This is my grandson George, a perfect role model demonstration as to how to relax and sleep! An appropriate introduction to my story.

We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.

William Shakespeare

From time to time I stray away from the Memory Matters daily programs and look more widely  for articles that you might find interesting. In each case however they have a relevance to dementia.

This article about the Fountain of Youth was first spotted by my wife Barbara, who herself knows something about the subject matter. Sleep deprivation! Now allegedly that has something to do with my “snoring” but joking apart, it is something that can cause  problems later in life. How we sleep, deeply or lightly; how many times a night we wake up; how restless we are, are all considered in a huge amount of research discussed in this recent TIME Health article.

I will copy some highlights here, but please read the whole article. It is most enlightening.

“Studies of people whose sleep sessions are irregular or short show they are at higher risk of developing diseases that can lead to early death, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Poor sleep may have detrimental effects on the brain as well, increasing the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, as well as mood disorders like depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety. And like smoking, a terrible diet and not exercising enough, poor sleep is now linked to an overall increased risk of premature death.

Despite the mounting evidence of its benefits, Americans are sleeping about two hours less each night than they did a century ago. Blame the technology-fueled 24/7 workplace, social media or the relentless news cycle, but about one-third of U.S. adults sleep less than the recommended seven hours daily, and 40% report feeling drowsy during the day, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The problem begins early: only 15% to 30% of U.S. teens get the 8½ hours a night recommended for adolescents.

The more nights you sleep, the more soothing the influence of sleep on that memory. Sleep continues to work on those emotional memories and flatten them out after about a week. Now there’s great evidence that PTSD is a disorder in which that process fails.

Fully understanding the role sleep plays in mental illness is a rich area of future research. Already many doctors think consistent, high-quality sleep can have a direct bearing on the health of those with mental illness. Anyone who suffers from moderate or significant mental-health concerns needs to be aware that sleep may be one of the most important things they can do.

TIME Health

In a blog entitled BrainFacts we find a common thread:

People spend much of their lives asleep. Sleep is vital to survival, and it helps the nervous system function properly. Studies reveal that when animals and people fail to get enough sleep, concentration, coordination, memory, and mood suffer. Additionally, sleep issues often affect people with psychiatric and neurological disorders. Recent studies are revealing how brain cells and chemicals work together to regulate sleep and the changes that take place in the brain when a person is sleep-deprived. Using advanced molecular, cellular, and brain imaging technologies, researchers are exploring the activity of different brain regions during sleep, and how certain events and disorders alter sleep states. This information could lead to new treatments for sleep disorders — which affect millions worldwide — and deeper understanding of the relationship between sleep and various diseases.

Those of you who, like my wife and I, wear a Fitbit or Garmin sports watch will know that by wearing the watch in bed you can track your light and deep sleep sessions and general wakefulness. The results do not always make for happy reading (!) but it does encourage you to work on getting regular good sleep.

Having read the article I wonder just how parents today would respond? Peer pressure often causes them to give their children technology and subsequently entry to social media that can be really detrimental, and it will probably be another thirty to forty years from now before we see if our children and grand-children’s sleep deprivation has contributed to a disease including early onset Alzheimer’s.

Food for thought?!

So fast forward now to our Memory Matters Brain Boosters program.

Here’s some of what you learn in our Brain Boosters program:

  • What is normal brain aging?
  • When might you need to see a doctor?
  • Techniques to sharpen your focus.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • How to stop the worry and become a flexible thinker.
  • How to improve your nutrition and diet.
  • Special do’s and don’ts for protecting your brain.

When Cathee lead the class we attended much of what we learned is relevant to the Time Health article I refer to in this blog. Below I quote from the Brain Boosters program.

“Try Not To Worry”!

Worrying is useless. It serves absolutely no purpose. The only time you can make a difference in your life is now. The past is gone and the future has not happened yet. Don’t us your present time worrying about things you cannot control.

Make no mistake, planning is not worrying. Planning is when you lay down the steps needed to create a desired future. Worrying is when you stress out about something that has happened or hasn’t happened yet. It really impacts your sleep pattern!

Instead of worrying, meditate, practice gratitude, become still, listen to your soul, and surround yourself with love.

The moral in the story is to make sure that we stimulate our brain throughout life. Engaging socially, person to person, (as opposed to social media) and continuing education   in programs such as Brain Boosters, to name but one, is good brain exercise!

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace.

Victor Hugo


Please share this if you believe it would help someone. Call 1 843 842 6688 Memory Matters office for more information. It’s always confidential. Consider joining our next Brain Boosters program. We are a phone call away here in your local community.




2 thoughts on “THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH

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