You misplaced the keys. Your mind slipped, and you totally forgot about your appointment. You can’t remember where you left your phone… again. Memory loss is a scary thing, and it can really interfere with your daily life. While memory loss becomes more prominent as you age, it can happen at any point in your life for a number of reasons.
Luckily, nothing is inevitable: By being mindful of how your habits affect your body, you can keep your mind sharp and help prevent serious memory loss. Here’s a list of five things that you may not know which are putting you at a higher risk of memory loss.
According to WebMD, certain drugs and over-the-counter prescriptions can contribute to the development of memory loss. Some of these medications include antidepressants, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills. Always discuss with your healthcare professional the possible side effects of your prescriptions, and report any abnormal lapses in memory after taking new medication.
To add to smoking’s long list of health detriments, the habit might also lead to memory loss. When you smoke, you’re reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to your head — essentially, you’re suffocating your brain. Even more, one study from Yale University demonstrated how adolescents who smoke show not just impairment of memory, but also impairment of other cognitive functions.
If you need help quitting, there are a number of different resources available.
There are countless reasons you should make sure to get a full night’s rest — and the preservation of your memory is one of them. According to WebMD, sleep is essential to your brain’s ability to learn and remember. Without enough (quality) sleep, your ability to retain new information is impaired. For the average adult, seven to nine hours is a healthy target.
If you’re depressed, you may have difficulty concentrating. Because of this, you might have trouble retaining new information, which leads to forgetfulness. Depression might also interfere with your ability to sleep, which could contribute to your memory loss. If you think you might be depressed, you can receive help. Treatments are available, and you don’t have to cope with it alone.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency
According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin B-12 is essential for the maintenance of healthy nerve cells and red blood cells. A deficiency of this vitamin could lead to the development of memory issues, particularly in older individuals. All around, proper nutrition is vital for healthy brain function. However, make sure you consult with your healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your diet!