Skip to main content

Military Health System

Five ways to keep your brain healthy

Image of Infographic with five ways to keep your brain healthy. Five ways to keep your brain healthy

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | A Head for the Future | Brain Injury Awareness | Brain Injury Awareness

Every March, the Department of Defense recognizes Brain Injury Awareness Month to raise awareness of the importance of improving brain health and identifying, caring for, and treating individuals affected by traumatic brain injury, or TBI.

Focusing on brain health is key to mission readiness, and there are several steps that the military community – service members and veterans, health care providers, researchers, educators, and families - can take to maintain a healthy brain.

Here are five ways to keep your brain healthy:

1. Get plenty of sleep

Getting restful sleep is one of the most important things you can do for brain health. Sleep also plays a pivotal role in recovery from TBI. You can improve your sleep regimen with these healthy sleep tips:

  • Aim for a minimum of seven hours of sleep on a regular basis
  • Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and energy drinks within six hours of your usual bedtime
  • Exercise regularly, preferably finishing two hours before bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol within two hours of your bedtime
  • Promote a sleep friendly environment; minimize noise and light and maintain a cool but comfortable room temperature
  • Avoid use of smartphones or reading devices that give off light for two or more hours before bedtime.

2. Protect your head

Service members can limit their risk of experiencing a TBI by wearing a helmet or other protective equipment when training, deployed, or recreating. Many activities that service members engage in regularly, such as military training and sports or recreational activities, are potentially dangerous and could result in a TBI.

When wearing a helmet while playing sports or riding a bike or motorcycle, always remember the following tips from A Head for the Future:

  • Never wear a cracked or broken helmet
  • Never alter a helmet yourself
  • Regardless of wear and tear, always replace a helmet five years past the manufacturer's date to be sure it has the latest safety features

3. Take care of your mental health

The brain affects how we think, feel, and act. Damage to the brain, including from TBI, can affect physical function, thinking ability, behavior, mental health, and more. Severe TBIs increase the risk for mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, as well as sleeping problems. Remember to seek medical treatment if you have symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health concerns, especially if you have recently experienced a TBI.

4. Build your social networks

The ability to engage in productive personal and professional relationships, and positively interact with unit and command networks, is important to overall well-being and brain health. When you experience a TBI, changes to your personal and professional relationships are common. Some TBI symptoms, like mood swings and personality changes, can stress relationships. Friends, families, and coworkers who notice these changes, and are aware of a possible head injury, should encourage medical attention. Seeking medical attention for a potential TBI is a sign of strength, not weakness.

5. Get regular exercise and eat a healthy diet

Physical exercise is very beneficial for maintaining brain health. You can make a major difference in terms of how your body is functioning and, as a result, how your brain is functioning, through regular exercise.

Good nutrition is also essential to everyone's good health and wellness, and to warfighter readiness. The right diet can improve physical and cognitive performance, positively impact your mental health, lower your risk of many chronic diseases, and even help with recovery from some injuries.

The Department of Defense is committed to protecting the brain health of our service members. For more resources, please visit the webpage for the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence.

You also may be interested in...

Immediate Testing: How the Military Evaluates Risk For Brain Injuries

Article
3/28/2022
Pfc. Thomas Icenogle, a student in the Army’s Combat Medic Specialist Training Program at the Medical Education and Training Campus on Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, conducts a Military Acute Concussion Evaluation 2 (MACE 2) on Pvt. Alejandro Leija, while Pvt. Dominic Dubois refers to the MACE 2 card. (Photo: Lisa Braun, Medical Education and Training Campus Public Affairs)

MACE 2 allows for a quick assessment of traumatic brain injuries in the field and is similar to sports concussion checks.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Five Clinical Tools To Help Assess and Treat TBI

Article
3/17/2022
An Army 'gun team' brace for the concussion of a 105mm howitzer during operations in Iraq in 2008. (Photo: Master Sgt. Kevin Doheny)

Here are five new ways that doctors can diagnose and treat mild concussions.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Ask the Doc: Can a Concussion Affect Hearing and Vision?

Article
3/16/2022
Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, a physical therapist for the Fort Drum Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Clinic, New York, uses a model of the inner ear on Feb. 27, 2019, to demonstrate how a concussion can cause inner ear, or vestibular, damage which may result in dizziness, anxiety, depression, moodiness, balance problems and irritability to name a few. (Photo: Warren W. Wright Jr., Fort Drum MEDDAC)

Even a mild concussion can lead to hearing and vision problems.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Hearing Center of Excellence | Vision Center of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention | Ask The Doc

TBICoE 2021 Publications

Publication
3/16/2022

Master list of 2021 TBICoE articles published in research journals

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBICoE Research | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

A Retired Navy SEAL Discusses his TBI

Video
3/9/2022
A Retired Navy SEAL Discusses his TBI

Retired Navy SEAL Edward Rasmussen discusses his TBI, and urges others to seek treatment if they have symptoms. If you’re experiencing symptoms of TBI, visit health.mil/TBI to learn about the resources available to you.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

One Airman's Recovery from TBI

Video
3/9/2022
One Airman's Recovery from TBI

After a motorcycle accident, Master Sergeant Stalnaker started having symptoms of traumatic brain injury, or TBI. He tells his story about his symptoms and his road to recovery from physical and emotional wounds as a result. If you’re experiencing symptoms of TBI, visit health.mil/TBI to learn about the resources available to you.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Brain Injury Awareness Month Banner

Infographic
2/17/2022
Brain Injury Awareness Month Banner

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Traumatic brain injuries are a key health concern for the military community. Thanks to innovations across the Military Health System, we are improving quality of life for TBI patients & their families. This month, we will share stories, tips, and resources for TBI prevention and recovery. www.health.mil/BIAMonth #BeTBIReady #BIAMonth

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

BIAM Vision and Hearing

Infographic
2/17/2022
BIAM Vision and Hearing

Vision and hearing are vital senses for effective communication and situational awareness. To defend yourself against injury and maintain mission readiness, wear the proper vision and hearing protection while on and off duty. Find the latest vision and hearing protection recommendations here: • Vision: https://vce.health.mil/Eye-Injury-Prevention-and-Response/Eye-Protection • Hearing: https://hearing.health.mil/Prevention/Evaluated-Hearing-Protection-Devices #BIAMonth #BeTBIReady

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Vision and Hearing Loss Prevention

BIAM Heads Up

Infographic
2/17/2022
BIAM Heads Up

Head injuries, especially from a blast, have become one of the most common combat-related injuries among deployed service members. Typical head injury symptoms are: trouble hearing speech in noisy settings, ringing or other sounds in your ears or head, or dizziness when you move your head while walking or bending down. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. For more about TBI and hearing loss, visit: https://hearing.health.mil/Resources/Education/Conditions-and-Concerns/TBI-and-Hearing-Loss #BIAMonth #BeTBIReady

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

BIAM TBI 3

Infographic
2/17/2022
BIAM TBI 3

#DYK Symptoms of TBI aren’t just physical? Severe TBIs can increase the risk for mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. Learn more: https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Centers-of-Excellence/Traumatic-Brain-Injury-Center-of-Excellence/Patient-and-Family-Resources #BeTBIReady

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

BIAM Head Injury

Infographic
2/17/2022
BIAM Head Injury

DYK? If you sustain a head injury, you could also have vision, balance, and hearing damage problems. See your health care provider right away. https://vce.health.mil; https://hearing.health.mil #BIAMonth #BeTBIReady

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

BIAM TBI 2

Infographic
2/17/2022
BIAM TBI 2

#DYK Most TBIs experienced by service members are mild concussions? But, remember, even a mild TBI can impact your overall health and ability to deploy. Learn more: https://www.health.mil/Military-Health-Topics/Centers-of-Excellence/Traumatic-Brain-Injury-Center-of-Excellence/Patient-and-Family-Resources #BeTBIReady

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

Brain Injury Awareness Month 1

Infographic
2/17/2022
Brain Injury Awareness Month 1

Even a mild traumatic brain injury can impact mission readiness and the ability to deploy. #BeTBIReady by understanding the signs and symptoms of TBI, and knowing when to seek care. Thanks to innovations across the Military Health System, TBI is treatable & recovery is possible. www.Health.mil/BIAMonth #BIAMonth #BeTBIReady

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

BIAM TBI

Infographic
2/17/2022
BIAM TBI

#DYK Most TBIs don’t occur while deployed? TBIs typically result from activities like sports, falls, or car accidents. Wearing protective gear is one way you can minimize your risk of TBI. #BeTBIReady https://www.health.mil/tbi

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

BIAM Call to Action

Infographic
2/17/2022
BIAM Call to Action

#PSA! Don’t forget your protective gear! Most TBIs do not occur in combat. They are usually caused by everyday activities like sports, training, or a car accident. You can minimize the risk of TBI by wearing protective gear. www.health.mil/BIAMonth #BeTBIReady #BIAMonth

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 18
Refine your search
Last Updated: December 28, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery