Everyone wants to improve, or at least maintain their memory. What if you could do so simply by resting for a few minutes? This is a simple trick I learned many years ago, and it’s been very effective for me. But now there’s a study that confirms what I’ve been doing works for others as well.
Here’s the trick I use: After I read complex medical articles, I often take a break and close my eyes for a few minutes. I don’t think about what I read or about what I intend to say in an article. I just rest. I’ve noticed that it really helps me maintain my focus. It turns out that this process also improves my memory. And it can work for you too.
A new study in the journal Psychological Science shows how effective this is. In the study, the researchers conducted two separate experiments with 33 adults between the ages of 61 and 87 years. To begin, the researchers had the participants listen to two short stories. They told them to remember as many details as possible. After reading the stories, the researchers divided the participants into two groups.
The first group played a computer game of “spot-the-difference” for 10 minutes. This is a game where they are shown two almost identical pictures on a computer screen. The participants had to point out two subtle differences in each pair. The researchers chose this game because it gave the participants new stimuli, it was nonverbal (unlike the story), and it required constant attention.
The second group took a 10-minute break, where they were to sit quietly with their eyes closed in a darkened room. The researchers told them they could daydream, think about the story, or let their mind wander. They just had to keep their eyes closed and weren’t allowed to take in any new information.
After 30 minutes, the researchers asked the participants to recall as much of the stories as they could. Then, one week later, they asked them to recall the stories again. The team or researchers found that those who had wakeful resting remembered a lot more of the story than those who played the game.
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According to the lead researcher, Michaela Dewar, the point at which we receive new information occurs at “a very early stage of memory formation and that further neural processes have to occur after this stage for us to be able to remember this information at a later point in time.”
We live in a world that constantly bombards us with new information. This can blur the information we acquire and prevent us from really remembering it. It now appears that giving our brain time to assimilate the information in a quiet and peaceful environment helps us remember far more than moving on to the next bit of information.
Wakeful resting may be a simple way to boost your memory. So take a few minutes every day to sit quietly with your eyes closed. It could make a huge difference in your ability to remember information. But don’t rely solely on this method. There’s so much more you can do for your memory. This includes a supplement with nutrients known to support brain function. Advanced Memory Formula
contains herbs, antioxidants, and other nutrients that can help improve your memory as well. It worked for my mother when she was in her 90s, and in many “youngsters” in their 70s and 80s. It can work for you too.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Petra Rattue. (2012, July 28). "Wakeful Resting Fights Memory Loss." Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248389.php.