What Do We Mean by Short-Term Memory Loss?
Short term memory of an individual is defined as information that gets stored in the brain for a short period of time normally for 5-10 minutes at maximum. Short term memory comes to use in remembering phone numbers, while multitasking, remembering to switch off the washing machine after 15 minutes and other household and official chores.
The information stored in short term memory quickly disappears if the task remains incomplete or if it is not noted down. The short term memory of a person acts as a filter of what information needs to be permanently stored in the brain and what needs to be washed off. This allows the brain to be relatively stress-free. Short Term Memory loss occurs when an individual is not able to remember recent events, dates, anniversaries, numbers or things to do on a particular day.
There can be various reasons for short term memory loss like a head injury, vitamin deficiencies or certain medications that affect the memory as a side effect. Below mentioned are certain guidelines to Improve Short Term Memory Loss.
How to Improve Short-Term Memory Loss?
Short-term Memory Loss is an extremely embarrassing and frustrating condition. However, following certain guidelines can prevent it from getting worse. Some of the basic ways to boost memory and improve brain health are:
- Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet and avoiding any processed food and excess sugar.
- Get lots of sleep, exercise regularly, and keep the brain occupied by reading books, solving puzzles and the like.
- Try and avoid stressful situations and cope with stress by indulging in yoga or other exercise forms.
- Take supplements that improve your brain health.
Diets to Help Improve Short Term Memory Loss:
Healthy Diet: To boost brain health and improve short term memory loss, follow a diet regimen that is balanced and has all the ingredients to enhance brain function.(1) Mediterranean diet by far is the most balanced diet forms and is preferred for people suffering from short term memory loss.(2) Additionally, certain other food products like dark chocolate also has shown to improve memory.(3)
Dark Chocolate: Studies conducted have proved that by just having a couple of cups of hot chocolate improved short term memory by around 40%, which speaks volumes of how chocolate can improve short term memory loss. Among all forms of chocolate, dark chocolate is believed to be the most efficacious for brain health.(3, 4)
Ginger: Ginger is yet another food that has been used since ages to boost memory and treat conditions like dementia.(5, 6) Studies showed that when people with memory deficits were given ginger supplements or diet rich in ginger content their working memory improved along with their focus and concentration levels.
Caffeine: Caffeine is a beverage that is known to boost memory.(4) Studies have shown that caffeinated beverages improve not only short term memory, but also long term memory. Thus, if you start your day with some hot coffee then it is good news for you.
Drinking Lots of Water: Fluid intake is yet another way of improving short term memory.(7) A recent study conducted reveals that more than 70% of people in US do not consume enough liquid and are literally dehydrated. Dehydration makes the brain shrink affecting memory of the individual, especially short term memory in addition to overall focus and concentration.
Avoid Sugar & Processed Food: White Sugar is a food that needs to be avoided in individuals with short term memory loss.(4) Sugar causes inflammation in the brain, can also inflict damage to the neurons, and affect overall thinking ability.(8) It also affects memory loss by increasing sugar levels in the body.
Supplements for Short-Term Memory Loss
There are numerous supplements that claim to improve memory loss, but the fact of the matter is that only a few really help. Some of the supplements that have proved to efficacious for short term memory loss are:
Ginkgo Biloba: This is perhaps the most used supplement across the globe for any ailment including short term memory loss.(9) Ginkgo Biloba is useful in treating many medical conditions and memory loss is no exception.(9) Gingko Biloba has all the ingredients present in it, which enhances memory power and improves brain health.
Magnesium Chelate: This is a supplement which allows passage of magnesium into the brain and improves brain function. Magnesium Chelate aids in improving short term memory loss, as well as improving long term memory of an individual.(10) While taking magnesium supplements, caution should be maintained to not take magnesium sulfate as this is detrimental for overall brain health and may even worsen short term memory loss. Magnesium sulfate is one of the ingredients used in Epsom Salt and thus people with short term memory loss should avoid taking Epsom salts.
DHA: This supplement is extremely rich in omega 3 and fatty acids, which help in healthy brain functioning and thus improve short term memory loss.(11) Low levels of DHA in the body often lead to a small brain structurally, which affects the working or short term memory of the individual. Food rich in DHA is fish oil and has proved to increase brain power by about 25%.
American Ginseng: This is yet another supplement that is good for improving short term memory loss. It is a natural source for enhancing cognitive skills and its ability of improving short term memory loss can become evident by just a single dose of the supplement.
Improving Short-Term Memory Loss with Restful Sleep(4)
A recent survey conducted in the United States found out that almost 40% of the total population in the United States is deprived of a restful sleep. Majority of the people mentioned in the survey that they had trouble falling and staying asleep through the night. Getting at least eight hours of restful sleep is a must for every individual to stay fit and healthy. Lack of sleep significantly affects both cognition and memory. It is when an individual is asleep when new brain cells are created, memories restored, and any metabolic debris is eliminated. Sleep is the time when more important things that were done recently and are important to be remembered for long is moved from short-term memory to long-term memory.
If an individual does not get a restful sleep, then it limits the amount of information that the brain can hold in the short-term memory and thus causing short-term memory loss. Thus, if you have problem falling asleep or staying asleep, then a consultation with a sleep clinic is a must to improve and enhance brain function.
Improving Short-Term Memory Loss Through Exercise(4)
Regular physical exercise is extremely important for good health. To improve short-term memory loss, cardiovascular exercises are extremely helpful as it prevents the hippocampus, which is where all the memory is stored from deteriorating. By exercising, it does not mean that an individual has to put in a lot of hours in the gym.
Exercising for 20 minutes on the treadmill or walking for half-an-hour everyday can be ideal for improving short-term memory loss. Yoga has also shown to be very efficacious in boosting memory and improving short-term memory loss.
Other Techniques to Improve Short Term Memory Loss
If you are suffering from short-term memory loss, then practicing the following techniques can help improve your memory:
To-Do List: Individuals with Short-Term Memory Loss can improve their memory by writing things down. They can begin by writing down a list of what they want to accomplish during the course of the day. Writing improves concentration and thus helps in remembering things better.
One Job at a Time: For individuals with Short-Term memory Loss, it is always better to avoid multitasking. Do one thing at a time. For example, do not wash clothes and do the dishes at the same time. It takes time for the brain to process information and thus it is better to wash clothes first and then do the dishes.
Avoid Distractions: People with Short-term Memory Loss should avoid distractions. For example, if an individual gets distracted on way to the bedroom, then he may forget why he went there in the first place.
Short-Term memory Loss refers to a condition in which the brain is not able to retain information of recent events. However, there are certain lifestyle modifications along with diet that may help improve it. Eating a well-balanced diet, having plenty of sleep, coping with stress in a healthful manner, avoiding alcoholic beverages, and taking healthy supplements can also help to enhance memory power and significantly improve the ability of an individual to retain information.
- Sugar causes inflammation in the brain, can also inflict damage to the neurons
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