I have a memory issue and it makes life difficult at times. I think the worst part about having a memory problem is offending or hurting the feelings of people I care about. When my actions (forgetting a birthday, or a personal story that was shared with me) don’t match my intentions it can misrepresent my character! People close to me know that I have this issue and they cut me some slack, but for the people that don’t know, it can make or break a friendship, business contact and more. It is hereditary, but it really does feel like and some point my brain just got filled up with too much information and now it doesn’t let new things in very often. And I know it will only get worse as I age so I try (when I remember) to do things that will help to improve my memory and increase my brain power. Here are some scientifically proven tips and tricks that I hope will help you do the same.
1. The National Sleep Foundation recently changed some of the categories and requirements for sleep guidelines. Getting enough sleep is a main component to memory! Check the chart and make sure that you are giving your brain enough time to re-charge, de-stress and make memories!
* Chart provided by the National Sleep Foundation – see this link.
2. Blood flow to the brain via physical activity is a sure fire way to stay sharp! Regular, daily exercise is not only critical to your heart health and other functions, but can help improve your memory too. Using a fitness tracker like this fitbit HR (I use this) tracks your sleep and your steps taken, but most importantly it tracks your heart rate so you can see on a graph, the amount of time each day where you get your blood pumping, literally!
3. Natural supplements and medications are known to aid in memory loss. Ginko Biloba used to be the holistic answer to supplementing the brain, although recent studies can not confirm that it lives up to it’s expectations. Many doctors do prescribe Vitamin E to slow memory loss from Alzheimer’s and B Vitamin deficiencies are related to memory loss. Doctors also use a number of prescription medication that are proven to help lessen or at least stabilize symptoms that interfere with memory. (My dad has taken a couple of different ones and is having a great deal of improvement in his memory!)
4. Reducing stress is a major component because stress has a huge impact on memory loss. Being overwhelmed, worried and suffering from anxiety interferes with focus and detaches up from being able to make memories. Being fatigued and depleted from the effects of stress make the brain unable to power up and function properly. Along with the solutions already mentioned (daily exercise and good sleep) you can try yoga, counseling, breathing or meditation. Just the simple act of taking a break throughout the day to stretch your muscles and taking a few minutes to close your eyes and listen to calming music can make a world of difference.
5. Examining medications and drugs. Certain medications and drugs can rob you of your memories and prevent you from making new ones. It probably comes as no surprise that prescribed medications such as sleeping pills, pain pills, anesthesia, anti-depressants and anxiety medications are a few of these. Of course illegal and recreational drugs can cause extensive and irreparable damage to the brain and memory. Smoking cigarettes causes this to by depleting the brain of valuable oxygen.
6. According to the most popular research and advice, doing crossword puzzles is one of the most highly effective things you can do to keep your brain active! This is because the recall and connections required to complete puzzles are the best exercise for your brain.
Using your memory like exercising a muscle is the best way to prevent memory loss and the best way to get it back! Here are a number of other proof positive things that will spark your brain and improve your memory while providing fun at the same time!
The memory improvement board game called Rapid Recall is designed to measure and improve your ability to recall information. It is not being produced anymore so you can try to snag a new or used one on Amazon!
Lonpos is not only a game which is incredibly exciting and brings a lot of long-lasting fun. It also has fundamental functions for brain development and for developing further skills in spatial thinking and geometry, and trains the short-term memory.
Games to Improve Your Memory & Strengthen Your Brain
If you are suffering from memory loss or even if you are worried that you might be affected, please call your doctor and ask for help.
Preventing or slowing memory loss is key!
Are you or someone you know experiencing memory loss?