10 tips for improving your memory
Post Date
23rd April 2014
10 tips for improving your memory

Have you ever had one of those moments when you forgot why you went to the kitchen? Or where you parked your car? Memory lapses are common at any age, and usually occur because your brain is trying to prioritise, sort, store and retrieve different types of information. The good news is that there are things you can do to improve or maintain your memory.

1. Learn something new Also known as the ‘use it or lose it’ rule. Experts believe that advanced education may help keep the memory strong, so challenge your brain with regular exercise. Read, play chess, learn a new hobby or language – pick something you enjoy, and stick with it.

2. Exercise It’s not just about the mind games. Maintaining an active body will help keep your mind active, too. At least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day will deliver an oxygen boost to your brain, improving your memory and sharpening up reasoning skills and reaction times.

3. Visit friends Regular social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, which can contribute to memory loss. If someone asks you to dinner or a party, say yes!

4. Get a good night’s sleep According to research from Brown University in the US, sleep helps lock in learning. The study found that after a period of sleep, brain activity increased in the area of the brain that processes visual information.

5. Quit smoking A 2011 study by Northumbria University, UK, found that people who smoke lose some of their everyday memory. Even former smokers have a better-functioning memory than those who still light up. This may be because chronic smoking has been linked to a breakdown, or atrophy, of parts of the brain.

6. Eat your Bs A deficiency in B-group vitamins, particularly B12, has been linked to memory loss. Good sources of B12 include meat, eggs, milk and cheese.

7. Drink water Your brain depends on proper hydration to function at the optimum level. Dehydration can impair short-term memory function and the recall of long-term memory. Drink regularly throughout the day.

8. Pay attention Sometimes a memory lapse occurs simply because you weren’t paying attention in the first place. When was the last time you forgot someone’s name minutes after hearing it for the first time? Memory techniques, such as visualisation (linking a name to an image in your mind), can help.

9. Practice makes perfect If you want to keep your memory sharp, practice using it. Start with short lists, such as the shopping list. Memory games, such as those that children play, can help.

10. Have a check-up Memory lapse can be a symptom of some medical conditions, or even use of certain medications. If you have any concerns, or your find that regular memory lapses are disrupting your daily life, see your GP.