Frequent Memory Lapses? Five ways to help sharpen up your brain

Memory playing up? Forgot the name of, er, thingy? Don’t worry, says Daniela Soave – just start brain training!

It’s easy to be ironic and label our increasingly frequent memory lapses as ‘senior moments’ but recent research suggests that middle-aged memory lapse has less to do with the brain slowing down than being over crammed with irrelevant information. As we grow older we lose the ability to de-clutter our minds and useless facts interfere with our concentration.

The experts recommend that we spring-clean our minds, though it’s not as if our brains are  filing cabinets that we can physically empty. Here are five ways to declutter our brains and improve our memories:

1. Drink water

Keep up your fluid intake, too: a 2% loss of body water can make it hard to focus and cause fuzziness, short-term memory loss.

2.  Add to your diet

Take good quality fish oil capsules, as an Omega-3 deficiency can hamper your concentration. And eat a diet rich in dark green vegetables, salmon, bananas, avocados and blueberries, all of which improve brain function.

3.  Train your brain

Aim to build some form of brain training into your daily schedule.   Sudoku, crosswords, electronic brain-training games or exercises on your computer all help.  There are numerous websites dedicated to improving concentration and memory. Even simple tasks such as mentally totting up the bill as you shop in the supermarket, or memorising a short list instead of writing it down, can help hone your brain.

4.  Acquire new skills

Learn a new language or a musical instrument – the neurone and connections in your brain will increase.

5.  Rest

Obvious but it helps – sleep more and avoid stress