As we enter middle age, it may seem like our brains aren’t in as great of shape as they used to be, especially in certain key cognitive areas like memory and spatial awareness. However, memory loss does not have to be a fact of life as you get older. By understanding what causes memory loss and how to prevent it, you can have a better chance of keeping your brain functioning at the highest levels.
Although memory loss is not an inevitable part of aging, it is certainly more common in older people than younger ones. Short-term memory, spatial awareness, and the ability to remember information over long periods of time are affected as we age, as is our ability to focus and concentrate.
Memory problems and brain fog are caused by the brain's natural decline in neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to adapt. Brains age like all other parts of the body, but if you want to fight back against memory loss due to aging, there are ways to do so. In fact, many memory problems come from environmental factors like stress, hormonal changes, lack of sleep, poor diet, and lack of exercise.
One of the best ways to improve brain function during middle age is to take care of your body. Focusing on living an active lifestyle, eating a healthy diet, and getting proper sleep are things you can start doing immediately to help increase your memory and improve cognition.
Staying physically active- getting at least 150 minutes of strenuous exercise every week- is a great way to help prevent memory loss because exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain.
Staying physically active will also help you manage stress levels. When your brain is stressed, cortisol gets released into the body to help it respond to perceived danger. Cortisol increases glucose metabolism, reduces inflammation, and helps your body manage blood pressure, but it also blocks memory-boosting enzymes in the brain.
Lack of sleep is associated with a decline in memory, focus, and attention. Getting plenty of sleep helps with memory consolidation, which turns short-term memories into longer-term memories. It only occurs during certain sleep stages.
To get the most benefits from your sleep cycle, aim for about eight hours of sleep per night. This can be a challenge as you age due to a number of factors that tend to impact the ability to fall and stay asleep, including drinking too much caffeine, alcohol consumption, and natural changes to your body's circadian rhythms that occur as you age.
Providing your brain with the right nutrition will also help to keep your memory in great shape. Studies have shown that increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is very helpful in preventing memory loss. Supplementing your diet with fish oil, nuts, and seeds will help you replenish the omega-3 oils that you need to keep your memory sharp and prevent brain fog and age-related decline.
The only way to take care of your brain is by giving it exactly what it needs. Memory Health® is one of the only brain health supplements on the market with treatment patents in the U.K., U.S., and Ireland. These critical nutrients are delivered through the brain-blood barrier in a daily concentrated dose.