you to learn, create new memories and consolidate what you have learned in the day to your long term memory.
A new and exciting discovery is the ability of the brain to clear out toxins. While you sleep, the brain shrinks and opens up spaces, allowing the accumulated “garbage” to drain out through the brain’s lymphatic system. “Taking out the garbage” means the removal of B-amyloid protein which is a precursor to the plaques in Alzheimer’s disease. According to Russel Foster, a professor of neuroscience at Oxford University, sleep-deprived Individuals have higher levels of beta-amyloid than those who have slept normally. He says, “ I wouldn’t say sleep disruption causes Alzheimer’s but it is probably a contributing factor.”
If your sleep is not as restorative as it should be, try incorporating some of these PRIME TIPS to help you get some better zzzz’s.
PRIME TIP #1
Light plays an important role in setting your circadian rhythm, your wake/sleep
cycle. Reduce your exposure to artificial light from computers, televisions, tablets,
phones and even household lighting. Make use of the features on electronics
such as F.lux that can dim the light at night. Orange glasses also work to reduce
blue light exposure.
When it is time to sleep, make sure your room is dark. Cover any lights from
bedside clocks etc and wear an eye mask if necessary.
PRIME TIP #2
PRIME TIP #3
PRIME TIP #4
PRIME TIP #5
Keep your bedroom as a relaxing sanctuary for sleep and sex only. Keep your
room cool. You sleep best when the temperature is approximately 18C or 65F.
Keep your electronic devices out of the bedroom.