It’s thought that there’s things we can do on a daily basis to help us remember more. Memory is a biological process which needs to be aligned in concert with several brain functions. What it comes down to is scientifically understanding how our memory works.
When it comes to creating a memory to remember, our brain sends out signals in a particular manner which is associated with that event that we’ve just experienced. It then creates recognizable connections between our neurons, which are known as synapses.
If we do nothing, then that memory will just pass, go away. If we choose to consolidate that experience, what we’re doing is making a commitment to store it into our long term memory, this so we can recall it at a later date.
The majority of this process occurs while we’re sleeping, as this is when our brain is able to recreate that same experience which happened earlier, and then behind the scenes, it strengthens and embeds the synapses that was created.
Better Memory Recall
We either have memory recall or memory loss. The recalling of a certain memory, an event which occurred in our life, becomes easier once it’s been strengthened and reviewed more often over time.
Every time that we cycle through and then retrieve that same pattern of brain activity, what we’re doing is reinforcing that event a little bit stronger each time.
We know that memory loss occurs as a natural part of the aging process, but it doesn’t mean that we’re unable to do nothing about it. There are ways to keeping our most cherished memories around for as long as we can.
Exercising Improves Memory
The most effective is having a routine exercise program, as it’s proven to improve memory recall. Fitness for all ages at any level, particularly as we grow older, has shown to delay the process without needing any additional aides. The studies verify that exercising improves our spatial memory.
Exercising overall has numerous benefits on all the muscles and biological bodily functions, and the brain in particular to improve cognitive ability. So to stay sharp mentally, a brisk walk is what you need.
More Sleep Better Memory
Any type of memory is initially recorded in the hippocampus area of the brain. While there, it remains frail and can be easily lost, this especially if the brain is under pressure and is asked to remember numerous things at once.
Uninterrupted sleep has proven to be the key element in preserving memory. Sleeping is how most of the memory consolidation process occurs. We have a bad nights sleep, then we’re effected and struggle to recall things that we’ve learned.
Having a short nap has also proven to improve memory. Tests have shown improvement in our short term memory when taking just a ten minute snooze. What napping does is it pushes our memories into the neocortex, which is the brain’s more permanent storage area, while preventing it from being overwritten.
Sleeping after learning something new plays a critical role when it comes to the memory creation process. What sleep deprivation does is it affects our ability to commit new things to memory, this along with not consolidating new memories.
Our Working Memory
Our active working memory, which is similar to a notepad in our brain, is the process and area where any new information that we’ve just learned is temporarily stored.
We hear someone’s name for the first time, or a phone number that we need to dial, we’ll desperately attempt to remember it in our short term working memory, this until we’re done with it.
Once it’s no longer useful, we’ll just let them go entirely. If we want to keep the memory, then we’ll commit the information to our long term memory, where the details are strengthened so it can be recalled later.
Our working memory makes our lives easier when it’s stronger. For the average adult, we’re able to store up to seven items in our working memory for recall. It’s thought that to maximize our capacity, there are ways to strengthen it.
Mediation Can Improve Working Memory
One known and effective way is meditation. Research has shown that those who participated in meditation can improve better “working memory” recall, this as an alternative to napping.
What meditation does is it enhances our ability to concentrate better. The reason why it’s able to benefit memory, although it may appear counter-intuitive to some, is that during the meditation process, what our brain does is it stops processing information as it normally would, giving it a break.
So it’s recommended that you take routine meditative breaks on occasion to empty out your mind. Doing so will not just make you feel more relaxed and less stressed, but you’ll also have better memory recall as well.
And For The Good News… Coffee?
There’s debate whether caffeine can improve memory, most believe it has no effect whatsoever. But one study has shown that caffeine can actually improve certain memory recall functions, this even a day later.
The research focused on the effects of caffeine when it comes to memory consolidation. Memory consolidation is the process of strengthening our memory that we’ve created and are wanting to preserve them.
The testing showed that there was better response and recall after the caffeine was ingested, this after the learning task was submitted, rather than drinking the coffee before the incident or event occurred.
So you may want to drink a bit of coffee to get a jump start in the morning, then drink a bit more whenever you’re wanting to hold on to what you’ve learned during the day.