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Mental acuity refers to your cognitive performance and sharpness. It comprises things like memory, focus, and speed of reactions. It is commonly confused for intelligence, and thought of as something you are born with.
However, mental acuity can improve or deteriorate depending on numerous lifestyle habits and other factors.
There are many factors that can contribute to the deterioration of mental and cognitive functions. One of the most commonly mentioned factors is age. Cognitive deterioration is often associated with old age.
However, a number of other factors can also affect mental acuity. For instance, overall health, diet, activity levels, and many socioeconomic factors.
Several simple lifestyle changes can help you improve your cognitive function.
It’s no secret that a healthy diet can have a huge impact on overall health as well as brain health. However, did you know that there is a specific diet, called the MIND diet, that can help boost brain power and prevent declining mental acuity, especially age-related cognitive decline?
This diet combines the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet – a specific diet created to manage high blood pressure. A recent study has shown that the MIND diet prevents the appearance of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Even the subjects of the study who had brain pathologies associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease never developed the usual symptoms such as brain fog and memory problems.
Multiple studies proved the connection between physical exercise and brain function. As it turns out, the sedentary lifestyle affects the mind, and not just the body.
One controlled study has shown that children who did thirty minutes of aerobic exercise showed significant improvements on cognitive function tests as compared to the control group who watched TV during that time.
Another study has posited that the effect physical exercise has on improving mental acuity is due to a number of physiological changes that happen in the body when you work out. Improved blood flow to the brain and a change in the way neurotransmitters work probably play the biggest role in post-exercise cognitive enhancement.
According to multiple studies, mindfulness meditation can have a powerful impact on your cognitive and executive function. In particular, at the beginning, meditation mostly affects your focus and executive function, whereas later phases in the training mostly support unfocused attention.
Low-level light therapy has steadily risen to the top of the list when it comes to methods for improving mental acuity as well as mental health. This kind of treatment, also known as photobiomodulation or low-level laser therapy, uses LED light diodes that emit red and near-infrared light. The wavelengths of light used in this kind of light therapy stimulate a number of processes in the body, which ultimately results in improved cognitive function.
Using red and near-infrared light therapy for as little as 15 minutes daily can greatly improve mental health and cognitive performance. Red and infrared light stimulate cells and tissues at different depths. Both of these types of light work to increase cellular energy production and delay cell death.
Red light therapy improves the brain’s ability to operate efficiently. It can improve brain health, boost your ability to recall memories, help with mental health disorders, and even be beneficial with mild traumatic brain injury.
If you’re wondering how red light therapy actually works to improve cognitive functions, the answer has several layers.
Red and near infrared wavelengths penetrate into the cells and boost the mitochondria that are parts of every cell. The mitochondria take glucose from food and produce energy that the cells can use. During this process they also produce oxygen.
Red light not only increases the amount of energy produced, but also neutralizes the free radicals that are the byproduct of cellular energy production. This helps to prevent mitochondrial dysfunction, which is often linked with Alzeihmer’s disease.
Red light therapy helps proliferate mitochondria and contributes to overall cellular health, including brain cells.
The screens that surround us day in and day out emit huge quantities of blue light. In nature, blue light is characteristic of the middle part of the day. It wanes in the evening and is replaced by red and near-infrared light, which triggers the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates the natural sleep and wake patterns, also called the circadian rhythm. Unhealthy lifestyle factors or excessive screen time can easily disrupt his natural biological balance.
The circadian rhythm governs many other internal processes and hormones, and disruption can result in insomnia, sleep disorders, and even a hormonal imbalance.
Red light can regulate poor sleep by triggering melatonin production in the evenings. Insomnia is commonly linked with impaired cognitive performance, delayed reactions and reduced attention.
Red light therapy is an extremely efficient way to reduce inflammation in the body. It improves cerebral blood flow and helps boost the immune system. This means better drainage of fluids and less swelling, as well as a stronger immune response to any pathogens.
Red light therapy also impacts the gut, supporting healthy gut flora. Gut health is inextricably linked to the immune system and can have an effect on the body’s inflammatory response.
Along with bright light therapy, red light therapy is proven to be effective for mood regulation. It can help to improve mood in case of chronic stress, or for instance, seasonal affective disorder.
Mood disorders and mental health problems such as anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and depression often cause inability to focus, scattered attention and feelings of brain fog. By helping with moods and mental health, red light therapy can contribute to a greater clarity and focus.
Red light therapy devices used to be bulky and only available at doctors’ offices. However, over the years, the technology has become more accessible and nowadays, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of red light therapy at home.
Modern red light therapy devices are portable, easy to use, and some are even handheld. This means that mental acuity light therapy is accessible to everyone, every day. You can use red light therapy to improve cognitive function and mental sharpness without leaving the comfort of your home.
Red light therapy is safe to use at home as there is no risk of adverse effects. A daily treatment with a red light therapy device can improve your overall brain health and become a part of your healthy lifestyle.