5 Ways to Improve Your Memory (That Actually Work)

By: Jenna Savage

There are a lot of different methods for improving memory out there, but not all of them work. Many products and supplements are advertised as benefiting memory without having the science to back up those claims. An example is Gingko Biloba, the supplements of which have been marketed as improving memory and preventing Alzheimer’s Disease. Unfortunately, the claims made about Gingko Biloba are unfounded, reports the AlphaGalileo Foundation. In fact, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Hertfordshire shows that Gingko Biloba supplements do not have any effect on memory.

The question, then, is what does work when it comes to improving memory? Here is a list of five proven steps you can take to actually improve your memory:

  1. Eat Well. What you eat has a larger impact on your memory than you would expect. Diets high in fructose slow learning and hinder memory, as we’ve reported in the past. In addition, diets high in fat can impact mood, which also affects memory. If you’re looking for something to add to your diet that may help improve your memory try omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
  2. Get a good night’s rest. It may not seem like it, but sacrificing sleep in order to study can have a negative effect on your academic achievement. Missing sleep can lead to poor recall and poor exam performance. Rather than cramming some learning in the night before, get a good night’s rest, and your memory will perform better the next day.
  3. Daydream. Believe it or not, daydreaming is actually good for you. Taking the time to allow your thoughts to wander and your mind to reflect on daydreams can help improve learning. It can also reduce anxiety and therefore improve motivation, which makes daydreaming an important part of improving your brain’s retention.
  4. Play Brain Games. Whether you enjoy video games or crossword puzzles, picking up a game can have a positive affect on your memory. Performing an activity that engages your mind has been shown to do what Gingko Biloba cannot — it wards off Alzheimer’s, improves memory, and benefits cognitive functioning. If you’re at a loss of what kind of games to play, check out this list of the best apps for improving your mind.
  5. Exercise. Exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety and improve mood, as we’ve reported in the past. And since it only takes as little as 30 minutes a day to see an improvement in your overall well-being, consider adding exercise to your routine. It’ll make you feel good — and if you feel good, it’ll be easier for you to remember things.