Sick of catching yourself reading the same line in your textbook over and over because it just won’t sink in?
Are you suffering memory blanks when trying to remember whether the French Revolution started in 1789 or 1788, when your exam is tomorrow?
If your memory’s in need of boost, there are some simple tools to improve recall and speed of thought. We caught up with Dr Michael Wassman, a leading researcher in memory, to get the lowdown on the best ways to stay sharp.
1. Stop multitasking
When our memory fails us, it’s often because we weren’t fully paying attention when we first took the information in. So don’t fall for the illusion of multitasking. Be mindful, and concentrate on one thing at a time.
2. Write by hand
Many people report that simply writing something down – take your lecture notes, for example – helps them remember it later. Leave the laptop at home and pick up a pen.
Sleep-starved teenagers, rejoice! Research has proven sleep and napping is vital for consolidating and retaining memories.
4. Step away from the smartphone
We know it’s 2017 and your phone is everything, but extended use of technology can actually quite bad for your memory, so take regular digital detoxes.
5. Chew gum
Want to annoy your teachers and get good grades at the same time? Research has proven you should chew gum!
6. Remember to exercise
Sorry to tell you this, but it turns out your mum is right; a healthy diet and regular exercise is vital for healthy brain function.
Scientists at Harvard Medical School have found that meditating has positive effects on our ability to remember and incorporate facts. People who practice meditation are more able to screen out everyday distractions, so more important information can be processed.
8. Seek variety and challenge
Good news if you love playing games; research has found brain games, crosswords and other puzzles are all good ways to exercise the brain and keep it sharp. Make sure it’s slightly above the level you find comfortable, and vary the games you play.