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Brain Health: What not to do



Mental ailments may be less noticeable than physical ones and because of this, aiming to safeguard one’s brain health is of utmost importance. There are certain practices which have been scientifically proven to be detrimental to brain function. In this article, these practices as well as how to mitigate their consequences are outlined.


Why sitting down is detrimental to your health



Researchers at Harvard University have concluded that there is a direct correlation between long periods of general inactivity and poorer cognitive function. On average, an adult spends over six hours and thirty minutes per day sitting down. This sedentary period has been observed to alter and decrease the functionality of the medial temporal lobe in the brain, which is responsible for creating and storing new memories. A study concluded that people who sit down for longer periods were shown to have a thinner medial temporal lobe than those who led more active lifestyles. The thinning of the medial temporal lobe is directly linked to dementia and reduced brain function. The solution? Every quarter or half of an hour spent sitting, carry out some active movements like push-ups, a speedy walk around the house, or some lunges and squats.


The importance of socialising



A publication by The Journals of Gerontology: Series B in July of 2021 stated that the outermost layer of the brain, grey matter, was thinner in individuals who are less socially interactive. Less grey matter is linked to problems with fine motor skills and further cognitive decline. People who suffer from loneliness and spend extended periods in solitude have higher risks of mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s and depression. Socialisation does not have to occur with a plethora of individuals for this quantity of grey matter to be improved. Interacting with two or three close people regularly has been proven to improve brain health. This interaction can also occur via text, calls or video chat.


Is sleeping less than eight hours bad for your health?



It is a well-known fact that the human body needs sleep to function adequately. Moreover, eight hours of sleep daily is necessary for the maintenance of brain health and cognitive skills. To improve rest and sleep time, focus on getting into bed an hour earlier than you usually would when aiming for the 8 hours - if you do not manage to fall asleep in this period, you still have enough time to sleep an adequate amount of hours.


Does stress impact the brain?


Yes, the brains of people who suffer from chronic stress have fewer brain cells and a smaller prefrontal cortex (responsible for learning and retrieving memories) contrasted with people who do not. To reduce stress, aim for more flexibility in your life and try to take stoic approaches towards your emotions. Try to find the middle ground between being detached and being committed to aspects of your life.


Struggling with your brain health? Make sure you speak to your health professional who will be able to guide you.


If you would like information on how to kickstart your journey to a healthier you, contact us today on +356 21221355, 9985 2404 or send an email on info@clinipath.com.mt.


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