The school year has wrapped up just as the political frenzy of presidential politics and state legislature drama — not to mention the actual weather — is heating up. Whether it’s bored kids demanding more attention or the news cycle draining your optimism, it can be exhausting. Maybe it’s time for a nap?
The two cheapest and easiest things we can do for our health is sleep more and exercise more, so why don’t we do it? Sleep and exercise have an immense impact on physical and mental health both in the moment and for your future self.
Whether we like it or not, time marches on. And as it does, we age.
One of the most challenging realities for everyone to face in life is that we are all, inevitably, destined to grow old (if we’re lucky, that is).
Aging correlates to a steady decline of functional abilities, both physical and mental. Memory and cognition peak in our early twenties, and we begin a very slow, steady decline of those functions as we near our senior years.
After age 80, many bodily functions – including brain function – seem to have reached the average limit of their operation. So what can we do to preserve our brains for as long as possible?
You know what they say: use it or lose it. The more you think now, the more you will be able to think later, as you age. Activities that are interactive and intellectually rewarding, like having good conversations with people, are not only enjoyable – they’re also good for your brain.
The next time you spend too long talking to someone, lost in a good conversation, there’s your excuse – you were exercising your brain. And by the same token, physical activity and fitness help preserve brain function. After all, your brain is a part of your body – so you have to take care of your body to take care of your brain.
So: think a lot, move a lot, and live a lot if you want to live longer. Drs. Art Markman and Bob Duke give you more of the details.
You’re only as old as you feel: Continued activity – both physical and mental – protects you as you age.
This week we talk about why certain days of the week “feel” differently than others, and what we can do to help ourselves optimize each day.
Do we need less sleep as we age? In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the relationship between sleep, age and cognitive decline.
We need to sleep for a host of reasons, but what exactly is happening in our brains while we’re unconscious? We’ve only scratched the surface of understanding all that happens during sleep, but we do know that while our bodies are resting, our brains are very busy.
Have you ever tried to commit some skill or knowledge to memory and you magically perform better after a night of sleep? It’s not magic. One of the most significant functions of sleep is the process of memory consolidation: experiences you’ve had during the day, things you’ve started to store in your memory, become consolidated and stabilized during sleep. Different stages of sleep function to consolidate different kinds of memory, so a full night of sleep (six to nine hours on average), helps your memory function more cohesively.
Take in what professors Bob Duke and Art Markman have to say in the players above. Then have a nap, to refresh and consolidate what you’ve learned. Sleep is a lot more than just rest; do yourself a favor and get the sleep that your brain and the rest of your body needs.
Originally aired June 9, 2013.