Is it really possible to improve your memory? If you’ve ever found yourself forgetting where you left your keys or losing your mind on important occasions, you’ve probably wished you had a better memory. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help improve your memory.
While this may be a completely normal occurrence, having a poor memory can be frustrating.
Reduce sugar intake
Eating too much sugar is linked to many health problems and chronic diseases, including cognitive decline.
Research has shown that a diet high in sugar can lead to poor memory and reduced brain volume, especially in the part of the brain that stores short-term memory.
For example, one study of more than 4,000 people found that those who consumed more sugary drinks like soda had lower total brain volume and, on average, poorer memories than those who consumed less sugar. used
Reducing sugar in your diet not only helps your memory, but also improves your overall health.
Try a fish oil supplement
Fish oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids (EPA) and (DHA).
These fats are important for overall health and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, reduce inflammation, relieve stress and anxiety, and slow dementia.
Many studies show that consuming fish and fish oil supplements can improve memory, especially in older people.
A study of 36 older adults with mild cognitive impairment found significant improvements in short-term and working memory after taking fish oil supplements for 12 months.
Another recent review of 28 studies found that when adults with mild symptoms of memory loss took supplements rich in DHA and EPA, such as fish oil, they improved episodic memory.
Both EPA and DHA are important for brain health and function and also help reduce inflammation in the body, which is linked to cognitive decline.
Don’t use Google right away
Modern technology has its place, but unfortunately it has made us “mentally lazy”. Before you reach for your phone to ask Siri or Google, make a concerted effort to retrieve the information from your mind. This process helps strengthen the neural pathways in your brain.
Keep yourself busy
A busy schedule can maintain your brain’s episodic memory. One study linked busy schedules to better cognitive function
Get good sleep
Lack of adequate sleep has long been associated with poor memory.
Sleep plays an important role in memory consolidation, a process in which short-term memories are consolidated and transformed into long-term memories.
Research shows that if you are sleep deprived, your memory can be negatively affected.
For example, one study looked at the effects of sleep on 40 children between the ages of 10 and 14.
One group of children was trained for a memory test in the evening, then tested the next morning after a good night’s sleep. The other group was trained and tested on the same day, with no sleep between training and testing.
Health experts recommend that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night for optimal health.
Sleep on a regular schedule
Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. Try not to break your routine on the weekend. It can greatly improve the quality of sleep and memory.
Avoid using bright screens before bed
Blue light emitted by cellphones, TVs and computer screens inhibits the production of melatonin, a hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle (circadian rhythm). A poorly regulated sleep cycle can really affect sleep quality.
Without enough sleep and rest, our brain’s neurons become overworked. They can no longer integrate information, making it difficult to access memories. About an hour before bed, turn off your devices and let your mind rest.
Make exercise a part of your routine
Exercise has been shown to have cognitive benefits. It improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the body, and helps the brain create new cells that are essential for memory storage. Exercise specifically increases the number of cells in the hippocampus.
Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous. For example, just walking is also a great choice.
When you are stressed, your body releases stress hormones such as cortisol. Cortisol greatly impairs the brain’s memory processes, particularly our ability to retrieve long-term memories. Stress and depression have also been shown in animal studies to shrink the brain.
Drink more water
Your brain is mostly made of water. Water acts as a shock absorber for the brain and spinal cord. It helps our brain cells use nutrients. So even a small amount of dehydration can have devastating effects. Mild dehydration causes brain shrinkage and memory loss.
Aim for at least eight to ten glasses of water per day, or more if you’re very active.
Maintain a healthy weight
People with more fatty tissue have less water than people with less fatty tissue. Overweight people also have less brain tissue. The more you weigh, the more your brain is likely to shrink and affect your memory.