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10 Ways to Improve Your Memory

10 Ways to Improve Your Memory

Aug. 23rd, 2022

Your brain works each day to help you remember fond memories, important people, fun events, and upcoming deadlines. While the brain generally finishes maturing in your twenties, you can continue to learn and improve your memory throughout your lifetime.

Here are 10 ways you can improve your memory and retain more information, no matter how old you are.

How to Improve Memory

  1. Learn a new skill. The brain is like a muscle, and utilizing it often will keep it healthy and useful. Learning new skills can be one way to freshen up your routine and improve your memory retention. Skills that can challenge your brain include learning an instrument, languages, art, and brain teasers. You can enroll in a class to learn a new skill or study your chosen skill at your own pace in your home.
  2. Get enough sleep. Sleep and memory are interconnected, with research showing that memories made throughout the day are retained during the slow-wave sleep cycle. It is also hypothesized that rapid-eye movement sleep (REM sleep) plays a role in memory consolidation.1 You should aim to get around 7-9 hours of sleep at night.
  3. Use repetition and retrieval. Studies show that a combination of repetition and retrieval can help improve memory retention. Repetition involves repeating something, writing it down, or rehearsing what you hear aloud. Retrieval involves remembering what you learned without notes or hints.2
  4. Eat less sugar. Sugar intake is directly linked to brain volume, with one study finding that those who consumed less sugar had larger brain regions than those who didn’t.3 Studies show that poor diets can have a negative impact on memory retention and reduce the amount of brain volume over time.4
  5. Practice meditation. If you’re looking to improve your memory, meditation is a great option. Studies show that meditation over time can increase the amount of gray matter in the brain, which controls our memory, emotions, and movement.5
  6. Drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol can disrupt the formation of new long-term memories as well as interrupt the process of creating short-term memories. In one study, college students who often drank 6 or more drinks in a short period performed worse on memory recall tests. There was a link found between the hippocampus and alcohol, which could impact a person’s overall memory retention.6
  7. Exercise often. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise can improve learning, thinking, and problem-solving. Physical activity can protect the brain against cognitive decline, preventing conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. The CDC recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of exercise a week to stay healthy.7
  8. Drink more caffeine. Caffeine might help improve memory retention, with a 2014 study finding that those who drank 200 milligrams of caffeine performed better on recall tests than those who did not. Caffeine may have a positive impact on short term memory. Good sources of caffeine include coffee and tea that do not contain extra additives or sugars.8
  9. Eat dark chocolate. Research has found that dark chocolate might improve our memory retention because it increases blood flow to the brain. In one study, the researchers found that 70% cocoa dark chocolate can improve episodic memory. They estimate eating roughly 35g of dark chocolate a day might have a positive impact on memory.9
  10. Maintain weight. There are many drawbacks to obesity, with science finding that weight gain is correlated to brain health. One reason why obesity may impact memory is a diet high in calories may lead to brain inflammation that can put you at risk for brain disorders. Eating a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, and whole foods can help you maintain a healthy weight and keep your brain strong.8

Learn How to Retain more Information Today

While no one thing will improve your memory overnight, practicing these healthy habits is one way you can work on your brain health. Over time, your brain connections will grow stronger and your memory will improve.

To learn more about Saber Healthcare and the nursing and rehabilitation we provide, check out our locations and services we offer.

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.


  1. “7 Reasons Why Getting Enough Sleep is Important.” Saber Healthcare Group. 16 August 2021. Accessed 22 August 2022. Link:
  2. Karpicke, Jeffery. “A powerful way to improve learning and memory.” American Psychological Organization. Accessed 22 August 2022. Link:
  3. Pase, Matthew P et al. “Sugary beverage intake and preclinical Alzheimer's disease in the community.” Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 13,9 (2017): 955-964. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2017.01.024 Link:
  4. Beilharz, J E et al. “Short-term exposure to a diet high in fat and sugar, or liquid sugar, selectively impairs hippocampal-dependent memory, with differential impacts on inflammation.” Behavioural brain research 306 (2016): 1-7. doi:10.1016/j.bbr.2016.03.018 Link:
  5. Tang R, Friston KJ, Tang YY. Brief Mindfulness Meditation Induces Gray Matter Changes in a Brain Hub. Neural Plast. 2020 Nov 16;2020:8830005. doi: 10.1155/2020/8830005. PMID: 33299395; PMCID: PMC7704181. Link:,24%2C%2044%E2%80%9346%5D.
  6. Carbia C, Cadaveira F, Caamaño-Isorna F, Rodríguez-Holguín S, Corral M. Binge drinking during adolescence and young adulthood is associated with deficits in verbal episodic memory. PLoS One. 2017 Feb 2;12(2):e0171393. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171393. PMID: 28152062; PMCID: PMC5289570. Link:
  7. “Physical Activity Boosts Brain Health.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 21 May 2022. Accessed 22 August 2022. “Link:,and%20reduce%20anxiety%20or%20depression.
  8. Johnson, John. Legg, Timothy, ed. “How to improve your memory: 8 techniques to try.” MedicalNewsToday. Accessed 15 August 2019. Link:
  9. Lamport DJ, Christodoulou E, Achilleos C. Beneficial Effects of Dark Chocolate for Episodic Memory in Healthy Young Adults: A Parallel-Groups Acute Intervention with a White Chocolate Control. Nutrients. 2020 Feb 14;12(2):483. doi: 10.3390/nu12020483. PMID: 32075015; PMCID: PMC7071338. Link: