What You Do Now Could Affect Your Chances Of Dementia Later On
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As you are living day to day, you probably don’t think too much about how you will feel in your old age. You might have thought a few months into the future and how you will look in your summer wardrobe but for the most part, we don’t really think about what the future will bring.
But you might want to change that.
As researchers discover more and more links between seemingly mundane things like brushing your teeth and Alzheimer's, it becomes clearer and clearer that what you are doing right now will have an impact on your old age. Though this research is still in its early stages, what it suggests is worthwhile advice.
Here’s what you should know…
Could Gum Disease Cause Alzheimer's?
A recent study has suggested a link between the bacteria that cause gum disease and bacteria found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's. This is a really important discovery as it hints at the causes of Alzheimer's and therefore could provide a route towards treatment.
But for you, the study suggests that Alzheimer's could be prevented by something as simple as avoiding gum disease. With regular visits to the dentist, thorough brushing and good oral hygiene, you may be able to reduce your risk of dementia.
Interestingly, gum disease has also been linked to heart disease and a range of other conditions including risk of cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. It seems that looking after your gums and teeth gives you more than just a nice smile!
The Link With Sleep
Very little is understood about what happens during sleep and yet it seems to crop up everywhere. A lack of sleep has been linked to the risk of Alzheimer's, but in the short term, people who sleep badly are also found to be in a worse mood and struggle to function during the day.
Getting a good night’s sleep is increasingly difficult in our hectic modern world but there are natural ways you can improve your sleep - and your health - overnight. Taking a warm bath an hour before you go to bed is a well-known solution as it replicates the natural reduction in body temperature required for sleep. Similarly, avoiding blue light before sleep, using layers of bedding and ensuring your mattress is supportive will all contribute to a good night’s sleep.
Staying Active In Mind And Body
As we all get older, it is assumed that we should be slowing down. In fact, this is not true at all and slowing down could be doing some damage. By avoiding challenges and reducing physical exercise and activity, we are actually increasing our risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Studies into brain training have shown the positive effects of learning new things and taking on new challenges has and the great news is that anyone can do this at home. Learning a new language or tackling the crossword is a great way to challenge your brain but why stop there?
The more we understand about dementia, the clearer it is that lifestyle plays an important role. You have the ability to reduce your risk and improve your health in the short term too. And why wouldn't you?