Our brain is the leading conductor that drives all activities in many of our biological systems, making it one of, if not the most important organ in our body. We must nurture our brains and care for them with intention and ease the same way we do the rest of our bodies. A healthy brain leads to lasting longevity and improved overall health. Research has shown that our daily habits and lifestyles build strong brain health.
The following five lifestyle practices are the gateway to a happy, healthy brain:
1. Maintain adequate sleep patterns – There is good reason why it is recommended that we get eight, quality hours of sleep each night. Adequate sleep patterns help our brain and body to recover and recharge. A healthy night of sleep involves the 90-minute repeat cycle of four different stages of non-REM sleep, followed by a very important stage, rapid eye movement (REM). Both non-REM and REM stages are critical to cognitive functions. Disruptions in sleep derail the sleep cycle, preventing us from achieving the optimum value of all of the stages of sleep. Inadequate sleep affects the whole brain but there’s a particularly vulnerable part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The SCN controls your body’s sleep-wake cycle. When the SCN is activated, it affects many different biological functions including how hormones are released, body temperature and how sugars are metabolized. Cognitively, it affects your thinking, emotions, creativity, memory and learning.
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