How Being Healthy & Sleeping Helps You

It’s the little things in our daily life that help our brains.  The brain is the strongest organ in your body.  When you realize how much our bodies rely on it, you realize how strong it is.  But can we get some speed bumps?  Yes, unfortunately, we can.  However, if we focus on our overall health and our sleep, we can help and support our brains.

Overall Health & Possible Risks

Our overall health is based on how we manage our bodies.  Our decisions can improve or diminish our health.  As a doctor, I can help you, but most of your health improvements are based on you and your daily focuses.  Once you establish better behaviors, your health can and will improve!  Try not to forget — communication with your doctor can help you make the best decisions regarding your health or any issues in your body you come across. Think of it as having a team on your side.  You will have a group of people united to help you with your overall health, and they will be with you against anything else that could happen.  Let’s focus on the basics – have your regular physical examinations and follow any advise your physician shares with you.

And don’t forget — there are a lot of medical conditions that may be linked to the function of your brain and they may reduce its strength.


Sleep & Rest

We all know that if we don’t sleep well the night before, today may be hard to get through.  Mainly, your brain has a hard time focusing on certain things.  Research has even suggested that if we don’t sleep enough, we can possibly get dementia as we age.  Sleeping helps our brain to clean itself up.  Think of stress leaving you as you sleep.  Many researchers verify that sleeping helps us become for mentally productive and our thought energy gets improves.

Sleep can actually help your brain to work how it should.  It’s like realizing that your brain works a certain manner all day while we are awake and works in a different way at night while we sleep.  A recent study shows that some cells in your brain can over-work if you stay awake for too long.  Our brains use the astrocytes to help us keep our brain clean.  Astrocytes help by cutting back any unnecessary synapses in your brain.  This helps to remodel our brain’s wiring. While sleeping, the brain also uses a microglial cell to search through your brain for any damaged cells and can then remove them.  The researchers found that if they kept the brain up and working for an extra eight hours, the astrocytes in our brain tend to not stop; they will keep “cutting” up the brain’s wiring!  They also found that the microglial cells do not take a rest either.  (If you’d like to read more, here is the scientific presentation in the “Journal of Neuroscience.”)  So, the moral of the findings is to manage your time and be sure to sleep at least 7 hours.


Things to consider to improve your health and sleep overall:

  • Focus on your health overall and know that you can improve it – it’s under your control.
  • Partner with your physician to learn about any methods that would help any current issues.
  • Be consistent. Go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.
  • Set your bedroom up the way you prefer – that it is quiet, dark, relaxing, and at a comfortable temperature
  • To sleep even better, try to move TVs, computers, and cell phones, from the bedroom
  • Avoid eating meals that are large, as well as drinking caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime
  • Avoid tobacco/nicotine due to possible health issues.  (And don’t forget, that smoking can cause some other major illnesses.)
  • Do some exercise – Being physically active during the day can help your brain and blood flow, as well as helping you to fall asleep easily at night.
  • Keep your blood pressure and weight at a healthy level.
  • Take only prescribed medication in the method that the doctor wants you to take it.

This list can help you stay sharp, smart, and increase your quality of life!