You might chalk up misplacing your keys or not remembering your neighbor’s name as simple forgetfulness. But for many, these lapses may signal the onset of memory loss.
Dr. Richard Abbey and our team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California offer support for people who have memory problems and other symptoms of cognitive decline. We use advanced, state-of-the-art brain training solutions, including neurofeedback and light therapy, that can boost your memory so you feel more like yourself again.
If you’re worried about memory loss, here are some tips and tricks that can help keep your brain healthy and sharp.
Engage in regular physical activity
Exercise isn’t just good for your health and your mood — it’s also good for your brain. Regular physical activity increases blood flow throughout your body, including your brain. The American Academy of Neurology recommends exercise at least twice a week as a way to help people with mild cognitive impairment prevent their symptoms from progressing.
If you find you don’t have enough time to get in regular exercise, we offer Cyclic Variations in Adaptive Conditioning™ (CVAC), a whole-body adaptive conditioning program that helps you get the physical and mental benefits of exercise in less time.
Get a good night’s sleep
When you sleep, your brain gets to work storing and consolidating your memories. When you don’t get sufficient sleep, your brain doesn’t have the chance to make this happen.
Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to keep your brain healthy. To get the best sleep possible, try to get to bed and wake up around the same time every day, and free your bedroom of anything that may interfere with sleep (like your cell phone or a TV).
A lot of times, your memory fails you because you’re disorganized. When there’s too much clutter — either in your brain or physically — it can make it hard to remember where things are, what you need to be doing, or when you’ve scheduled your appointments.
Start by decluttering your house so you can easily find things, and then create checklists and notes to help you organize your tasks. Make a dedicated spot in your home or office for where things go so you aren’t constantly wondering where your keys and phone have wandered off to. Keep a calendar so you don’t forget important dates, meetings, and appointments.
Manage any chronic conditions
Managing chronic conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, depression, and high cholesterol can help boost your memory. Be sure to stay on top of regular doctors’ appointments, and take all medications prescribed to help manage your condition.
If you’re having memory issues, also be sure to mention that to your health care provider, as some medications can affect memory.
Train your brain
Your brain is much like any other muscle — the more you train it, the stronger it becomes. One way to do this is to create mnemonic devices for things you need to remember. Mnemonics are clues that can help associate the information you need to remember with a visual image, word, or sentence that’s easy to remember.
If you have problems with short-term memory recall, we can help with Cogmed Working Memory Training®. Through memory training, we give you exercises to strengthen your working memory in order to improve your overall memory.
If you’re concerned about memory problems or other symptoms of cognitive decline, we’re here to help. Call our office at 650-215-6840, or book an appointment online today.