Did you know that watching too much news could actually be harmful to your memory and brain function? This was just one fascinating piece of wisdom shared by author and master herbalist Gerald Quigley, in our first ever Facebook Live wellness seminar, held in May. Stress and anxiety are major risk factors of memory loss, and Quigley recommends managing this by watching “only one news service each day and don’t get caught up in the constant stream of information and statistics. Just look after your own health!”
With COVID-19 ruling out in-person events, the Lifestyle Wellness team hosted a lively Q&A which covered the keys to maintaining a healthy brain. Advice included maintaining a healthy diet with fish and other Omega 3-rich proteins, multiple daily serves of fruit and vegetables and constantly staying hydrated throughout the day. Quigley noted the importance of regular exercise and recommended activities such as yoga and swimming. He suggested stimulating our brains with new challenges and learning opportunities, particularly with friends or in a group so as to combat social isolation, another memory loss risk factor. A good night’s sleep is a big factor and we should aim for a routine bedtime, switching off TVs (especially the news!) and putting away mobile phones an hour beforehand.
Lorraine from Lifestyle Bittern queried whether drinking tea might cause sleep problems but Quigley countered that preparing tea properly rather than using tea bags, along with a small snack and a book is a perfect preparation for a good night’s sleep. Sandra from Lifestyle Officer wanted to know whether The Mozart Effect, or heading off to sleep accompanied by relaxing music could have positive effects on older people as it does on babies. Quigley proffered that “the benefits of music are legendary! Whether Mozart or other genres, music settles the mind, distracting us from challenging issues we might be holding on to.”
Another gift hamper winner, Shirley from Lifestyle Shepparton asked how we might know the difference between early onset dementia and forgetfulness that comes with age. Our resident expert explained that forgetting where you left your keys, book titles, people and place names, was a completely normal, everyday challenge. By contrast, dementia is an ongoing deterioration of brain function resulting from risk factors such as smoking, brain trauma, and blood supply to the brain. If you are forgetting where you live or the name of your partner or children on a consistent basis, then you need to investigate further with a visit to a doctor or neurological specialist.