You don't have to struggle with your memory - try one of our top tips to boost your brain power
Get more sleep
A recent study has shown that just a 45-minute power nap can boost your memory five-fold!
Researcher Sara Studte taught a selection of words to a group of students, and then asked half of them to nap, and the other half to stay awake. Those who slept had a far better recall capacity than those that didn’t get any shut-eye at all.
A short nap at the office or in school is enough to significantly improve learning success,’ Professor Axel Mecklinger, who supervised the study, explained. Wherever people are in a learning environment, we should think seriously about the positive effects of sleep.’
But it’s not just while learning that sleep can be effective – lack of sleep can have an impact on your memory in general, because your brain hasn’t had the chance to fully recharge. Sleep is the time when our bodies relax, repair and get ready for another day, so if your memory is suffering, your sleeping pattern could hold the answer.
Set yourself challenges
Your brain is a muscle and just like all muscles it needs exercise.
Set yourself challenges to remember something, such as the words to a song or a poem, 10 items that you?ve got in your fridge or five things that are on TV tonight.
And instead of relying on your phone to add things up try to do some mental arithmetic to get your grey matter working.
Drink more water
Yep, it?s that drink more water tip again! The fact is that every organ in our body functions better when it?s well hydrated – and that includes the brain.
And there?s a school of thought that suggests that poor memory is linked to not drinking enough water.
Aim to drink around 6-8 glasses a day.
You might find that sitting down to read for 20 minutes, playing a simple memory game on your phone or online will help you relax as well as improve your memory.
Strain your brain
Brain training gadgets might seem like just a bit of fun but studies have shown that people who play regularly really do improve their brain function and memory.
There?s more good news – you don?t have to buy an expensive gadget. Just tackling a crossword, sudoku or doing a quiz can help.
Think about anything
If there?s something that you need to remember and it?s on the tip of your tongue then don?t panic, just start thinking about something else.
Think about how many types of apples there are or how many times you?ve been swimming in your local pool, how many friends you have – it can be anything.
Doing this encourages your memory to snap back into action and remember whatever it is that you need to.
Go back where you came from
Why is it that when you forget something you walk back to the room where you had that forgotten thought and it comes back?
Well, retracing your steps really does work. Seeing the same thing again, triggers your short-term memory and so the original thought comes back.
You might have a series of dates or a couple of names that you need to remember.
One way of remembering these is to make up a story that includes the information you need to recall.
Devising a rhyme or a phrase with the key dates/names that you need to remember can also help you recall information.
Think in pictures
If you need to remember your shopping list think about it in pictures.
Imagine yourself walking around the supermarket – what section do you go to first? What will you see? What will you put in your basket first?
Imagine a series of photos or picture a little film of you doing your shopping and buying everything on the list.
Medical researchers know that your brain is more healthy and active when it has more oxygen and increased blood flow and one way to get this going is to do more exercise.
More help and advice