7 Easy Tips to Improve Your Memory

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Don’t Have Enough Time, Here are the Key Points

  • Technology’s Double-Edged Sword: While technology aids memory by storing information, over-reliance can weaken our ability to remember things independently.
  • Neuroplasticity: Our brains can form new neural pathways, allowing for ongoing learning and memory improvement.
  • Challenging Activities: Engaging in activities that push you out of your comfort zone, like learning a new language, can stimulate the brain and enhance memory.
  • Role of Sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for memory consolidation, making it a key factor in effective learning and retention.
  • Dangers of Cramming: Last-minute study sessions are ineffective and can lead to stress, negatively impacting memory.
  • Stress Management: Engage in socializing and physical exercise to manage stress and improve memory.
  • Balanced Approach: Incorporate a well-rounded strategy that includes skill acquisition, proper sleep, and stress management for optimal memory function.

Having a good memory can prove to be invaluable for a multitude of reasons. Especially when preparing for a test or exam, a sharp memory can aid in recalling the knowledge you have acquired and achieving the desired grades.

Additionally, as aging progresses, a strong memory can help preserve brain tissue, maintain mental agility, and keep cognitive decline such as dementia at bay.

Focusing on happy and comforting memories during difficult times can help sustain a positive outlook and serve as solace.

The Role of Technology in Memory

It is important to have a good memory because it allows you to rely less on technology. Before turning to Google, Siri, or Alexa, searching your memory or looking in a book to find what you need is helpful.

We risk losing our ability to think independently by relying solely on technology 1. For example, I have my loved ones’ phone numbers stored in my phone, but if I lost their number, I wouldn’t be able to call them because I don’t know their numbers by heart.

On the other hand, I can still remember my childhood home phone number without any aid, demonstrating how technology can be helpful, but we risk becoming too dependent on it. Improving your memory can give you an advantage, so it’s worth investing time in.

The Science of Memory: Neuroplasticity

The human brain, even in old age, can change and grow. This is called neuroplasticity. When your brain is stimulated, it can create new neural pathways.

This means that you have the ability to learn and remember further information even as you get older. Throughout your life, neuroplasticity can improve your cognitive abilities, learning skills, and memory 2.

Using your brain, you can develop multiple pathways that make it easier to comprehend and memorize information, solve problems, and find ways to contact your family if you lose your mobile phone. However, there is always room for further enhancement.

“Use it or lose it” is a phrase that applies to both your physical strength and your memory. It will deteriorate if we don’t use our brains and stimulate our memory. Like an engine that is not used, it will seize up and be much harder to start.

The Importance of Challenging Activities

The more you challenge your brain, the better it can take in, organize, and recall the information it encounters.

However, not all activities are created equal; the most effective brain exercises force you out of your comfort zone and use new neural pathways.

No matter how challenging the task may be intellectually, it will not benefit the brain if it is something you can already do quite easily.

For your brain and memory to improve, you need to engage in activities that are challenging for you and outside of your comfort zone.

These activities include learning a language, playing a musical instrument, learning specific dance routines, learning to play chess, doing puzzles, and playing brain training games online.

The best activities to boost your memory and keep you doing them consistently start out simple and easy to do and then get more difficult as you get better.

Learning a new instrument is a perfect example of this. You start off learning one or two notes and build up to being able to play a challenging piece of music over time.

Once you know how to play that music, you must learn other pieces to keep laying down more neuropathways in your brain and stimulating and enhancing your memory.

In other words, you build on what you have already learned and commit to memory with each new stage of learning.

It is also worth mentioning that, just like when you were a child, rewards work to make challenges more satisfying, which in turn helps to encourage you to continue with the activity or learning experience.

By rewards, I don’t mean someone will give you a bag of sweets. The reward could be:

  • Playing the whole piece of music straight through without making a mistake,
  • Speaking in a foreign language and making yourself understood,
  • Winning a game of chess or
  • Doing a crossword or Sudoku puzzle much quicker than you’ve done it before.

These rewards make the activity more enjoyable and keep you doing it to strengthen your memory and brain each time.

Sleep and Memory

The part of the brain involved with memory-making is the hippocampus. This part of the brain cannot work properly without enough sleep. 3

Therefore, after all that learning during the day, you will need a good night’s sleep, preferably seven to nine hours. This is necessary not only to recover physically and get up refreshed, ready to start again the next day, but also to embed all that you have learned into your memory.

This process is called consolidation 3 and is one of the reasons why “pulling an all-nighter” cramming before an exam doesn’t work.

Not only does leaving it until the last minute cause unnecessary stress, but you are relying on your short-term memory with little or no sleep. 4 This is a recipe for disaster!

Stress and Its Impact on Memory

The stress will put you into a fight, flight or freeze state. With luck, fight mode will kick in, and you will be able to focus. However, if flight or freeze kicks in, your mind will go blank, you won’t be able to remember anything, and there will be nothing in your long-term memory to back you up. 5

Managing stress is not just about avoiding these fight, flight or freeze responses; it’s also about creating an environment where your memory can thrive.

Techniques like mindfulness meditation, deep-breathing exercises, and even simple walks in nature can help lower stress levels, improving your ability to focus and remember.

Lower stress levels also make engaging in activities that improve memory easier, setting up a positive feedback loop that benefits your cognitive health.”

By incorporating stress management techniques into your daily routine, you’re improving your current state of mind and investing in long-term memory improvement. Now, let’s delve into some specific tips that can help you further enhance your memory.

7 Practical Tips for Memory Improvement

Here are 7 tips to Improve your Memory:

Tip# 1 Consistent Learning and Sleep

The principle of consistent learning and sleep is rooted in the science of memory consolidation. When you learn something new, your brain creates a neural pathway. However, this pathway is fragile and susceptible to being forgotten unless it is strengthened.

Sleep plays a crucial role in this process. During deep sleep, your brain actively consolidates these new memories, making them more stable and easier to retrieve later.

This is why revisiting the material the next day is so effective; it allows you to reinforce these neural pathways while they are fresh. Adopting a daily learning routine and adequate sleep means training your brain to store information more efficiently.

This method is not just for students aiming for ‘A’ grades but is a lifelong strategy for anyone looking to enhance their memory and cognitive skills.

Tip#2 The Importance of Sleep in Memory Retention

You still need to get plenty of sleep to help preserve your memory as you age. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to lessen the ability to recall things, especially in people over sixty 3.

The Benefits of Daytime Naps

If you struggle to sleep at night, napping during the day can also help to boost and consolidate memory 6. Naps can also restore energy and put you in a better mood. Plus, you will be in good company, as famous physicist Albert Einstein reportedly took daytime naps 7.

Technology and Sleep Quality

When thinking about stimulating your memory and sleep, be careful when playing memory or brain-training games on your phone or tablet.

These gadgets emit blue light, which can interfere with the sleep-wake cycle, suppressing the release of the melatonin hormone.

This can disrupt sleep and lead to insomnia 8. In addition, stimulating the brain too close to bedtime can also affect sleep quality.  Therefore, ideally, you should not play these games in the evening.

However, if unavoidable, some apps can be downloaded onto the phone or tablet to block blue light. You can also attach blue-light-blocking screen covers or wear glasses that block the blue light 9.

Tip# 3 Diet and Nutrition for Cognitive Health

A balanced diet of antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals is essential for better memory and brain function.

Foods like blueberries, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and fatty fish like salmon benefit cognitive health. Consuming these foods can help improve memory and other cognitive functions.

Tip#4 Mindfulness and Meditation

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can significantly improve your memory and attention span. These practices help you focus on the present moment, reducing distractions and enabling better memory retention. Even just a few minutes of daily meditation can make a noticeable difference.

Tip# 5 Social Interaction and Cognitive Stimulation

Engaging in meaningful social interactions 10 can be a powerful way to stimulate your brain and improve memory. Conversations challenge us to think, respond, and engage our cognitive faculties. Social activities like group discussions or games can be effective memory-boosting exercises.

Following these tips, you should keep your memory working efficiently well into old age. Learning new things, not relying on technology, and laughing while you do it all go a long way to keeping your brain and memory fit and healthy.

Tip#6 Stress Management for Memory Boost

As mentioned, stress can lead to memory loss. So, if possible, trying to live a stress-free life is one of the best things you can do to boost your memory.

With this in mind, it is important to do things that you enjoy, such as:

  • Looking after a pet 11,
  • Physical exercise 12,
  • Walking in Nature 13, and
  • Laughing 14.

All of which have been shown to reduce stress and increase memory

Tip#7 Physical Exercise and Memory

Regular physical exercise is not just good for your body but also for your brain. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and encourages the growth of new neurons.

Studies 15 16 have shown that regular aerobic exercise can result in better memory, quicker learning, and improved cognitive function overall.


  1. Scientists say Google is changing our brains https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/10/how-google-is-changing-our-brains/.
  2. What Is Neuroplasticity? https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-brain-plasticity-2794886
  3. Sleep On It How Snoozing Strengthens Memories https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2013/04/sleep-it
  4. Cramming: Why It’s Ineffective & Should Be Avoided https://web.stanford.edu/~eryilmaz/cramming_is_ineffective.html
  5. How Stress Affects Your Memory https://psychcentral.com/stress/how-stress-affects-your-memory
  6. The long-term memory benefits of a daytime nap compared with cramming https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6335868/
  7. Matthew Walker’s Defense of Napping: 5 Benefits of Napping https://www.masterclass.com/articles/matthew-walkers-defense-of-napping
  8. The inner clock—Blue light sets the human rhythm https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7065627/
  9. How Electronics Affect Sleep https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-electronics-affect-sleep
  10. Mental Exercising Through Simple Socializing: Social Interaction Promotes General Cognitive Functioning https://pages.ucsd.edu/~pwinkiel/ybarra-burnstein-winkielman_socializing-PSPB-2008.pdf
  11. The Power of Pets https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2018/02/power-pets
  12. Exercise Holds Immediate Benefits for Affect and Cognition in Younger and Older Adults https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3768113/
  13. The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature https://www.emilkirkegaard.dk/en/wp-content/uploads/The-Cognitive-Benefits-of-Interacting-With-Nature.pdf
  14. Episode 5: Laughter and Memory https://lluh.org/patients-visitors/health-wellness/live-it/online-health-show/episode-5-laughter-and-memory
  15. The Influence of Exercise on Cognitive Abilities – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3951958/
  16. Physical Exercise as a Preventive or Disease-Modifying Treatment of Dementia and Brain Aging – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3258000/


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