Most of us have moments of forgetfulness from time to time, especially when we are doing a lot of things. Forgetting things sometimes can be a normal thing, however, having a poor memory can be frustrating. Genetics has something to do in memory loss, especially when it comes to serious conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. But based on research, diet and lifestyle have a major impact on our memory as well.
If you often find yourself forgetting where you left things or you’ve been blanking out information on important tests and reports, then maybe it’s time for you to do something to improve your memory. Luckily, there are plenty of things that you can do to improve your memory. Today, we are giving you a list of the best ways to improve your memory naturally.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep plays a very important role in memory consolidation. It is a process in which short-term memories are transformed and strengthened into long-lasting memories. This is the reason why the lack of proper sleep is associated with poor memory because sleep deprivation impacts memory.
There was a study done which looked at the effects of sleep in children between ages 10 and 14. One group was trained for memory tests in the evening then tested in the morning after sleeping. The other group was trained and tested on the same day with no sleep in between. Based on the results, the group that slept between training and testing performed better on the memory tests by 20 percent compared to the other group.Therefore, if you want to improve your memory, getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night is required.
2. Exercise Mindfulness
Mindfulness is focusing on your present situation and maintaining awareness of your surroundings and feelings. It is also used on meditation but not as a formal practice but as a mental habit that you can use in any situation. Mindfulness is effective when it comes to lowering stress and as well as improving memory. It is also linked with a lower risk of age-related cognitive decline.
If you want to improve your memory, you can incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily life by paying attention to your present situation, concentrating on your breathing, and resetting your attention gently whenever your mind wanders.
3. Play Brain Games
Another way to improve your memory is to exercise your cognitive skills by playing brain games which is fun as well. Some of the games you can try are crosswords, word-recall games, Tetris, and other mobile applications that are dedicated to training your memory. Brain-training games are also proven to help reduce the risk of dementia in older adults.
4. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is vital for overall physical and mental health. According to research, exercising is beneficial for the brain and it may also help improve the memory of people of all ages. It is because exercise can increase the secretion of neuroprotective proteins and it can improve the growth and development of neurons which can lead to improved brain health. Even short exercises for short periods has been shown to improve cognitive performance and memory.
5. Focus Your Attention
One of the major components of memory is attention because, in order for information to transform from short-term memory to long-term memory, you need to attend to this information actively. For example, when you are studying, try to do it in a place free from distractions because these can be a challenge. This way, you will be able to focus and concentrate on what you are studying about and at the same time improve your memory to remember the details.
6. Eat Less Sugar
Eating too much sugar has been linked to a lot of health issues including cognitive decline. Based on research, a sugar-laden diet can result in poor memory and reduced brain volume in the area where short-term memories are stored. When you cut back on sugar, it will not only help your memory but it can also improve your overall health.
7. Drink Coffee
According to one study, taking a caffeine pill after a learning task improved memory recall up to 24 hours later. The participants of the said study memorized a set of images and later, they were tested by viewing the same images, similar images, and completely different images. Their goal is to pick out which were the exact pictures they had memorized. This study focused on the effects of caffeine on memory consolidation or the strengthening of the memories we’ve created. This is the reason why the researchers believe that there were effects when caffeine was ingested after the learning task compared before.
8. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
One of the best ways to keep your body and mind in top condition is to maintain healthy body weight. Based on studies, obesity is one of the risk factors for cognitive decline. It means that being obese can cause changes to memory-associated genes in the brain and it negatively affects memory. Aside from that, obesity can also lead to insulin resistance and inflammation which can also negatively affect the brain. If you want to improve your memory, you should see to it that you maintain healthy body weight.
9. Avoid Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Drinking too much alcoholic beverages can be harmful to your health in a lot of ways and it can also impact your memory negatively. When you binge drink alcoholic beverages, it alters the brain and can result in memory deficits. Alcohol also has neurotoxic effects on the brain. Therefore, repeated episodes of binge drinking can damage your hippocampus which is the part of the brain that plays a vital role in memory.
Drinking a few glasses or bottles of alcoholic beverages now and then can be healthy. But if you want to improve and protect your memory, you need to avoid excessive alcohol intake.
10. Never Stop Learning
Even when you’re no longer going to school, it is still essential to learn things every day because it is essential for your brain. When you stop learning, parts of your brain may begin to weaken and the unused neural connections can wither away as well. In the present time, we are all very lucky because we can keep up with lifelong learning through the use of the internet. A lot of information is available at your fingertips and the majority of them you can get for free. So, if you want to improve your memory, never stop learning.
There are indeed lots of ways to improve your memory and we hope the tips we shared will be able to help you boost your brain health and keep your memory in top condition. If you also want to increase your focus and concentration, you can check out our post on 10 Ways to Improve Your Focus and Concentration for tips.