You’ve probably experienced embarrassing moments because of short-term memory loss.
It’s awkward when you can’t remember someone’s name when you met only ten minutes earlier. It’s also frustrating to find the keys that you put away only five minutes before. You can avoid these situations if you know what causes short-term memory loss. You may feel surprised that you do most of them, unconsciously, every day.
10 Things That Cause Short-Term Memory Loss
Various studies suggest that bad personal habits and poor lifestyle choices may lead to cognitive impairment. You may do everyday things that may impact your brain without realizing it.
1. Not Getting Enough Sleep
First of all, you may lack the 8 hours of sleep that you sorely need. Those who don’t get enough of it are at risk of cognitive impairment. Short-term memory loss happens because the body doesn’t have the chance to regenerate new cells. Brigham and Women’s Hospital has discovered that getting at least seven hours of sleep can help to keep one’s memory intact.
Telling you to not worry at all is like asking the sun not to shine. Experts suggest finding ways to relax, especially in the midst of intense stress, difficult as it is.
Studies prove that stress increases cortisol in the brain. Researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered as much, and other studies echo their findings.
3. No sunlight
Are you a fan of the indoors? It’s time to expand your interests.
What you need is some time in the sun. Exposure to sunlight combats Vitamin D deficiency and consequently, cognitive decline.
4. Lack of Vitamins and Minerals
Another reason you may feel fatigued during the day is that you haven’t had enough vegetables. Eating healthy foods will reduce this problem.
Furthermore, studies prove that cognition, including short-term memory, improves with an intake of Vitamin B6.
5. Listening to loud music
Are you fond of plugging in your headphones and listening to music at full volume? It’s not wise, according to experts. Listening to music at full volume may cause deafness, as well as short-term memory loss. A study of non-musicians found that listening to soft, emotional music increases a person’s capacity to recognize faces.
Smoking is another brain-cell killer. If you light up regularly, you’ll not only disrupt your heart and lung functions but also prevent oxygen from flowing to your brain. This study proves that midlifers experience a cognitive decline when they smoke.
7. Lazing around
Being a couch potato is nearly everyone’s favorite weekend activity. Unfortunately, it can affect your short-term memory and other cognitive functions. It’s always advisable to try new activities or update your skills.
8. Not Exercising
Also, you may not necessarily have to train for a marathon, but do set up a regular exercise routine. Studies prove that it increase the volume of blood in the brain and other cognitive enhancements.
9. Taking alcohol
You’ll already know that alcohol can numb your mind, but you may not appreciate its full effects. A study found that alcohol increases a person’s risk of damaging the brain over time.
10. Going On A High-Fat Diet
Finally, a McDonald’s Big Mac does more than make you drool. Delicious as it is, it may slow your brain functions. According to a study, high-fat also causes aging.
How to Improve Your Memory
So how do you improve your short-term memory? These simple, but foolproof strategies may help.
First of all, prepare healthy meals for yourself. Foods like cauliflower, curry, broccoli, walnuts and crab contain antioxidants that improve brain health.
Exercise also stimulates the brain. It triggers proteins called neurotrophic factors. They improve cognitive functions, including short-term memory.
And then, stop multitasking because it may slow you down. You’re not mindful. Mindfulness can help you focus.
Another way to improve your memory is to get a good night’s rest. Brain cell growth, or neurogenesis, occurs while you sleep. This process has an impact on learning and memory.
Furthermore, challenge your brain. Play Brain Games. Computer applications such as Lumosity and Cognifit Brain Fitness all help to improve brain health.
Finally, use Mnemonics. Acronyms like PUG for Pack Up Grapes will make itemizing your task list fun. You’ll also remember your to-do list at the back of your hand.
In conclusion, having a poor short-term memory isn’t all bad news. There are strategies that you can put in place to make sure that it’s in tip-top shape.