Senior man doing a crossword puzzle

Senior Brain Boosters: 5 Tips to Halt Memory Loss

We all forget things once in a while, but this tends to happen more frequently as you get older. If you’ve started to notice that you have trouble remembering what day it is or where you put your car keys, it may be time to do something about it. Here are five things you can do to improve your memory as you get older.

1. Improve Your Memory with More Sleep

Regardless of your age, your memory will suffer if you don’t get enough sleep. When you’re sleeping, the brain processes all the events of the day and turns them into memories. If you don’t give your brain a chance to do that for at least eight hours every night while you sleep, you could disturb the memory process, which in turn will affect the rest of your day.

So make sure you get about seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you fall far short of that on a consistent basis, it may be time to see your doctor to find out why you are having trouble sleeping. Note that even taking a nap or two during the day can benefit your brain, so your sleep doesn’t all have to be at nighttime in order to improve your memory power.

2. Work Out Your Brain

Now you know how important it is to let your brain rest every night for at least seven hours. But it’s equally critical to give it a regular workout. Exercising your brain can build up your power to remember important things.

So how do you exercise your brain enough to improve your memory? Give it some work to do! You can start by doing crossword puzzles or playing chess on a regular basis. Learning a new skill—such as a hobby, instrument or language—can also give your brain a good workout. The more you use it, the better, which is why even simply memorizing lists or reading more can help improve your memory. You can also get brain-boosting benefits from journaling at any age.

3. Stay Organized

If you’re constantly having trouble remembering where your keys, wallet, phone, and other essentials are, working on your organization skills can help. This means getting in the habit of putting your things in the same spot every day.

Designate an area—such as a table in the entryway of your house—where you can place everything once you get home. Just make sure you don’t let that area get cluttered and disorganized or you’ll still have trouble finding important objects! So consider putting up some hooks on the wall where you can hang purses, bags, hats, sunglasses, and keys. Then set out a small bowl or bin where you can place your wallet, coins, and other important items.

4. Work Out Your Body

Another way to boost your memory as you get older is to work out, and this time, we’re referring to your body—not just your brain. Studies show that physical activity can actually revitalize brain cells, which can help you think more clearly and remember more. These benefits are great at any age, but especially as you get older and worry more about your memory.

If you’re thinking about working out more to improve your memory, note that the most effective option is aerobic exercise, since this increases blood flow in the body and brain. Plus, exercise can relieve stress and help you let go of negative feelings, and this has also been found to improve the memory and benefit the brain overall. If you can’t start up vigorous aerobic workouts at this time, you can at least start walking regularly. You’ll also benefit from trying out stationary exercises, as well as yoga poses for seniors.

5. Make It a Point To Be Social

Another way to improve your memory as you age is to be social. After all, interacting with other people—whether through telling stories, listening to others or asking questions—can give your brain the workout it needs to be at its best. In particular, talking to younger people, such as grandkids, can help your brain. This is a great time to relay your own stories from when you were younger, allowing you to share some of your wisdom with the next generation. Of course, talking to your friends and family who are closer to your own age can be beneficial to your brain, as well.

You can get even more out of your social interactions by working out your brain at the same time. So get together with friends or ask your grandkids to teach you how to play the latest video game or board game. The more you do this, the more you’ll be able to remember as you get older.

In short, you can start to improve your memory by making sure you get enough sleep, social interaction and physical activity. And along the way, try to get a little more organized at home, and save some time to do crossword puzzles or other brain-boosting activities on a regular basis.

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