Memory problems can be very worrying – frightening even – but they are very common. There are many things you can do to improve memory, but first, it is essential that you speak with your doctor about any concerns you have so that they can treat any medical problems that might be causing your symptoms. Let’s have a look at some of the most common causes of memory issues and then look at some ways that you can improve memory.
Why Do I Have Memory Problems?
There are so many different reasons why you might feel like your memory has deteriorated. The most obvious of these is the aging process. As we grow older, we do encounter more cognitive issues such as forgetfulness, poor concentration, etc. Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety can have a surprisingly big impact on your memory. If you suffer from sleep problems such as insomnia, nighttime waking, or disturbed sleep, then memory problems, concentration issues, and brain fog are common. There is also a link between high-stress levels, or a high mental load, and memory problems. Think about a time when you have been under a lot of pressure, or put ‘on the spot’ and asked a question that you simply could not answer. Under high pressure, we can forget things like our own date of birth! So long-term stress, anxiety, and mood can have an impact on how well we recall information. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to improve memory.
5 Tips to Improve memory
- Nutrition – Many nutritional deficiencies can cause cognitive problems such as poor concentration or forgetfulness. Just one example is vitamin B12, with low levels linked to a range of cognitive difficulties, including memory problems such as forgetfulness and brain fog. A simple blood test can help identify any potential nutritional deficiencies that may be causing memory problems. Addressing these deficiencies and ensuring that your levels are in the optimum range for you can improve memory and also boost how well you feel in all other aspects of your health. There are also supplements that can help boost how sharp you feel in your cognitive ability. Certain supplements, for example, St John’s Wort, L-Glutamine, Phosphatidylserine, DMAE, N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Ginkgo Biloba, and Huperzine-A, all of which are included in Nootropic Focus.
- Sleep – One of the most important things you can do to improve memory is to improve sleep. Many of us just don’t get enough sleep. Anyone who has suffered from insomnia, stress-related sleep problems, night shift working, or caring for a newborn will agree that lack of good quality sleep has an incredibly detrimental effect on how we feel and how we think. Studies have shown that chronic poor sleep impacts memory recall. To improve your sleep, you need to do more than simply going to bed earlier. It is all about sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene is all about the routine you put in place in the evening that signals to your brain that it is time to go to sleep. This may mean winding down by stopping working earlier, eating a lighter meal, avoiding caffeine and other stimulants, and even limiting screen time. Screens often use blue light, which stops important changes taking place in the brain that prepare us for sleep. Using a blue light filter (pre-installed on many cell phones) can help. Putting a good bedtime routine in place can help you sleep more quickly, stay asleep for longer and wake up feeling refreshed. This can have a massive impact on how you feel and think, including your memory.
- Stress levels – If you have too much on your mind, your cognitive abilities will suffer. It’s a simple case of not being able to take things in or think clearly because there is so much going on in your head. This is normal; when we are stressed, we make mistakes, we forget things, and we find it difficult to control our emotions. Dealing with stress levels can improve memory. You can try techniques such as mindfulness, relaxation, and deep breathing practice to help reduce the effects of stress. Taking time to yourself and doing things you enjoy is a form of self-care that has incredible benefits. Be kind to yourself, care for yourself, and learn how to quiet your mind when it gets too busy, and you can improve memory and gain a sense of calm.
- Memory Training – Brain games can improve memory recall. This is not a myth! There are many card games, board games, and word games that encourage you to use your memory, and this can be a great way to get social with friends and family too. By using your memory, you can improve memory recall and also develop strategies to help you remember things. This may mean using mnemonics, making up a story that includes the thing you want to remember, memorizing numbers using tunes, etc. Using games to train can also help you improve your reading, listening, and critical thinking skills.
- Learn New Things – Continuing to learn as part of your everyday life helps sharpen your cognitive abilities, and this extends to memory too. Sometimes we stop engaging with new learning when we reach the career we want or a certain level of attainment in our hobbies. Enjoying learning new skills, taking classes or courses, and enjoying new hobbies has a proven effect on our cognitive ability. If there is a language you have always wanted to learn, a musical instrument you have always wanted to play, or a craft you would like to try, then do it! You may take a little longer to learn, so don’t pressure yourself. Instead, enjoy the process and the benefits it brings. You can improve memory and find a new passion at the same time.