Oops, I Forgot it Again: Four Steps to Help Increase Memory

stress ballWhere are my keys? Do I have all three bags? Did I lock the door? I forgot my wallet!

These are the lines to my daily monologue. I have officially been on this Earth for TWO decades (I am getting old, I know). The average American may not believe that twenty is old age, but with my frequent memory loss, I would beg to differ. It seems that tackling 17-18 credits per semester, participating in on-campus activities, mentoring, taking summer courses and working 40 hours a week as a summer intern has proven to be quite the task.  Add in my attempts to pursue a social life and get the proper amount of rest each day and you’ll find, like I have, that it all can take a toll on the brain.

According to an ABC News Report, “Research tracing the gradual decline of memory says that the process begins at the ripe age of 20 and as brain cells slip away, gone forever, the chemicals that help the brain work efficiently are also not being produced in the same quantities as when you were a fast-thinking teen.” Gasp! I would never imagine that by the age of 20 I would already be experiencing the effects of memory loss.  It is noted that some possible causes of memory loss in young adults may include: excessive stress, not enough rest, poor nutrition, brain or head trauma, vitamin deficiencies and medications (especially cholesterol lowering medications).

Do not fret, absent-minded professors of all ages can follow these simple steps that can help increase brain power and memory:

1. Eat Your Brain Fuel. There are several foods that can help increase brain function and memory especially those including Omega 3- fatty acids . The American Heart Association recommends eating fish particularly fatty fish such as mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon at least 2 times a week, so these fatty acids in moderation can help your heart too. Berries, strawberries and spinach are also great brain foods.

2. Allow yourself time to unwind. Both acute and chronic stress can affect brain functions, especially memory. Acute stress effects short term and verbal memory specifically. Chronic stress effects concentration at work and at home, as well as causing sufferers to become less efficient and more accident prone according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Be sure to pencil some down-time in to your day. This may include stress-free exercise, reading a book or even watching your favorite television show before a good night’s slumber.

3. Be careful with the spirits. Although one drink a day can be okay for the body, anything much more than that can be responsible for effecting forgetfulness. Irresponsible drinking can cause several types of forgetfulness. Alcohol consumption impacts the brain’s capability to create and also maintain reminiscences. It generates a buffer pertaining to recollection enhancement as well as adversely influences our own capacity to think clearly. Loss of memory on behalf of alcohol abuse can become a serious problem. If it continues to be untreated, alcohol addiction can cause brain damage which will leave a negative impact on the brain’s memory space.

4. Follow a healthy sleep schedule. Last but certainly not least, a healthy sleep schedule has a huge affect on the brain and body. It is important to get enough rest. Ideally this would equate to 7 to 9 hours per day for adults ages 18 and up. Getting to sleep and waking up at the same time everyday is important to the body’s natural cycle.  Limiting night time distractions during sleep, i.e. cell phones, televisions, and computers, can help add to this regularity by signaling the brain that it is time to relax.

These natural memory increasing tips definitely have me interested. Are you having similar memory issues? Have you had any success with the tips listed above?

Photo Credit: bottled_void

 

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