The Hidden Benefits of Reading for Seniors
The young and old alike enjoy reading as a pastime, but it can also add some health benefits for older adults. Reading for seniors stimulates memory function and is a type of mental workout. From enhancing memory and decision making skills, reading can also reduce stress and even lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
People that enjoy reading find that it can reduce their stress levels. Getting lost in a story and being transported into another place and time allows you to let go of your own worries. One study showed participant’s heart rates go down after only six minutes!
Improving Memory & Decision-Making Skills
Reading forces your brain to interpret and remember certain details about the story. It can also improve your fluid intelligence. Fluid intelligence is the reasoning and analytical thinking skills which you use to problem solve. Studies find this type of thinking decreases as we get older. Reading for seniors can amp up your brain function and improve your memory.
Getting A Better Night’s Sleep
Quite a few people unwind in front of their television or computer, as well as their phones. While using entertainment to relax is a great way to fall asleep, the light from screens can actually keep you awake longer. The blue light from electronic devices tricks your brain into thinking it is daytime. There are several negative consequences to not getting enough sleep. Unwinding with a book instead can actually help you get a better night’s sleep.
Along with writing and doing crossword puzzles, reading is considered a mentally stimulating activity. Keeping your memory sharp is a key way to lower your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in later years. A study, whose findings appeared in Neurology, the American Academy of Neurology’s medical journal, found that men and women who engaged in mentally challenging activities most often had a slower rate of decline in memory function. Researchers tested the amount of tangles and plaque in the participants brains after death to come to this conclusion.