Dementia: Eight ways to prevent the neurodegenerative disease - including sleep

Dementia is an umbrella term to describe symptoms of impairment in memory, communication and thinking. 

Research has not yet discovered a cure for dementia, and doctors are not certain of an exact method of preventing the disease. 

But changes to diet, exercise and daily routine can reduce the risk factors. 

Care home Forest Healthcare has come up with a step by step guide to prevent dementia - which includes getting a good night’s rest. 

Sleep well

Disrupted sleep patterns and insomnia have recently been suggested as risk factors for dementia. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can improve your sleep patterns. If you are having problems sleeping speak to your GP.

Eat omega-3 fats

Research has proven that the DHA in omega-3 fats reduces the risk of dementia. Salmon and sardines are particularly high in DHA, so make fish for dinner at least twice a week. Nuts and seeds are also rich in omega-3 goodness and taste delicious when added to your breakfast cereal.

Exercise regularly 

Regular exercise has been known to cure most ailments, and when you are older it is even more beneficial. Exercising at least three or four times a week reduces the risk of heart disease, which is a known contributing factor to developing dementia. 

Watch your weight

High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are typically caused by being overweight, and have been linked to causing dementia. If you are worried about your weight ask your GP about your ideal BMI, and find out if you need to lose a bit of winter padding.

Don’t smoke 

Recent research discovered that smokers over the age of 65 have an 80 per cent higher risk of developing dementia than non-smokers. Stopping smoking doesn’t just benefit your lungs. A smoke free lifestyle improves circulation in the brain which makes a happier, healthier, mind.

Have an active social life

Loneliness has been linked to early signs of dementia and cognitive decline, which is why it is important to socialise.  Why not become a member of your local gym and try out some of the group exercise classes? After all, we are not solitary creatures, life is better shared. Spending time with other people is good for the body and the mind.

Stimulate your mind

Continuing learning and stimulating your mind in later life could help to prevent dementia. Learning a new language, musical instrument or craft are all fun and intellectually stimulating activities which will help to preserve your memory. Think of it like taking your brain to the gym.

Don’t stress

Chronic stress takes its toll on the brain, and could cause dementia in later life. Regular relaxation activities such as quiet reading, light exercise or listening to calming music and even meditation could do wonders for your stress levels. 

Our minds and our bodies are what make us human, but the mind can break just like a bone. So look after your mind just as you look after your body. Even though we cannot be sure that these tips will completely prevent dementia, they will certainly reduce the risks. 

Following this diet plan could raise your risk of developing a brain condition. 



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