Sleep and Memory
- By Lauren Smalley
- Jan 3, 2014
Many of us are looking for memory improvement tips to help keep us organized and focused. Having a good memory is beneficial at home and in the workplace as so much of day to day life involves learning, storing, and remembering important information.
Whether you want to improve your short term memory and your ability to remember dates, names, and places, or you are looking to strengthen your long term memory, there are simple things you can do each and every day to help. Follow along as we review some popular memory improvement tips.
8 Memory Improvement Tips for a Better Memory
Having a good memory is important for many different reasons. Not only does it make us feel more confident and knowledgeable, but it also helps us navigate all of our daily responsibilities more effectively. If you are trying to improve your memory, here are 8 things you can try:
- Pay Attention. Many times our memories are impaired because we are not concentrating enough on the moment. If you really want to remember something, stop all the other things you are doing to focus.
- Avoid Information Overload. Do you have a lot of different things going on at once. The stress resulting from too much information often impairs our memories. Try to reduce the amount of information you are trying to remember and focus on what’s most important.
- Write It Down. If you want to make your memory stronger, write down things that are important for you to remember. The very act of writing helps to solidify memory, and knowing that you have important information documented makes you feel more confident in your ability to remember.
- Repeat It. Remember when you used flash cards to memorize facts for a math test or history exam? The power of repetition is a proven memory booster. If you really want to remember something, don’t forget to repeat the information multiple times to enhance your memory.
- Get Moving. Physical activity in the form of aerobic exercise is very beneficial to your memory. For example, a study at the University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for Brain Health found that physical fitness plays a key role in “staying mentally sharp” and this includes increased blood flow in the brain. Lead researcher Dr. Dee Wyly concludes: “This research shows the tremendous benefit of aerobic exercise on a person’s memory.”
- Eat a Nutritious and Balanced Diet. While there is not a magic super pill that will make your memory perfect, eating healthy and nutritious foods is an important part of maintaining and sharpening your bodily functioning and this includes your memory.
- Make Sleep a Priority. Harvard sleep researchers show that sleep affects your memory in various ways. It is thought, for example, that your brainwaves during different sleep stages are linked to different kinds of memory. Slow-wave sleep is thought to play a key role in helping you retain information you recently learned. REM sleep is thought to affect your procedural memory, or your ability to remember how to do things. Getting plenty of high quality sleep is an essential part of maintaining and improving your memory.
- Use Your Memory. Do things that require you to use your memory regularly. This is easy to do if you engage in hobbies, learn a new language, visit a museum, follow certain issues in the news, and participate in many different types of games and other engaging activities. Participating in things that make you think and use your brain is a key part of keeping your mind and memory sharp.
Other things that sometimes impair a person’s memory include alcohol usage and certain medications. The hormonal changes that happen during menopause have also been associated with memory changes. Some women also notice similar memory changes during pregnancy. Health conditions including the after effects of mini-strokes, Alzheimer’s disease, and other types of dementia may all notably impact a person’s memory.
Changes in memory are a normal part of the aging process. However, if you are concerned about your memory, it is always advisable to talk with a qualified medical professional for additional guidance and an evaluation. For more information on sleep hygiene and the connection between sleep and your health, follow our sleep blog or speak to the experts at Sleep Outfitters mattress stores.