Posted by Lori Goldman on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 Under: Parenting
The best thing you can do to improve your memory and overall health is to SLEEP. Why? Terry Small, Brain Trainer, tells us.
I read this in the Vancouver Sun newspaper recently:
"Imagine medical research linked a particular food with all the following: obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, some forms of cancer, depression, decreased immunity to bacteria and viruses, lower IQ, problems with focusing, learning and concentration, and a decrease in alertness, leading to accidents and injuries.
One would expect most people would avoid any such food like the plague, while others would call on governments to impose an immediate ban on sales of the product. But, alas, the culprit here is not food; rather, it's something even more common than food: sleep deprivation." (May 2, 2012) http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Editorial+sleep+perchance+stay+healthy/6550004/story.html
With so much science behind the need to get a good night's sleep, it may be time for you to make some changes.
I have been trying to get more sleep. Here's why:
- If you don't get enough sleep, individual groups of neurons will take "naps" during the day while you are awake!
- If you sleep well, your brain has a chance to consolidate long-term memory.
- When you sleep, your brain 'catches up' on processing information that you received when you were awake. (Parts of your brain that are involved with this are not available to do this when you are awake. They are busy doing other things.)
- Sleep helps you to be more creative.
- When you are sleep deprived you are more likely to make poor dietary choices.
(Poor exercise choices, too.)
- Getting less that six hours of sleep per night increases your risk for stroke, heart problems, and viral infections.
We could go on, but you get the point.
Here's something proactive you can do. Food may help. Try any of these seven foods a couple of hours before bedtime to help you brain release 'sleep chemicals':
1. Bananas - You get magnesium, serotonin, and melatonin (natural sleep regulator).
2. Cherry juice - Research shows that two glasses of cherry juice can help you sleep 40 minutes longer. It increases melatonin.
3. Oatmeal - Also rich in melatonin.
4. Honey - Tells your brain to turn off orexin (a neuropeptide linked to alertness).
5. Whole-wheat bread - Eat this with banana and it helps tryptophan get to your brain. Once there, it changes into serotonin and off you go....
6. Warm skim milk - Contains tryptophan and this has a natural sedating effect.
7. Almonds and walnuts - Contains magnesium and tryptophan...increases seratonin. Nuts are great brain food, too.
I take my brain health seriously. How about you?
In : Parenting