Many people start to suffer from memory loss as they get older. It’s a natural part of the aging process, but it’s also one that people can manage. There are several different techniques that can improve a person’s memory, and using a mixture of those techniques can offset the impact of aging on the brain.
Practice Makes Perfect
The human body is highly adaptable. If it does a thing regularly, it gets good at it, and it stops maintaining skills that it doesn’t use. It’s possible to use that trend to maintain one’s memory in old age, or to improve it at any age. Regularly playing simple memory games can improve a person’s memory, as can deliberately memorizing new pieces of information. To practice this, write down a sentence early in the morning, and try to recite it right before going to bed at night. It doesn’t take long, but it does provide useful practice.
Get Enough Sleep
One way to fight memory loss is to avoid things that cause it. Age is the largest factor in most cases, but many people also suffer from mild sleep deprivation. Most adults need about eight hours of sleep each night, and missing even an hour can lead to memory loss. Interruptions during the night can also cause problems. Rearranging a schedule to get more sleep is usually difficult, but nothing will lead to faster improvement in people who aren’t getting enough.
There’s some evidence to suggest that people who lead busier lives tend to have better memory. That implies that it might be possible for people to improve their memory by cutting back on idleness and keeping themselves occupied. The mechanism is not entirely clear to researchers, but it’s likely that the constant activity stimulates the brain and keeps it working at a high level.
Get Some Exercise
The mind and body are not separate things. Mild exercise right before a mental task, such as walking for a few minutes, can improve performance on that task. Some evidence also suggests that people who exercise after learning something new retain it better than people who don’t. The ideal method seems to be exercising about four hours after learning the information.
Try New Things
Novelty is a potent tool for people who want to improve their memory. People have a tendency to fall into habits and go through routines without thinking about them, and that inactivity hurts the brain. New experiences force the brain to adapt to new situations and remember how to deal with them. Even relatively minor variations, like taking a new route during a commute, can lead to improvement.