Studies have suggested that sleep is essential for the maintenance of proper immune function. Sleep is your mental “down time” for your neurons to repair themselves. While you sleep, your memories can be organized into long-term forms of storage. Your body also repairs muscles while you sleep. This makes sleep a very important part of pain management. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep to function at your best.
You must practice to learn. When you practice a skill, game, or task, you repeatedly activate the same circuit of synapses. Each time you practice you make small incremental changes to your synapses. After several repetitions, these synapses become different. Learning alters the structure of your brain!
In studies of those aged 90 and beyond, the level of exercise was correlated very strongly with longevity. Your brain benefits from exercise just as much as your muscles do. An average of 45 minutes a day provides the most benefit, but even 15 minutes helps. Keep moving to keep your brain fit.
Sometimes just slowing down and making a change in a process can improve performance. This can reduce stress and open the door for learning. One researcher found that children that often write numbers backwards form them correctly when they slow down. Something as simple as using a different pencil when they write numbers gives them time to slow down while they make the switch. This simple task allows the child to calm down and focus.
Your brain is constantly changing in response to your experiences. Your brain is a little different each day. It retains this flexibility well into old age. Keep your brain healthy and it will only loose a few neurons with age. Continue to care for your brain well and it will generate new neurons regularly. Old brains can do new tricks!