13 Effective Ways to Improve Your Memory (Backed by Science)

Want to improve your memory? (Duh! Who wouldn’t?)

So, I am not going to bore you with an explanation of how improving memory will support a better lifestyle. (Blah blah)

I just want to say how science has advanced and made it possible for everyone to boost their memory.

They say our memory capacity is not limited but malleable like metal.

You will be surprised to know that following simple yet effective steps – backed by science – will work wonders.

Don’t trust me? Try them and see the difference for yourself.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into it right away!

The Process of Memory Building

Before we move ahead, I will quickly run you through the process of memory building.

memory building process

Your brain processes memory in three stages:

A.  Create a Memory

When you experience an event, your brain sends signals in a particular fashion associated with it and creates connections within your neurons, aka synapses.

B.  Consolidate that memory

Now, if you don't work on it, your memory would be lost. So, your mind consolidates this memory.

Consolidation is a process of transferring it into long-term memory so that you can recall it later.

The majority of the consolidation happens when you sleep. Your mind recreates the same pattern of brain activity, strengthening the synapses you created earlier.

C.  Recall That Memory

This process is what you may think of while talking about memory and even memory loss. You can recall memory easier if it is strengthened.

Each time you do so, you run through the same pattern of brain activity, making it stronger every time.

This can come in handy when you work on different things.

Ah, yes. That reminds me I should talk about working memory.

Working Memory

Working memory helps you hang on certain details, such as an address your heading to until you are done with them.

As I realized later, this is really a great analogy to a notepad for your brain.

Your brain notes information. If it's not required, your mind discards it. However, if it is essential, it commits this information to long-term memory, where it can be strengthened.

If they are helpful, you commit them to long-term memory, where they can be strengthened and recalled later.

I know you may be waiting for the tips. So, let's get started!

Tips to Improve your Memory

1. Meditate to Feel the Power Inside

Now, you may think that meditation can help you calm down or reduce stress, but what's the relation with memory anyway?

meditate

You will get to know about it soon.

Let me state some facts before we move ahead on the benefits of meditation.

Your brain is made up of white and gray matter. White matter helps in transmission of signals among nerve cells. While the gray matter is essential for memory and contains nerve cells.

As you age, the gray matter declines, which affects your memory and cognition.

Meditation has shown to improve gray matter in your brain

Besides, studies have shown that relaxation techniques and meditation improve short-term memory in people of all age groups.

Even if you have no experience of meditation, you can improve memory recall in just eight weeks by practicing it.

Lastly, a study also demonstrated that college students who practiced meditation had better spatial memory – the ability to hold and process information in your mind about the positions of objects in space.

So, take a break once in a while and empty your mind with meditation. Not only will you feel relaxed, but you also remember more.

Meditation improves gray matter in your brain and short-term and spatial memory.

2. Be Physically  Fit– you know you’ll like it!!!

Many believe that exercise benefits just your physical health.

exercise

I am going to break the bubble and explain how exercise can benefit your mental health as well.

You may find it difficult to trust me, but you cannot neglect the results of scientific studies.

Research indicates that exercising, even for 15 minutes, improves your cognitive performance, despite your age.

Studies have also shown that exercise triggers the secretion of proteins that protect your brain cells. It thus aids in the growth and development of nerve cells, improving brain health.

Besides, regular exercise in midlife can also lower the risk of dementia while you age.

I can go on and on, but it will all boil down to one thing, exercise!

Exercise improves cognitive performance, lowers the risk of dementia, and protects your brain cells.

3. Get your Zzz

sleeping

Lack of sleep can be one of the causes of poor memory.

Remember how I told you; your brain consolidates memory while you sleep.

When memory is first recorded in your brain (in the hippocampus), it is "fragile" as it can be easily forgotten. Sleep pushes the memory in the part of the brain – the neocortex – that is responsible for permanent storage.

Basically, your short-term memory is strengthened and gets converted into long-lasting ones.

Studies are also proof of the link between your sleep and memory.

According to a study by PLoS One, if you are sleep deprived, you could be negatively impacting your memory.

graph

Besides, a nap also helps your memory recall. The same study showed that a nap between training and testing improved results by 20%.

Now, you don't need an excuse for sleeping more or taking a nap.

Sleep aids in memory consolidation. Lack of sleep is associated with poor memory functions.

4. Added Sugar, nah you’re sweet enough.

Sugar is naturally present in some food and fruits, such as beetroot and banana. As this sugar is a healthy version (glucose and sucrose) and has health benefits. Added sugar, like that present in carbonated drinks and junk food, have harmful effects on your body.

Eating too much added sugar is associated with cognitive decline and chronic diseases.

sweets

It is seen that the sugar-laden diet leads to poor memory functions and reduced brain volume, especially the area of your brain that retains short-term memory.

sugary beverage intake

A study showed that individuals consuming sugary beverages had poorer memories and brain volume as compared to those who consume lesser sugar.

So, next time you see food or drink with added sugar, you know what to do!

Frequent intake of foods high in added sugar may result in cognitive decline and poor memory.

5. Flat your tummy, don’t fat your belly.

So, what does this mean when it comes to memory?

What it means is maintaining weight is crucial to keep your mind in the best condition possible.

Various studies have shown an association between obesity and cognitive decline.

Personally, I was surprised to know that obesity can cause your memory-associated genes to hamper your memory.

It can also cause inflammation and insulin resistance, which has harmful effects on your brain.

In a study, people with higher-than-normal weight were seen to perform poorly in memory tests.

Besides, being overweight increases your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, which destroys your cognitive functions.

This doesn't mean that you stress yourself for reducing weight. Exercise and a healthy diet will help you here!

Maintaining weight improves your cognitive functions.

6. Eat, Sleep, Train your Brain, Repeat!

I suspect what I am going to write next is going to put smiles on the faces of game lovers all over the world.

Playing games is an effective and fun way to boost your memory

Word recall games and crosswords are primarily dedicated to training your memory, strengthening your memory.

A study showed that playing memory training games for eight hours over a month, improved performance in memory tests.

cognitive training graph

In one more study, it was seen that 15 minutes of training, five days a week, improved working memory, short-term memory, problem-solving, and concentration.

Besides, it also lowers the risk of dementia in older adults.

So, play your way for a better memory!

Playing games boosts your memory and lowers the risk of dementia.

7. As soap is to the body, so laughter is to the soul

The old adage "Laughter is the best medicine" still holds.

As opposed to emotional responses that are confined to specific brain areas, laughter engages multiple areas of your brain.

laughing

Besides, working out on punch lines and listening to jokes, activates your brain areas that are important for creativity and learning.

To improve your memory (and even otherwise), look for ways to bring more laughter in your life.

Laughing stimulates multiple areas of the brain, preventing diseases.

8. Keep Refined Carbs at Bay for A healthy body, a healthy mind.

A diet rich in refined carbs, such as cereals, cakes, and cookies, may damage your memory.

These foods have a high glycemic index. This means your body can quickly digest these foods, increasing your blood sugar levels.

Studies have shown a link between refined carbs and cognitive decline.

In one study, kids on refined carbs, such as noodles, white rice, and fast food, had poorer working and short-term memory.

refined carbs

Besides, adults on daily ready-to-eat breakfast, such as cereals, had reduced cognitive functions as compared to those who did not consume it so frequently.

Refined carbs damages your memory. Stay steer clear from them for brain health.

9. Include Caffeine in Your Daily Routine

Caffeine, from sources such as green tea and coffee, is helpful for your memory.

cup of coffee

In a study, individuals, who consumed 200 mg of caffeine for a day, performed better on recall tests than those who didn't.

recall tests

One more study found that adults who took caffeine in the morning had better short-term memory.

One more reason to love coffee!

Caffeine improves memory recall and short-term memory.

10. Berries: Vitamins With Great Taste

Research shows eating berries prevents memory decline.

berries

A 12-week study improved spatial memory by supplementing the diet with blueberries.

Besides, a study on nurses over 70 years of age showed including two servings of blueberries or strawberries helped in reducing memory decline.

However, more research is needed to understand how berries can improve memory. In particular, berries are high in flavonoids, which can strengthen connections of your brain, improving your long-term memory.

And even if the benefits don't turn out to be that good, they are still healthy for your body.

Berries can improve spatial memory and prevent memory decline.

11. Treat Health Problems if Any

If you feel that your memory has significantly decreased, it's a good idea to consult a doctor, as there may be a health problem to blame.

Here is a list of some health disorders and medications that can affect your memory.

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Some medications, such as cold and allergy medications, can interfere in your way of clear thinking.

Lastly, mental health disorders, such as Alzheimer's and dementia also result in memory loss.

Consult your doctor in case you experience significant change in your memory.

12. Chew Gum: Blow your own bubble

Yes, you read it right. The next method is easy to try and equally effective.

You can chew gum while learning new things.

chew gum

A study showed that participants who chewed gum during the study had a better memory recall, and their results were more accurate than those who didn't.

While there is no concrete evidence, it's worth a try.

Besides, chewing gum increases activity in the hippocampus, which is an essential area for memory, improving memory recall.

Chewing gum while learning new things may improve your memory recall.

13. Try a Nootropic: Vitamins for Your Brain

Nootropics are natural supplements that boost your brain functioning. Various Nootropics have different functions. Many nootropics can enhance motivation, alertness, memory, and other cognitive functions. They may also help to lower age-related decline in brain changes.

nootropics for brain

Nootropics are natural supplements that enhance your cognitive functions and prevent age-related changes in your brain.

Wrapping it up!

So, here are some fun and simple ways to enhance your memory

Try these science-backed tips to your routine and boost your brain health and optimize your memory.

 Like the ideas or have something to share?  I would like to hear from you.

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