Seven ways to improve your memory

Getting plenty of sleep, learning difficult new skills and staying socially active can all help to keep your memory sharp

Sleep on it

Sleeping well helps reinforce episodic memories- those associated with time and place. There existed substantial evidence that REM sleep plays a vital role in the consolidation of memories relating to learning motor abilities, such as learning to play a musical instrument or ride a bike. Having a full night’s sleep soon after gaining a new skill assists consolidate the processes involved in order to be allowed to later be performed” on autopilot “.

Chill out

Stress affects memory in different ways depending on when the stressful event pass. The rapid release of adrenaline as part of our” battle or flight” response can attain us more attentive, but the slower release of cortisol disrupts memory-forming procedures. A stressful event that occurs well before efforts to form memories can impair recall, whereas one shortly before or after the learning of new information can enhance it. And getting stressed out just before efforts to retrieve memories impairs our ability to do so. Yoga, meditation or other relaxation techniques may help.

Continuing education

Older people are often told to adopt a” employ it or lose it” approach to maintaining cognitive function. In fact, when it comes to memory, research suggests that only certain types of mental activities help. In a 2013 study, US researchers find participants aged 60 -9 0 who spend 15 hours a week for three months learning a complex ability, such as digital photography, considered significant improvements in episodic memory exams. This was not the case for those who did more familiar, less demanding, undertakings such as crosswords.

Believe to remember

Positive thinking appears to boost memory performance- researchers at Harvard University received they could improve the performance of people aged 60 and above in memory tests by subliminally submitting their reports with positive age-related words such as “wise”, ” sage” and “astute”. Priming others with terms such as ” Alzheimer’s “, ” forgets” and “confused” undermined their performance. Brain scans have shown differences in activity levels in brain regions during memory encoding, according to whether or not someones believe they have good recall abilities or not.

Take a break

Memories can be undermined if the brain doesn’t have enough downtime to consolidate them. More than a hundred years ago, German scientists showed that people performed almost twice as well in memory exams if they took breakings. More recently, neuroscientists have shown that some amnesia patients and healthy volunteers are more able to retain listings of words if the undertaking is followed by periods of quiet time.

Stay social

Having an active social life lags memory loss as we age. US scientists who asked people in their 50 s and 60 s to do memory exams every other year between 1998 and 2004 discovery the decline in recall abilities of their most sociable topics to be half that of the least well connected. Having good friends, volunteering for charities and other forms of social participation also protect memory.

Memory menu

Health claims constructed for many “superfoods” need to be taken with a pinch of salt. What we feed does, however, affects cognitive function. A 2016 research reviewfound Mediterranean-style diets to be linked to slower rates of cognitive deterioration, Alzheimer’s disease and improved long-term running memory. So stock up on plant-based foods, cut back on red meat and dairy- and use olive oil as your main source of fat.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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