Nearly everyone wishes they had a better memory and with good reason. An abundance of research links a good memory with success in numerous areas of life. For example, a study led by Dr. Tracy Alloway in Great Britain found a strong correlation between a ‘working memory’ and academic success. The study even suggests memory is likely a better predictor of academic success than a student’s IQ.
This research is one of the countless studies that produce similar findings in a wide range of endeavors. Memory is given credit for better performance in disciplines as diverse as business, sales, music, and sports amongst others.
In light of this correlation between memory and success, it’s essential to keep your memory functioning at peak levels. So, how can you improve memory recall and keep your mind sharp decade after decade for as long as you live?
One of the most important steps to guaranteeing the longevity of your memory can be summed up as ‘use it or lose it’. The more you work your memory and other cognitive abilities, the more likely you are to keep your mind functioning well for your entire life.
There are a wide variety of other methods you can use to improve your memory recall. Here are three specifically chosen due to their ability to benefit not only your memory, but also your overall health.
Improve Memory Recall While Improving Your Health
1. GET PLENTY OF SLEEP: There’s a stereotype that success requires many sacrifices including a good night’s sleep. Research suggests otherwise.
Sleep’s importance in cellular regeneration and overall health is nearly self-evident, but scientists are just beginning to realize that it’s equally important for memory and general cognitive functioning.
The scientific term for sleep’s memory benefit is ‘consolidation.’ The ‘processing’ of information into memory is part of sleep’s impact on all functions of the brain–similar in many ways to improving a computer’s performance with a ‘reboot’. If you’re not able to get a full night’s sleep, taking a nap can also be an effective way to rejuvenate brain function and enhance memory.
2. DRINK THAT MORNING CUP OF COFFEE: And don’t make it a decaf.
Coffee (and more specifically caffeine) is an effective wake-up call for the body, but it’s equally effective as a memory booster. That was the finding of a Johns Hopkins University study: caffeine improves all aspects of memory but particularly long-term retention.
The creation of memories that are more vivid and permanent has the ancillary benefit of also improving recall. Caffeine of any type is just as effective in providing a memory boost, so if you don’t like coffee, grab your favorite alternative.
3. TAKE YOUR VITAMINS: A variety of research summarized in an article on WebMD found that memory function can be enhanced by certain commonly available supplements. These include Ginko Biloba, Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil), Vitamin E, and Asian Ginseng.
There are others on which the ‘jury is still out’ along with a few supplements that might help your memory but are also riddled with side effects. The article emphasizes that just about every ‘memory boosting’ supplement needs additional research to validate its effectiveness.
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