Do you find yourself forgetting where you’ve put your keys a few more times than you’d like, or struggling to remember a friend’s birthday? These are small things, but a patchy memory can get pretty annoying.
If you’re anything like us you’ve tried brain training and sudoku, but find all those puzzles a bit… dull. Nothing against them, they’re just not for everyone.
So we’ve collected six alternative ways to help improve your memory. Trust us: you’ll enjoy doing these far more than a sudoku.
1. Have more sex
Scientists are now telling you to have more sex, and it’s best to listen to the professionals.
Apparently, researchers from McGill University in Canada found that women who have sex more regularly scored better in tests measuring their working memory. We won’t argue with that.
2. Eat more oily fish
As you age, what you eat becomes increasingly important. Your memory is definitely something that can benefit from your diet – upping the likes of tuna, mackerel and salmon could do you the world of good.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish seems to have a protective effect against Alzheimer’s, so you could do no worse than having a bit more salmon for dinner. Failing that, you could try some supplements of Omega 3 fish oils.
“The DHA in Omega 3 fatty acids helps to prevent the plaque forming in the brain, which is present in Alzheimer’s,” says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar.
3. Add more beef to your diet
If you’re not keen on oily fish, you might prefer increasing the amount of beef you eat instead. Beef is a good source of iron and zinc, and its high levels of creatine can be helpful for your memory.
Shona Wilkinson, nutritionist at SuperfoodUK.com says: “Creatine has been shown in studies to help boost muscle power and performance during intense strength training.
“It is also thought that creatine has a role in maintaining energy levels to the brain and might improve mental performance.”
4. Get a good night’s sleep
Nutritionist Cassandra Barns says: “Sleep is essential for good memory. While we are sleeping, particularly during non-REM phase, our body reactivates neurons that were active while learning a motor task, helping to aid long-term storage of new memories.
“When sleep is disrupted this process does not occur. So if you have learnt something new and you want to improve your chances of remembering it make sure you get some shut eye.”
Barns recommends taking magnesium supplements if you struggle with sleep.
Hey – we don’t need any more excuse to hop back into bed.
5. Laugh more
This is definitely a good thing to do more of, whether it’s in aid of your memory or not.
Research shows that laughter helps lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which improves your memory and learning.
So take things a little bit less seriously, and you might find that you’ve forgotten where you put your keys a little less often.
6. Write more
Be honest: when was the last time you actually put pen to paper? For many of us, thanks to our phones, tablets and computers, handwriting has become a thing of the past.
However, if you start to jot a few more things down by hand instead of immediately reaching for the keyboard, your memory will thank you.
Wilkinson says: “If you want to recall something, try writing it out in longhand. Even if you never read back your notes, studies have shown that just the act of writing something out allows you to recall it in a way that touching a keyboard does not.”