6 Scientifically Proven Ways To Improve Your Memory Every Day

Your smartphone could be causing "digital amnesia."

Have you ever gone to the kitchen for something, only to forget why you even made the trip? You grab for the drawer, when all along, you wanted something from the refrigerator.

Don't worry! You're not alone. 

As we age, memory begins to fade. Whether it's merely age-related deterioration, or the fact that you've simply got too much on your mind, it's not unusual to forget things every now and then. While memory loss might indicate the onset of Alzheimer's disease or dementia for those with chronic symptoms, those who forget details on occasion are merely one of many — and there are plenty of ways to alleviate the problem.

If you want to improve your brain power, apply these memory-boosting strategies to heighten your cognitive abilities every day.

1. Munch on berries.

pixabay.com / Pexels
pixabay.com / Pexels

According to one study conducted by the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School, supplementing your normal diet with blueberries for twelve weeks can potentially improve performance on spatial working memory tasks, as it did with the research participants. The effects started just three weeks in and continued for the length of the study, meaning these delicious fruits taste good and are good for you.

2. Hit the sheets.

pixabay.com / Pexels
pixabay.com / Pexels

Teachers always tell students that cramming for a test the night prior never works. Instead, they recommend that their pupils follow their study session with a full night's sleep so they can better retain the information. Well, guess what? They were right. According to this sleep study, participants found it much easier to match names with faces when sleeping between learning the names and faces and being quizzed on them. Time to hit the hay!

3. Drink some coffee.

Coffee might sound like it negates the prior sleeping recommendation on the surface, but this popular beverage has it's own memory-boosting benefits. According to one study, taking a caffeine pill after a learning task improved memory recall up to 24 hours later. Therefore, while researchers aren't sure if consuming caffeine before the given learning task can aid retention, there's no harm in grabbing a cup after your latest training session.

4. Chew bubble gum.

Thought Catalog / Unsplash
Thought Catalog / Unsplash

Did you know that chewing gum increases activity in the hippocampus? One study claims participants who chewed gum during the study completed the given memory recall task with greater accuracy and had quicker reaction times. Researcher Andrew Scholey of the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, U.K. concluded that "chewing increased heart rate" and "anything that improves delivery of things like oxygen in the brain, such as an increased heart rate, is a potential cognitive enhancer to some degree." So grab your favorite flavor and get gnashing!

5. Distract yourself momentarily.

bruce mars / Pexels
bruce mars / Pexels

Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn't make you more productive. In fact, taking a break from your current task could actually help you retain related information even better. Just as those who sit for work should stand up and walk around periodically, Larry Kim, CEO of MobileMonkey, advises people to take a two-minute YouTube break every now and then to recharge their brain. "You might feel like you're being super productive and focused by sticking to your work, but you're less likely to recall it later."

6. Ditch your smartphone.

Tofros.com / Pexels
Tofros.com / Pexels

Due to the proliferation of smartphones, people have become increasingly dependent on their mobile devices. They use these tools to store important information, relying on these contraptions to remember the data. Now referred to as "digital amnesia" after a study conducted by Kaspersky Lab, consumers are increasingly using the internet as an extension of their brains. If you want to improve your brain power, try forgetting where you put your phone every now and then instead. You'll condition your brain to remain more data, while (probably) also alleviating some of the stress tied to mobile phone addiction.

Cover image via bruce mars / Pexels

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