Flower of the Mind. Image by Cottonbro.

Ways to Prevent and Reduce Loss of Short-Term Memory

The ability to remember things is critical to everyday life. Think about how tough it would be if you couldn’t remember where you lived or who you are related to. Certainly these sort of long-term memories play a huge role in your habits and identity. But what about those facts that you only need to keep handy for a little while? If you’ve ever suffered from a lapse or loss of short-term memory, you know just how difficult it can be to perform the current tasks at hand. So today I’m going to provide some information on how to understand short term memory, as well as ways to maintain and improve it.

What is Short-Term Memory?

Short-term memory may also be referred to as “working memory”, “active memory, “recent memory”, or “primary memory”. But regardless of the name, the meaning is pretty much the same. It is the capacity for holding a small amount of information in mind in an active, readily available state for a short period of time. However, that stored data is not yet being manipulated. This leads to two key features of short-term memory:

  • It is very brief. Unless they are actively rehearsed and maintained, short-term memories last only a few seconds.
  • It is limited. On average, a person can only hold about seven pieces of data in their short-term memory at one time.

Despite these seeming limitations, you use your short-term memory every day, probably without even thinking about it. For example, you may use this active memory to recall a phone number or website that has just been recited. But that is just scratching the surface! Your short-term memory system temporarily stores and manages information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks. These include such things as learning, reasoning, and comprehension.

So if you are having trouble picking up new concepts for school or work, you may be suffering from some lack or loss of short-term memory. The same may be true if you cannot hold all the facts and data in mind needed to solve a problem. If you constantly forget where you put your keys or where you parked… yup, this may be due to some short-term memory loss, too.

As you can see, this phenomenon is actually quite common. But that doesn’t mean you need just live with it. Use the knowledge and solutions below to protect and boost your short-term memory.

What Causes Short-Term Memory Loss?

The causes of short-term memory loss are numerous and varied. However, for the sake of this article, we can sort them into two groups. The first group are those causes that we can more easily manage ourselves. This includes things like stress, poor diet, fatigue, and lack of sleep. The second group typically requires professional intervention and assistance. This would be things like physical trauma, chronic illness, and other neurological issues. Accordingly, the treatments for short-term memory loss vary, and are dependent upon the specific cause.

As a slight side note, I have to clarify that sometimes what we think of as “not remembering” may not have anything to do with memory at all. It may be a symptom of inattentiveness. As an example: you may have been distracted with other thoughts -like what you’re going to cook for dinner- and simply didn’t catch the tidbit of data you are now trying to recall. In order for anything to be a memory, either long- or short-term, it had to receive some attention. If you simply lack the focus to even create the memory in the first place, this is a different issue. But not to worry, I can help with this, too!

Can't Remember... Image by Ann H.

Ways to Minimize Short-Term Memory Loss

We always recommend checking with your doctor if you are suffering from any ailments or symptoms that detract from your normal life. This is an important step to ensure that you catch any serious problems early, and to confirm that any at-home treatment will not make things worse. This is especially important when it comes to things like short-term memory loss and the “second group” of causes noted above.

A physician can properly diagnose -and provide appropriate treatment for- such things as dementia, brain tumors, head/brain injuries and infections, clinical depression and more. And to be clear, they are your best resource for getting the best remedy for any chronic malady that is affecting your memory.

That said, there are plenty of things we can all do on our own to help prevent, reduce, and treat short-term memory loss related to “group one” above. Here are simple ways to protect and improve your short-term memory:

Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced, whole-foods diet full of all your necessary nutrients is essential for maintaining your physical fitness. Similarly, micronutrients play a vital role in maintaining your neurological health. In general, you want to consume a full battery of your daily recommended values for all nutrients, vitamins and minerals in order for all your body’s and brain’s functions to work properly. But when looking to give an extra boost to your brain and memory power, you’ll want to focus on three specific nutrients:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids help build cell membranes in the brain. They may also protect brain cells via the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects they provide. Fish are an excellent source of omega3’s. To increase your consumption, follow our tips to make sashimi sushi at home.
  • Vitamin E has been shown to help with brain health by reducing oxidative stress. This fat-soluble vitamin is bountiful in leafy greens and nuts, so go ahead and enjoy an extra serving of our super salad!
  • Vitamins B6, B9 and B12 help produce energy needed to develop new brain cells. Even more remarkably, they assist in breaking down homocysteine, a compound which has been associated with a greater risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Read: Foods That Are Good For Your Brain


Boost Your Brain With NeuroFuel

Natural Stacks NeuroFuel

To further increase your mental performance, add nootropic supplements such as Natural Stack’s NeuroFuel to your daily routine. This scientifically-tested formula contains natural ingredients that are combined specifically to provide better brain performance. Some of these include:

  • Luteolin from artichoke extract inhibits PDE4, which is an enzyme that breaks down your neurotransmitter molecules. In return you can expect increased cognition, improved long term memory, increased wakefulness, and neuroprotection.
  • Forskolin is a traditional plant derivative that supports production and health of neurotransmitters.
  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is involved in energy metabolism and mitochondrial protection, so helps combat feelings of brain fog and fatigue.

All of these powerful compounds combine to provide users with extensive positive effects such as:
– Increased motivation and mental endurance.
– Improved concentration and alertness.
– Improved mood and social ease.
– Enhanced ability to study and learn new information.

You should notice that not only do these effects help with memory, but they also help with attentiveness! So almost like a 2-for-1 deal, you’ll be better prepared to pay attention and form new memories (short-term and long-term), and you’ll be better at remembering them when you need to!

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Exercise for a Fit Body and a Fit Mind

Hana with Resistance Bands

Many people don’t realize this, but physical exercise actually has a significant impact on short-term memory. Several studies have shown that even 30 minutes of moderate activity either right before or after forming new memories can help users better recall those memories. This likely due to the increased blood flow and the upregulated release of neurotrophic factors. So in order to stimulate your body and support your brain, try working out either right before you study or directly afterwards.


Work Out With Us – Follow Our Exercise Routines!


Reduce Stress and Get Good Sleep

I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed, I don’t sleep well. And when I don’t sleep well, I get stressed. This can be an endless, vicious cycle that impacts many aspects of life, especially things like mood, mental performance and memory recall. This makes sense because, stress can be a distractor that negatively impacts cognitive function. Moreover, sleep is important for both physical and mental recovery, as well as reinforcing memories. If this problem sounds familiar, here are three simple things you can do to reduce stress, get back to a better sleep routine, and improve your short-term memory.

Get Active

Jogging Exercise. Image by Pixabay.

It turns out that working out can help in more ways than listed above. Exercise can also boost memory and thinking indirectly by improving mood and sleep, and by reducing stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment. So, again, check out our workout routines linked above and make it a point to get active on a regular basis.

Meditate

Meditating. Image by Cottonbro.

Meditation comes in many forms, but all methods lead to the same positive results. Whether you’ve been triggered by a certain even or person, or if the stress has been accumulating, taking time to meditate is a great way to get centered again. The goal is to let go of whatever is causing the anxiety and just be in the present. Here are some things I like to remember/do that quickly being me out of a funk:

Practice Gratitude
Accept Perfect Imperfection with Wabi-Sabi
Enjoy Today Because the Clouds Will Pass

Get Good Sleep

Without the appropriate amount of sleep, your brain does not have time to recuperate from all work it put in during the day. It needs this downtime in order to repair the wear and tear it incurs, and to replenish its nutrient reserves. After all, even a well-tuned Ferrari engine needs regular rest, maintenance and refueling, too. When you miss sleep you are likely to see a decline in a number of cognitive functions the next day. Sometimes an all-nighter is necessary to get the job done, but in general, make it a point to get in a solid 6-8 hours of shut-eye every day. Do this by turning off all screens at least an hour before bedtime, avoiding alcohol and food at least 2-3 hours before tucking in, and turning your phone alerts off.

Increase Your Calm and your Sleep with MagTech

Natural Stacks MagTech

Sometimes simply knowing the above, and practicing it, may not be enough. When you need some extra help unwinding and falling -and staying- asleep, we suggest using a magnesium supplement such as MagTech. Magnesium has long been used for its calming and sleep-promoting powers. What makes MagTech different is its proprietary blend of three types of magnesium compounds which bring even more benfits.

  • Magnesium-L-Threonate has been shown to significantly increase the brain’s number of synaptic connections & density. In turn, it enhances both short-term and long-term memory.
  • Magnesium Glycinate is highly absorbable by your body. This makes it an ideal delivery method for glycine, an amino acid that promotes deep sleep.
  • Magnesium Taurate delivers taurine to the brain and body. Magnesium and this important amino acid work together to stabilize cell membranes throughout the central nervous system and maintain neurotransmitter balance. Importantly, taurine ward off the age-related decline in cognitive functions.

To sum it up, these three ingredients work together to:
– Support healthy cognitive aging.
– Support healthy learning and memory.
– Promote relaxation and support quality sleep.

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Loss of short-term memory is a common problem that can hinder learning and performance at work. Luckily, the remedies I’ve listed above are easy to access and implement. I hope you find these helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions -or an experience you’d like to share- please drop your comments in the box below. Thanks!


Mental Performance Stack from Natural Stacks

The team at Natural Stacks believe “Better Brain. Better Life.
They back this up by offering an awesome assortment of Natural Nootropics designed to improve your quality of life by improving your mind.



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Dave Hughes

Editor and Contributing Author at Kaldzar

Certified Biologist and Data Scientist
Constantly curious; Curiously compassionate
.


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