How to Increase Memory & Concentration

A trustworthy memory and the ability to concentrate are essential in everyday tasks, work situations and driving. Faulty memory is not just the domain of the old. A young person can improve her memory as well. Concentration, on the other hand, is often thought of as a school child’s problem. Yet people of all ages can benefit from working to improve their concentration and attention span. Take care of your body and mind to improve your memory and concentration.


    • 1

      Exercise regularly. A study by Sejnowski and colleagues published on November 9, 1999 in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” and reported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute showed a correlation between exercise and memory in mice. The mice were put through a swimming task which tested their ability to remember the position of a platform. The mice which had exercised found the platform more quickly and directly than the sedentary mice. The scientists also studied the brain tissue of the two groups of mice and found 2.5 more new nerve cells in the brains of the exercised mice.

    • 2

      Eat right, starting with a healthful breakfast every day. New Scientist recommends beans on toast for the biggest boost to brain power in the morning. The magazine recommends an omelet and salad for lunch; eggs contain an ingredient called choline, which helps the brain produce an important neurotransmitter to increase brain function. Yogurt is also suggested, as well as foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon.

    • 3

      Get enough sleep. An article in the LA Times by The Associated Press reports that sleep deprivation decreases memory and concentration. Fatigue, they say, is a contributing factor in many auto accidents. According to the AP, a 1990 study by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that driver fatigue was the primary cause of 31 percent of the accidents studied.

    • 4

      Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water. In the 2007 Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Harris R. Lieberman, PhD, presents an article, “Hydration and Cognition: A Critical Review and Recommendations for Future Research.” Although the article states that the subject is difficult to study and still needs further research, it concludes that, “Since severe dehydration inevitably leads to delirium, coma, and death, there is no question that it will produce decrements in cognitive function before such severe consequences are present.”

    • 5

      Try herbal supplements. Ask your doctor about using gingko biloba, magnesium, fish oil, or rhodiola supplements. Natural Home Magazine suggests that all these supplements can aid in memory and attention span.

    • 6

      Keep mentally active. Try crossword puzzles, number games and memorizing trivia. The more you use your mind, the better it will serve you.

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  • Photo Credit Man on the exercise bike image by Elzbieta Sekowska from

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