There are those people that can be introduced to 30 people at once and successfully remember their names without effort. Then, there are those who cannot recall the name of the coworker who has sat in the cubical next to them for six months. There are people who can rattle off exit numbers, short cuts, backroads and ways to bypass traffic jams for a six hour trip across state lines. Then, there are those that struggle to remember if they take the left or right fork at that detour when they go to the grocery store. Some people have memories that make you think they should be wearing a deerstalker. Others make you think of Dory from “Finding Nemo.” Most people would prefer to be the former rather than the latter, but what if you are one that struggles to remember even basic things? Are you cursed to have terrible recall for the rest of your life? Thankfully, you have a great deal of neuroplasticity, so you can train your brain. Some people, admittedly, are blessed with better memories or math skills than others, but that does not mean you cannot teach your brain to get the most out of what you have. Here are six tricks for improving your memory and recall.
Get plenty of sleep.
Night owls and those convinced that they can train themselves to function without sleep are getting very tired of hearing that, if they want to improve their lives or health in any meaningful way, they need to get enough shut eye. Unfortunately for them, it is almost impossible to improve or even maintain your health if you are shorting your sleep. When it comes to your brain, sleep is even more important than it is for the rest of your body. Your brain relies on sleep to function properly, and a chronic lack of sleep can have permanent consequences. Even a few nights with less sleep can lead to big problems, and when you short yourself on sleep, your memory is one of the first things to go. Your brain uses the time when you are sleeping to organize and store your memories from the day. If you skip out on sleep, your brain ends up losing track of memories that it had no time to store. This is why college students often look back to find that they have few concrete memories of finals week.