Ask the Doctor: Drinking enough water, getting better sleep, memory problems
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Dr. Bob Cassady from the South Bend Clinic joins us every Tuesday on 16 News Now at Noon to answer your medical questions.
Question #1 (from Kendall): “I’ve always heard that drinking 64 ounces of water is all you need, but I’ve heard you need 90 ounces a day to stay hydrated. How much should I drink?”
DR. BOB: I don’t really think there is a magic number for staying hydrated. It is going to vary based on your weight and activity level.
There is often a recommendation for eight glasses of water a day. Realistically, if you drink water whenever you feel thirsty, you will probably get enough water.
Interestingly, 20 percent of our water intake actually comes from food. Another way to make sure you are hydrated is that you are going to the bathroom regularly and your urine is clear.
Question #2 (from Martin): “What can I do to get better quality sleep?”
DR. BOB: Improving sleep is an extremely common question we get. Unfortunately, it can be a tough thing to sort out.
A lot of time sleep trouble is related to poor sleep habits. It is important not to drink caffeine after 3 p.m., to have a calming bed time routine, avoid screen time for one hour before bed, and to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day.
Sometimes people need a supplement to help them sleep. I usually start by recommending melatonin for sleep. It is a natural supplement and for many people is effective. Adults can try taking 5mg.
Question #3 (from Tad): “I have a family history of memory problems. Is there anything I can do to help my short-term memory?”
DR. BOB: Studying how to prevent memory problems is a tricky subject.
There are some studies that have shown an association with lower rates of memory problems. However, it is not clear whether there is an actual causation.
At the same time, most of the recommendations to help memory are safe and have other benefits, so they are worth doing.
The first thing is social interaction. Having healthy and active relationships can help your memory.
The next thing is brain training tasks, like puzzles. It is important to challenge and stimulate your brain regularly.
Finally, exercise can help your memory.
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