Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Five ways to keep your brain healthy

Infographic with five ways to keep your brain healthy Five ways to keep your brain healthy

Recommended Content:

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

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...

2013 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/10/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources

2009 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/10/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions

2010 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/10/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources

2011 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/10/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources

2016 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/10/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources

2018 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/10/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources

2017 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/10/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future

2003 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/6/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources

2004 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/6/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources

2000 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/6/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch

2001 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/6/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions

2002 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/6/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | Provider Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Resources | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions

2005 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/6/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Provider Resources | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Patient and Family Resources | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | TBI Resources

2006 DoD Worldwide Numbers for TBI

Publication
8/6/2020

DVBIC is the Defense Department’s office of responsibility for tracking TBI data in the U.S. military. On this page you’ll find annual and quarterly reports that provide data on the number of active-duty service members — anywhere U.S. forces are located — with a first-time TBI diagnosis since 2000.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Provider Resources | DoD TBI Worldwide Numbers | Patient and Family Resources | TBICoE Research | A Head for the Future | Armed Forces Health Surveillance Branch | Defense Medical Surveillance System | Surveillance Case Definitions | TBI Resources

Head Check: Know Your Helmet, Winter Sports

Fact Sheet
8/6/2020

A Head for the Future aims to raise awareness about TBI among service members, veterans and their families. This fact sheet provides tips for choosing the right helmet for the right sport, with information about different safety features in helmets for skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Patient and Family Resources | A Head for the Future | Traumatic Brain Injury | TBI Prevention | TBI Resources
<< < ... 6 7 8 9 10 > >> 
Showing results 76 - 90 Page 6 of 10

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.