Are you a student preparing for your final exams or a professional looking to improve your performance at work? The good news is that you can do a lot of things to improve your memory and cognitive abilities.
A sharp memory depends on the health of your brain. If you take care of your diet and include certain habits in your daily regime, then it is certainly possible to improve your brain’s performance.
You’ll be surprised to know that the strength of your memory depends on the way you memorize a specific piece of information rather than the number of times you recall it.
If you’re fatigued, overworked, stressed out or not taking care of your health – it’s natural for your mental acuity and performance to slow down.
In such situations, many people start searching for brain tests online and assume that they are suffering from brain illnesses such as dementia. A poor memory does not always mean that you have a cognitive impairment. Read more about what causes dementia and if you can relate to two or more symptoms, then talk to your doctor about it.With just a little bit of effort, you can improve your brain’s ability to store information more efficiently.
Here is a list of 6 research-proven strategies that can improve your memory and enhance your ability to recall information:
1- Control your sugar intake
According to a research, consuming too much sugar can increase your risk for many health issues including obesity and heart diseases. It can also result in cognitive decline. Added sources of sugar, such as carbonated drinks, are extremely harmful for health.
Scientists observed a group of more than 4,000 people for research. They found that people who included a lot of sugary beverages in their daily diet had poorer memory and lower brain volume as compared to those who stayed away from them.
If you want a healthy brain and body, stay away from sugary beverages and foods like cakes, cookies and ice creams. Instead, eat bananas, apples and other fruits to satisfy your sweet tooth. Soon you’ll find yourself performing better, both physically and mentally, and your body will thank you for it.
2- Get rid of distractions
If you are studying or working on a mentally challenging task, it is important to direct your complete attention to it. Attention is one of the vital components of strong memory.
If you want to save remember information long-term, then actively tend to it. Try to study or work in a place that is free from distractions such as blaring music, television, and your mobile phone.
Learning can be a challenge, especially if you are constantly surrounded by roommates or children. Try working during hours in which they are asleep or set a separate space for yourself where you can focus on your tasks uninterrupted.
3- Take a fish oil supplement
Many of us are guilty of not eating nutrition-dense foods daily. To make up for the mineral and vitamins deficit, you can take a fish oil supplement every day. Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Research proves that these two are excellent sources of good fats that contribute to a healthy heart and also reduce inflammation. It also helps to relieve stress and anxiety and slows cognitive decline.
Exercising daily can help you achieve a healthy body and sharp mind. Exercise has several benefits. Whenever you work out, your blood flow increases, and it allows your brain to work faster by stimulating nerve cells to multiply.
What’s more, during an exercise session the brain nerve cells release good proteins known as neurotrophic factors. These proteins, especially brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), boosts the production of chemicals that promote neural health and supports the process of learning and memorizing.
Exercising every day can save you from a lot of illnesses including heart problems, cholesterol, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. To get the most out of your daily workout routine, go for high-intensity interval training.
5- Sleep well
The importance of sleep is often undermined. If you want a sharp memory, then you must sleep at least eight hours at night. Sleep plays a vital role in overall brain function and helps consolidate your memories. During this time, short-term memories are converted into long-term memories. Research proves that if you are sleep deprived, your brain will not work in optimal condition. Even children need ample sleep for their brain and body to function properly.
During a research, a group of children was observed and asked to take a memory test in the evening. The same group was tested the next morning after a good night’s sleep. They performed 20% better when tested in the morning.
The same research pointed out that nurses who were sleep deprived and overworked during night shifts were prone to making more mathematical errors compared to peers who worked during morning hours.
If you are facing trouble sleeping well at night, try following a nighttime ritual. It could include a soothing activity such as meditation, reading or praying. There are many activities to help you sleep better. Choose one that suits you.
6- Read out loud
Research proves that reading any information out loud can help you memorize it faster. This is why many educators and psychologists suggest that students should teach concepts to one another. Repeating the information out loud can enhance understanding and make it easy to recall information later on. You can use this concept by offering to coach a study partner or co-worker. Not only will it benefit them, but you will also find your memory improving.
We hope that this article has convinced you that it’s not very difficult to improve your memory. With a few lifestyle changes and adopting new learning methodologies, you can boost your recall ability and long-term memory.
Just keep in mind that a healthy body acts as a foundation for a fit and powerful brain. So, don’t forget to exercise daily and eat nutritious and wholesome foods. Memory is a skill that can be developed and improved with time. Start applying these changes today to notice the difference.
Have you tried some of these methods to improve your memory? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.
About Alycia Gordan
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia