Brain games, crosswords, hobbies, and conversation might all help your memory. But instead of doing all that, you should focus on getting better sleep.
A good night’s sleep might be one of the best things you can do to build a strong memory and improve your ability to think and recall information.
Sleep influences memory function in several ways. The first and most obvious is that it makes it a lot easier to pay attention. Fighting to stay awake can make learning nearly impossible, and caffeine can only help so much.
Being well-rested is the best way to stay alert and focused.
Your brain is better prepared to learn after a good night’s sleep, as well. The information you learn each day is temporarily stored in the hippocampus, where it can take up a lot of limited space. Sleep helps shrink and store these memories, so more space is available for the next day.
It also helps you filter out all the unimportant stuff you may have picked up that day.
Memory consolidation also happens during sleep, which basically means memories can be stored and grouped together. This process usually occurs during stage 2 sleep, a lighter sleep stage that occurs a couple of hours before waking up.
But think about this: if you’re waking up early or not moving through the stages of sleep because of going to bed too late, you could be missing out on, or at least compromising, this important process.
Trying to get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night might do wonders for your memory. It may involve some changes to your routine, like setting a bedtime and wake time, but your body will adjust in a relatively short period.
When it does, you may realize a noticeably improved memory.