5 Scientifically Proven Ways to Improve Memory and Focus
Have you ever found yourself forgetting where you left your car keys or blanking out important information? Perhaps, you wished that your memory was a little better. Luckily, there are a few scientifically proven ways you can boost your memory regardless of what your age is.
So, without any further delay, let’s get to know about them.
If you think meditation is only for yogis, then let us tell you that meditation has a deep connection with focus and memory. Even numerous successful entrepreneurs such as Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Weiner, Joe Rogan are great meditation practitioners.
According to different studies, meditation has the potential to alter your brain by minimizing the stress level that leads to improved decision making and better mental health. A study published in Consciousness and Cognition concluded that meditation improves cognition, resulting in a better mood.
Meditation helps you reach a high level of concentration that strengthens your mind. It also minimizes the stress level that accelerates memory loss. Many practitioners claim that meditation helps them remember things that they have already forgotten. Since memories stay in a brain subconsciously, you need to access it.
Add Berries to Your Diet
A study conducted by the University of Reading reveals that adding blueberries to a regular diet for 12 weeks can be better for long-term memory.
Another long-term berry study done on female nurses (70 years of age) revealed that nurses who had a minimum of two servings of blueberries each week were able to improve their memory.
Blueberries are high in flavonoids that are known to enhance existing connections in the brain that is beneficial for long-term memory. So add them to your regular diet.
Exercise As You Get older
There are myriads of good reasons to be physically active. However, one significant benefit of regular exercise is it changes the brain in ways that protect memory. Studies in both human brains and rats have demonstrated that exercising regularly can boost memory recall.
Regular exercise gets your heart and sweat glands pumping and increases the size of the hippocampus, a small part in the brain involved in forming verbal memories. If your bodily functions do not let you hit the gym, there are numerous memory exercises that seniors can easily do. These include puzzles, chess, card games, etc.
Nap Every day
According to the University of Lubeck, sleep plays a vital role in having a good memory. After all, rest is when most of our memory consolidation process happens. Without taking proper sleep, we’re going to struggle to recall things we have learned.
Apart from sleep, a nap of around 40 to 60 minutes can enhance our memory and learning by fivefold. So nap every day.
Are you a wine lover? Well, here is some bad news coming for you. A study found that middle-aged people who drink more than two and a half drinks per day may experience cognitive issues and memory loss. So do yourself a favor, cut back on drinking, and start doing the things mentioned above.
Forgetfulness is indeed a normal part of aging, but it does not mean that older adults can’t keep their memory sharp. The tips mentioned might look evident to you, but these can keep your mind sharp at any age.
Is it just aging or something more serious?
As we get older, changes happen in all parts of our body, including the brain. Consequently, some people notice that it is taking longer to learn new stuff. Sometimes, they do not recall information and tend to forget more often. These signs may cause worry, making people think that is it just aging or something more serious.
This post aims to give you an overview of the difference between normal age-related memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia. So, let’s get started.
Normal Aging Vs. Dementia
Indeed, these two conditions are entirely different. Around 40% of people above the age of 65 suffer from some form of memory loss. If there is no underlying disease causing this memory loss, it is called “age-related memory impairment.” On the contrary, brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia are different.
Speaking of Dementia, it is a syndrome that is characterized by loss of brain abilities. It causes decreased cognitive function and impacts the performance of memory and communication abilities. Alzheimer’s, on the other hand, is the most common type of dementia that affects memory and behavior of a person.
The Symptoms of Normal Aging vs. Dementia
The section below shows some of the possible changes due to normal aging and Dementia. Here, it is crucial to understand that everyone is different, and not everyone with Dementia will notice all of these changes.
Note: This is not a diagnostic tool. If after reading it you’re worried about yourself or someone close to you, it is advisable to see a qualified and professional health care professional.
1. Short-term Memory & Learning New Things
Forgetting people’s names or appointments once in a while, but remembering them later. Misplacing things like mobile phones, TV remote, glasses occasionally.
Forgetting the names of even close friends and family members. Not being able to recall recent events. Asking for the same information time after time. Putting things in different places like placing your car keys in the bathroom cabinets.
2. Planning and Decision Making
Being a little slower to think things. Losing the ability to juggle multiple tasks and getting distracted easily. Occasionally making a wrong decision. Making financial mistakes once in a while.
Getting quite confused when planning things. Not being able to concentrate properly. Making poor choices and judgment, especially when assessing risks and dealing with money.
Going into a room and forgetting why you went there, but remembering it quickly. Getting confused about the week or the day.
Not knowing where you’re in your usual place. Not remembering the date and the passage of time.
Having trouble choosing the right word sometimes. Losing the thread, especially when many people speaking at the same time. Facing difficulty with keeping up with a conversation.
Referring to objects as this thing or that thing. Difficulty with making a conversation. Regularly losing the thread.
5. Mood & Behavior
Sometimes feeling tired of work or feeling a bit anxious. Becoming short-tempered when a routine is disrupted.
Losing interest in hobbies & socializing and getting sad and anxious unusually. Feeling low in self-confidence. Becoming upset quickly at work and home, even in a comfortable and familiar place.
6. Visual Perceptual Skills
Changes in vision due to cataracts and cloudy vision.
An issue with interpreting visual information. For instance, difficulty in judging distances, misinterpreting patterns, reflections, etc.
It is crucial to know the difference between normal aging and Dementia. Forgetting names does not necessarily mean that you’re getting Dementia. If you’re worried about your memory or see any symptoms of Dementia, consult your doctor.
What you eat, drink, and the medicines you take can all contribute to the hand, arm, and head tremors commonly associated with Essential Tremor (ET), one of the most common health problems that people over 65 face in the United States.
There have been a number of studies that have shown this, several of which have been linked below for your convenience.
For example, one study found that people with Essential Tremor have elevated levels of harmane in their blood, something found in grilled meat. The study found that participants who consumed heavy amounts of well-cooked meat had a 12% increased chance of having Essential Tremor.
But there’s good news. By being conscious of what you put into your body, you can hopefully reduce the incidence and intensity of your tremors. We’ve compiled a sample list of good foods and supplements, as well as a list of some to avoid.
Things that may help
There have been numerous studies that have shown that people with Essential Tremor often show signs of GABA deficiency. GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid in the brain that acts as a neurotransmitter — sending messages between neurons. You can get GABA as a supplement.
- Beta blockers
Designed for high blood pressure, some people report that beta blockers reduce their tremors. This is an option best discussed with your doctor, because they can cause other unintended side effects.
- Organic fruits & vegetables
- Smaller, oily fish
These include sardines, anchovies, and salmon. These fish have a much lower concentration of mercury, a heavy metal that may intensify tremors.
- Nutriganix’s all-natural supplement Tremadone. For details on how this proprietary formulation of high-quality herbal extracts and vitamins has been taken by over 20,000 people in the past decade to help with hand, arm, leg and voice tremors click here or the button below.
Things to avoid
This goes beyond just coffee. Black and green tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and that bottle of aspirin in your medicine cabinet. You probably have noticed that when you drink more caffeine, your tremors get worse. If you haven’t already eliminated caffeine from your diet, this is the first step you should take.
- Foods that contain harmane
These include grilled meat, coffee beans, and tobacco smoke. There have been a number of studies that have shown that people who suffer from Essential Tremor have elevated levels of harmane in their brains.
- Heavy metals
Heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and mercury act as neurotoxins disrupting normal cellular activity in the brain. One study found that participants with essential tremor had higher concentrations of heavy metals in their blood. Foods to avoid include: large fish, like tuna and shark; bone broth; and e-cigarettes.
Many people report temporary relief from hand tremors after drinking a few alcoholic beverages. That temporary relief can feel like a major victory. The problem is that over time alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the incidence of tremors, and it comes with the added risk of alcohol dependence.
- Certain prescription drugs
Prescription drugs such as Albuterol, some anti-depressants, Metoclopramide, Lithium, and others. We recommend talking to your doctor to see if one of your prescriptions could be causing or intensifying your tremors. If so, there may be an alternative drug you can take.