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Five Reasons Why Time Makes Us Stupid

By Krista Elliott

I can't be the only one out there who feels they were a lot more intelligent before they had kids. 

And no, it's not because I have sassy teenagers who treat me like I'm an imbecile. My kids are still too small to know how to pair their disobedience with scathing commentary on my lack of intellect. 

In all seriousness, I used to be a lot smarter. I was organized, could remember things easily, had a sharp wit, and was able to grasp and process complex new information easily. 

Now? My husband brings up our to-do list for the weekend and I look at him blankly because I can only comprehend two items on the list and really just want everybody to stop saying so many words at me so that my poor brain can rest. 

This is Your Brain. This is Your Brain on Middle-Age

As it turns out, there are perfectly good reasons why our brain might not function as well as we get older. So, I might be more stupid (and you might be as well), but at least we have an excuse. Well, five excuses, actually. 

  • Lack of Sleep — In order to catch up on all of the sleep I've missed since having kids, I would have to sleep nonstop until sometime in 2021. Lack of sleep definitely interferes with our ability to retain new information, to make decisions, and may also increase our risk of Alzheimer's disease. 
  • Too Much Junk — Mom told you that eating fish was good for your brain, and she was right. Your brain also benefits from berries, whole grains, nuts, and green leafy veggies. The burgers, fries, and soda we shoved down our gullets during college (or last week)? They didn't do your brain, or mine, any favors. 
  • Smoking — I don't smoke anymore, but did for 10 years, and spent many a night at smoke-filled parties and bars in my twenties. Unfortunately, smoking actually shrinks your brain, makes your memory worse, and doubles your risk of dementia. 
  • Stress — Now that you're all stressed about dementia, this is probably a bad time to tell you that stress kills brain cells, huh? Yeah, and it also makes you forgetful and prevents new brain cells from being formed. So at least the bright side is that I'll soon forget why I'm stressed out. 
  • Lack of Exercise — Too busy to exercise? Me too. So, instead of shrinking our waistlines, we're shrinking our brains. Literally. I'd be relieved that at least something is shrinking if I wasn't already sobbing with horror. 

Fortunately, it's not too late. Most of this is reversible (yes, you can grow new brain cells to replace the stressed-out ones that imploded last week). Just a few gradual lifestyle changes, and it won't be too long before we'll all feel a little less stressed, better rested, healthier, and yes ... smarter. 

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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