Factors that Contribute to Memory Loss

Here are some factors that contribute to memory loss:

• Age According to FamilyDoctor.org, we actually begin to lose brain cells as young as our 20’s, the same time our bodies begin to make less of the chemicals the remaining brain cells need to work, affecting our memory as we age.

• Hormones As if that’s not bad enough, a study done by McGill University found that decreasing estrogen levels also do a number on our working memory, which can explain why many women complain of “mommy” or “menopause” brain.

• Sleep 
Without adequate sleep, your brain has a harder time absorbing and recalling new information, according to WebMD. But sleep does more than help sharpen the mind. Studies show that sleep (or lack therof) affects physical reflexes, fine motor skills and judgment, too. One studyshowed that participants who were sleep-deprived were more likely to think they were right when they were actually wrong. (Not that any of us would do that.)

• Stress The need to get it all done and perfectly is enough to send anyone over the edge. Think you’re a great multitasker? According to a Huffington Post article, a recent study says you’re wrong. (Maybe you just think you’re right because you’re sleep deprived.) In fact, the study found that the better a person thinks they are at multitasking, the worse they actually are. “The people who multitask the most tend to be impulsive, sensation-seeking, overconfident of their multitasking abilities, and they tend to be less capable of multitasking,” said study researcher and psychology professor David Strayer.

But what if overextending ourselves isn’t really the issue. How do we know the difference between a common occurrence and something more serious like dementia?

brain-circulation-110818-02Could I Have Early-Onset Alzheimer’s?

According to FamilyDoctor.org, memory loss can become a more serious problem as it affects your daily living. If you find that any of the following apply to you, it’s best to consult your doctor.

  • No longer remember how to do things you’ve done many times before (losing your way to work even though you’ve taken the same route over and over, not being able to follow directions in a recipe…)
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • Memory loss tends to increase over time (from several months to years)

What are some things we can do to thwart memory loss and keep our minds sharp? Some foods and food-based multivitamins are said to be helpful in boosting memory and sharpness.

  • Allspice (promotes memory)
  • Avocado (remembering details)
  • Flax (assimilation of information and memory improvement)
  • Papaya (memory retention)
  • Rosemary (forgetfulness)

working-memory-2

There are also other lifestyle tweaks that can go a long way in keeping your mind sharp.

• Find a system For some, writing things down is enough to keep them on track. For me, I’ve channeled my inner-nerd, creating spreadsheets for everything from homework, paying bills, grocery lists and work assignments (Now, if I could only remember to open them…).

• Use it or lose it Like muscles, your brain needs to be exercised in order to stay sharp. Consider skipping an hour of those mindless online games and use the same time to learn a new skill, start a hobby, read a book or even challenge the kids to a game of Scrabble.

• Get healthy It’s not exactly breaking news that healthy diet, regular exercise and clean living is said to keep you on your game. While you’re at it, decrease or cut out the mind-zapping alcohol.

• Maintain a sense of humor While memory loss can be extremely difficult, don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember, we’re all getting older, don’t take it so seriously.

For additional information on the topic of memory below is a Mind Map:

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6 Themes for a Thrilling Substance-Free Halloween Party

EDITORS NOTE:

CITB focuses on chronic illness. I have personally experienced and live with the chronic illness of substance abuse. This is a guest post by Caleb Anderson of RecoveryHope.org. RecoveryHope.org was started by Caleb and Molly Anderson after Caleb received treatment for opiate addiction. Molly has made it her mission to learn how to help Caleb fight his battles and support him in his recovery. Together they now help others by providing research and resources about the many challenges of overcoming drug and alcohol addictions.

We welcome Caleb and Molly to the CITB family and know you will enjoy their insights. Please visit their website RecoveryHope.org and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Fun is not just for kids, and in fact, Halloween is the perfect time to make believe, dress up, and have a great time. But, how do you throw a substance-free party when you’re in recovery from addiction? One of the best ways to make sure everyone has an amazing time is to pick a theme and run with it. Sure, themes are a little cheesy, but that’s what Halloween is all about! Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. They’re all packed with activities that make it easy to keep the focus on the fun and away from alcohol.

Movie Night

JamesQube / Pixabay

With movie themes, the possibilities are endless. A great way to set the scene is to use a projector to show the movie on a blank wall. For a scary classic, show Psycho but without sound and keep a scary soundtrack playing in the background (complete with the Psycho screech of course). Movie night can also be more fun than scary with favorites like Beetlejuice, Hocus Pocus, or Harry Potter. Ask friends to come dressed as their favorite character, and serve alcohol-free versions of some beloved drinks from the movie you choose, like this Food Network recipe for butterbeer from Harry Potter.

Haunted House

When you turn your home into a house of horrors, the fun is all about the spooks. Check out Holiday for detailed how-tos and scenarios for making your home haunted. You can stick with a single theme like zombies, mad scientist, or a witch’s house, or set up a different scene in each room of your house for a surprise around every corner. Tie in themed food and drinks that are as spooky as the decor. There is no need for alcohol with all kinds of creepy punch recipes you can make that fit perfectly with the haunted theme.

vbpfoto / Pixabay

Bonfire and Ghost Stories

Bring the fun outside by setting up a fire pit in your yard, building a bonfire and having everyone tell spooky stories around the fire. Serve s’mores and something warm to drink, like hot spiced cider, and offer blankets so everyone can get cozy. To make the stories come to life and feel even more real, set the scene by turning your yard into a graveyard, complete with tombstones and ghosts floating from trees.

Mystery Party

Give your guests a case to solve with a mystery party. Try a modern take on a classic like this Nancy Drew party idea from Country Living, or do something a little more current like CSI. Whichever theme you go with, come up with a crime to solve, with clues, mysterious invitations, and a crime scene. Ask everyone to dress the part, and set up a “crime lab” with drinks served in test tubes

Janson_G / Pixabay

Masquerade Ball

This theme gives your guests an excuse to dress up in swanky attire, but with a twist. Pick a time period or theme, such as Victorian opulence or the roaring twenties. This makes dressing up, even more, fun (and challenging!), and don’t forget to give masks for guests for an added air of mystery. For decor, go for Hollywood decadence but with an eerie touch, like these ideas from The Huffington Post.

lightstargod / Pixabay

Elegant Evening

Another upscale option is to plan an elegant dinner party styled in black and white. Set a beautifully creepy table with black and white linens, candlesticks, and a smattering of spiders. Ask guests to dress in only black and white. You can find endless ideas for spooky black and white decorations – from spiderweb, white lab coats, and skeletons to bats, ravens, and spiders.

Whether you go with something scary, fancy, whimsical, or somewhere in between, try finding a theme that you and your friends will get into. Simply have fun with it. When you do that, the fun is all about the theme and the activities instead of being about drinking. With a little careful planning and a lot of imagination, you can absolutely throw an amazing substance-free Halloween party.

geralt / Pixabay

Feature Image photo credit: Pixabay

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