How to Increase Long-Term Memory
Improving long-term memory transcends quick fixes. This guide presents scientifically-backed methods to enhance memory retention. Learn to leverage diet, consistent sleep patterns, and targeted brain exercises.
We'll explore how integrating mindfulness and regular physical activity into your routine can significantly boost cognitive function. By adopting these strategies, you'll not only remember more but also protect your brain from age-related decline. Start applying these techniques today for a stronger, more reliable memory.
We have a few things to unpack before we move to the actual tips, so let’s start.
- Memory is a complex brain process with three stages, including encoding, storing, and retrieval.
- Short and long memory operates in different parts of our brain, one helping you to remember things while doing other activities (short-term) and the other storing information that can be recalled later (long-term).
- Some techniques to potentially enhance your memory include sleeping well, exercising, moving your body, eating nutritious food, and managing stress.
- Other methods that involve practice include practicing mindfulness, using mnemonic devices, using memory-boosting exercises or apps, or using brain-boosting supplements.
- Supplements like the TUNE IN from VYU are all-natural supplements that have a delicious flavor and high-quality adaptogenic and nootropic ingredients that can potentially aid with brain functions like memory.
What is Memory and How Does it Work?
Memory is the brain's capacity to store, retain, and recall information and experiences, a fundamental process for learning, reasoning, and adaptation in humans and other animals.
The process of memory has three main stages: encoding, where information is received and processed. Storage, where the encoded information is kept over time, and retrieval, where all the stored info is accessed whenever the user needs it.
Apart from that, your brain’s neuroplasticity is key to using memory. This process makes it able to reorganize and form new connections in your brain, which helps with memory and other functions, allowing for learning and adaptation throughout your life.
Long-Term Memory vs. Short-Term Memory
Let’s now get deeper into the difference between long-term and short-term memory. Both serve different purposes and have different functions in our brains, letting us experience the world around us differently.
Short-term memory is often referred to as “working memory,” as it holds a small amount of information for brief periods. It basically acts as a temporary storage system that allows individuals to hold the information while doing general tasks.
Long-term memory, on the other hand, has a much larger capacity, like the warehouse of information inside your brain that can store information indefinitely. Information from the short-term stage can be transferred to long-term memory through different activities, including rehearsal, association, and other mindfulness-related activities.
That said, the two types of memories are supported by different regions of our brain. The hippocampus and surrounding areas in the medial temporal lobe are all crucial for the information on the short memory part transition to the long-term.
Other regions, like the prefrontal cortex, are usually associated with short-term memory, especially in holding and manipulating information.
How to Increase Long-Term Memory
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, both in what memory is and the difference between short and long-term, let’s go over some tips on how to increase long-term memory.
Some of these can be done with everyday items, while others might need a slight investment in time or practice to help your mental capabilities. Let’s go over some of them.
Manage Your Focus
Firstly, let’s start with some tips on managing your focus. By effectively managing this skill, you can potentially enhance memory by paying attention to details in the present moment.
Some users use mindfulness techniques that can help with this, encouraging you to be fully present and potentially improve memory and cognitive function.
This research on mindfulness meditation showed that it could specifically help with executive and long-term attention and memory, usually associated with focus on the long term.
The results support the idea that it could help improve attentional resources for different types of people as well.
Sleep plays a fairly important role in helping to consolidate memories, aiding with the transition of information from short-term memory to long-term memory.
Research indicates that people who sleep soon after learning new information are more likely to recall it later compared to those who remain awake post-study, especially while integrating memories from the short to long-term part.
So, getting a good amount of sleep (anywhere between 7 and 9 hours for adults) can be helpful in forming and storing better long-term memories while also maintaining a healthy neurological function.
Move Your Body
There are a few things that help with your general health as well, specifically keeping yourself active by doing physical activity. Engaging in regular exercise, walks, and generally moving around can help you activate memory boosts and have longer-term benefits.
Research on human memory in older adults shows that cognitive decline and memory impairment could be diminished with physical activity, both using it to help things like blood circulation, synaptic plasticity, and the creation of newer neurons (called neurogenesis).
Eat Nutritious Food
A balanced diet rich in nutritious food can support your overall health, which can lead to better nervous health, and help you with your long-term memory.
This research on the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet which usually includes nuts, berries, beans, fish, olive oil, mushrooms, and other foods could be helpful for this.
This research on these two specific diets showed a lower risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, helping with neurodegenerative delay, and even helping with better cognitive function and better cognitive scores overall.
Even adaptogenic food items, like mushrooms, have been helpful as explained by users, to help with brain fog and a general better brain health. Some shrooms like Lion’s Mane also have plenty of minerals and vitamins that can be helpful with overall neuronal health.
Use Mnemonic Devices
These devices are potent tools that can enhance memory by creating associations and visualizations that can help information recall. They basically work by creating a connection between new information and existing knowledge, organizing some details in an efficient manner, and helping with mental imagery.
Examples of mnemonics include creating acronyms, and acrostics, all the way to creating memes that you associate with certain complicated topics.
Through the use of these devices, individuals can improve their ability to recall information over the long term, making them a fairly valuable strategy for anyone looking to improve their cognitive function.
Space Out Your Studying Sessions
Spacing out study sessions over time is a strategy often used by people learning new languages as well. This method, also called spaced repetition, can potentially aid in improving the retention of information, breaking down the information into shorter sessions over several days or weeks.
This technique allows for the information to consolidate, making it easier to retrieve the knowledge whenever you need it.
Manage Your Stress
High-stress levels can impair your memory and cognitive functions. Research from the journal Neural Plasticity and Memory: From Genes to Brain Imaging mentions how memory processes can be affected by life experiences and how stress can be a major modulator.
Diverse stressful experiences on cognitive functions can definitely be detrimental to memory functions, and even moderate stress management during learning can help with information storage.
Because of that, it is important you constantly keep stress in check, take breaks, and rest up when necessary if you want to improve your memory and mental health in general.
Keep Your Brain Active
Engaging in mentally stimulating activities can help you keep your brain active and help a general healthy check on your cognitive functions.
Some activities that can support your learning include reading, puzzles, or games like sudoku that can challenge the mind, create new connections in your brain, and even strengthen existing ones.
A more robust neural network can contribute to better long-term memory retention and cognitive function, even aiding in preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Some memory-boosting exercises like brain games or using apps designed to enhance memory can be beneficial. Some people even try apps with math problems to help them challenge their brains, helping to improve memory retention and other cognitive abilities.
However, the results vary from person to person, so finding the right exercises for you and consistent practice are key.
Drink Enough Water
Proper hydration is crucial for overall health, let alone optimal brain functions and getting better memory skills. Water is essential to deliver nutrients to your brain, removing toxins, and hydrating your whole network.
A good water intake daily can support cognitive function, improve concentration, and potentially enhance long-term memory.
Mindfulness has become a widely popular practice, with some exercises that include meditation and yoga could be helpful to improve cognitive functions and memory.
By bringing attention to the present moment, reducing stress, and even increasing focus can all be beneficial as practices to help your long-term memory.
This research on mindfulness and episodic memory performance found that long-term memory formation could be supported by certain practices like focused attention.
It also states that mindfulness training could help with free-recall memory performance, which basically means it is easier to recall information from your long-term information.
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to memory loss and cognitive decline. As researchers state, alcohol can disrupt the ability to form new long-term memories, while also impeding the recall of previously established long-term memories or the ability to retain new information.
So, in general, reduce your alcohol intake if you want to improve this type of brain function.
Repetition and rehearsal are two classic ways to improve your memory. Whether you are studying for an exam or languages, people can reinforce their neural pathways associated with the memories.
Basically practicing recall over and over, can help you build a quicker system whenever you need it. Some techniques include using self-testing, asking someone to help you memorize, or explaining the material to someone else.
Consider Brain-Boosting Supplements
A last alternative is getting some key vitamins and minerals that can help with overall brain health. Some supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and adaptogenic foods can be helpful to support brain health and other mental functions.
A balanced diet alongside a well-researched supplement might offer additional help for enhancing memory and cognitive function.
Best Supplements for Brain Power and Memory
If you are looking for a supplement that holds several potential benefits with an all-natural formula, the mental performance drink TUNE IN is perfect for these. Tune In can help you increase three of the most important hormones to help with focus: epinephrine, dopamine, and acetylcholine.
With superfoods and nootropics like cordyceps, alpha GPC, vitamin B1, Rhodiola rosea root extract, and ashwagandha root extract, you can get a boost to some of your mental capacities to aid your everyday tasks and help with memory in the long term through neuronal health.
This drink is caffeine-free, low-calorie, and vegan-friendly, perfect to fit in most dietary regimes. It also comes in two delicious flavors, Strawberry Lemonade and Tropical Punch flavors, with over 20 servings per jar.
Throughout this article we’ve reviewed the general gist of how to increase long-term memory, starting from what memory is, how long and short-term memory works, and some tips and activities that can potentially help you to increase your brain functions.
Some activities require constant practice, like rehearsal or mnemonic devices, while others are more general health-oriented, like lowering your alcohol intake, getting a better diet, exercising, and proper hydration.
Remember, you can also try safe, all-natural supplements with adaptogenic and nootropic ingredients that can potentially support brain functions like VYU’s Tune In. You can also subscribe to our newsletter to learn more about memory, wellness, and supplements to help you enhance these types of cognitive activities.
How to Increase Long-Term Memory: FAQs
Why is My Long-Term Memory So Poor?
Long-term memory loss can be caused by normal aging and other diagnoses, from dementia, mental health problems, and side effects to vitamin B-12 deficiency, brain injuries, and even oxygen loss.
What Destroys Long-Term Memory?
Long-term memory can be destroyed by aging, neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, and certain medications like antidepressants and antihistamines. Constant brain fog due to consumption of alcohol can also deteriorate long-term memory as well.
How Can I Improve My Long-Term Memory Naturally?
To improve your long-term naturally, you can try eating less added sugar, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and practicing mentally challenging activities like reading or puzzles. Incorporating foods that can help your brain, like nootropics, can also help with certain functions.
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