Saturday, July 2, 2011

Daily Habits that Cause Memory Loss

As people get older, one primary concern that can be frustrating for them is their experience of certain lapses in daily activities. On aging, many people find that their memory seems to be less and less. They may forget some items or some important data. When an individual suffers from memory loss or poor memory, it indicates that their brain cells are not performing too well. Lots of factors are responsible for one’s poor memory. Unluckily, many people have different types of bad habits which lead to memory loss due to irretrievable destruction of neurons. However, decreasing of these bad habits will help you to keep your memory sharp.

Daily Habits that Cause Memory Loss

Maybe our social habits, diet, or sleep schedule have harmful effect on our memory, either for short term or long term. At present in the United States, Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death. During the period of 2000 to 2008, death rates of most major illnesses dropped in the U.S. while deaths from Alzheimer’s disease increased up to 66 %. Many people consider Alzheimer’s disease as an “elderly” condition but it is also possible that it affects people younger than 65. So, our main focus must be on how to preserve our memory. If you want to keep your brain healthy and your memory sharp for many years, then avoid these bad habits.

Poor Diet

Everyone knows that diet plays an important role in our health. However, it also has bad effect on our memory and cognition. Consuming the right kinds of food will help us a lot to improve our memory. Conversely, if you have poor food choices then you may have to suffer from some memory problems. Studies have shown that fatty foods can harm cognitive function. In the body, excess fats may block the blood vessel and cause the shrinking of cells. Avoid consumption of too oily foods and try to consume those foods that are high in nutrients and good cholesterol.

In 2008, Tufts University researchers had done study by involving women who were on either a low-carb diet or a diet that meet the recommended guidelines from the American Dietetic Association. The study had shown that participants who were on low-carb diet executed worse on memory-based tasks than those on the ADA diet.

As people get older, many of them don’t think about what they eat. As your age increases, you must concentrate on your nutritional needs for your ability to focus quickly.


When a person smokes, not only lungs but also other organs of the body are affected greatly. Smoking can cause a variety of diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and destruction of neurons. Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco investigated studies that have link between smoking and Alzheimer's disease. They concluded that a high risk factor for the Alzheimer's disease was smoking cigarettes and it nearly doubles the person's chance of developing disease.

Several other studies have also connected smoking with poor memory, including one study that linked cigarette smoking with earlier declines in verbal memory among 43 to 53 years of age; published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2003.

More than 4,000 chemicals are present in one cigarette and out of them 43 are carcinogenic. Nicotine, the most dangerous and carcinogenic substance found in cigarettes has the ability to kill the brain cells. The smoke of the cigarette enters in the body and brain via inhalation and when chemicals enter the brain, they alter person’s attitude, mood and mostly, his memory. Nicotine affects numerous domains of cognition, including working memory, short-term episodic memory accuracy and response time.

Inadequate Sleep

When we sleep, many cells of our body also sleep; means they also go to a resting state to charge their energy and regenerate themselves. So, on next day, they can perform their activities well. Normally, 8 hours of night sleep is required for the entire body to recover. However, body can able to function normally with at least 4 hours of sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, then the body cells would not be capable to obtain the required nutrients, oxygen and energy for them to function. This will have an effect on one’s memory sooner or later.
Several studies have shown that the change in sleep pattern did not affect the adolescents' memory consolidation. One study showed that people who were sleep-deprived for about 24 hours had decreased levels of visual short-term memory. However, other research recommends that this link might not apply to everybody.

According to Dr. Nelson, an essential thing to remember is that quality of sleep counts rather than the quantity of sleep as certain stages of sleep are more important for memory consolidation.

Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol consumption raises the risk of memory problems and also dementia. Because of poor nutrition, heavy drinking often leads to brain damage. Additionally, heavy drinkers have more risk of developing dementia or memory loss later in life. An alcohol abuse probably appears like a no-brainer.

A study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism analyzed participants the mornings subsequent to an evening out above a course of some weeks. The study found delayed identification, although blood alcohol levels were at or close to zero at the time of testing. It suggests that memory is affected after a night of drinking.

Some researches are also there which suggests that moderate alcohol drinking can really benefit brain health and decrease the risk of dementia. So, keep your alcohol consumption at the moderate level. That means, no more than 2 drinks for a day; just 1 drink for a day for women.

Lack of Exercise

As we know, exercise is good for health and also good for our brain. A study published this year in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that exercise can prevent memory loss as we get older. More studies are required to conclude whether workout can alter the volume of our hippocampus, a part of brain that involved with forming memories, as we age.

With different type of exercises such as activities and mental exercises, stimulate the brain. For healthy, strong and beautiful body, many people do lot of exercise. Same way, for improved memory, concentration and thinking, stimulation of the brain activity is essential.

One cool thing about this is that it also benefits elder people. The research recommends that by no means it's too late to start exercising and enhancing memory function.

Covering head during sleep

Many people have the habit to cover their head with the blanket or pillow during sleep. They should know that carbon dioxide may be raised by this habit and it can reduce the levels of the oxygen required by the brain. It may harmfully affect the activity of brain if done regularly.

Intellective work while having a disease

Anyone, who suffers from cold or other illness that has already weakened body, actually requires plenty of rest. However, if he/she insists to job persistently, then the brain will create an extra effort that finally leads to a more noteworthy reduce in its effectiveness and long-term worsening of its functions.

If you want to keep your memory sharp or don’t want to continue forgetting things, then avoid these habits as early as possible. You can also make it your aim to improve immediately. Getting the enough amount of sleep, eating right, and avoiding drinks will keep your memory sharp and stronger. Brain is an imperative part of our body so take proper care of it. It is probable to stay physically and mentally active for years and years with some attention to our brain health and overall health throughout the years.


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