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Socializing and Getting More Sleep Can Help Keep Your Brain Healthy

by Sarasota Bay Club

Socializing with friends in your retirement community helps raise your energy level while getting plenty of rest gives your system a chance to reset. It turns out that social interaction boosts your well being as well as your physical health. Here are reasons why socializing and getting more sleep keeps your brain healthy.

Related Blog: Vary Your Routine to Increase Brain Activity

How Relationships Help the Brain

Multiple studies reveal that meaningful friendships can have a positive impact on thinking. The combination of interacting with other humans and engaging in physical exercise, eating nutritious foods and focusing on learning all contribute to sharpening your awareness. Researchers have stated for decades that diminished social support is linked to chronic depression. Furthermore, many studies show that kids who do not get enough human contact can end up with severe physical and psychological effects lasting through adulthood.

Often when people are most in need of strengthening their cognitive skills, they isolate themselves from society. Retirement can lead to reduced social interaction, so it's important to focus on increasing social interaction to keep your brain healthy. In a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers found that women who were social on a daily basis were 50 percent less likely to develop dementia. Staying socially active can also prevent other mental diseases, including Alzheimer's. The key is that conversations stimulate the brain.

Benefits of Sleep

Sleep helps clear the brain at night, according to scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Their studies on mice have suggested that sleep restores the brain by clearing out toxins that accumulate throughout the day. This knowledge, along with the fact that lack of sleep interferes with reasoning and other cognitive skills, points to sleep becoming more of a focus for an individual's health.

Dr. Maiken Nedergaard's team at the university found that cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain and spinal cord, flows through the brain and drains waste products. This research was funded by the National Institute of Health.

Another cause of depression can occur when you have sleep disorders. Scientists believe that serotonin levels in the brain, which are produced during sleep, also play a role in one's state of mind. So to keep your brain healthy, remember to get plenty of sleep each day. Try not to stay up too late, since the brain restores itself best at night.

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