How to Improve Your Memory

Can't remember names, dates — or even why you walked into a room? Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to increase your memory power.

You will need

  • A puzzle game
  • Grape juice
  • Dried or fresh rosemary and/or sage
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Catnaps
  • A relaxation technique
  • An active social life
  • The herb bacopa
  • Blueberries

Step 1 Play games Do crossword puzzles, play Sudoku, take up bridge — games like these stimulate the mind, helping the brain grow new neural pathways, improving your mental ability.

Step 2 Drink grape juice Drink purple grape juice (not white). Research has found that drinking eight ounces of Concord grape juice a day improves memory by 20%, thanks in part to loads of antioxidants.

Step 3 Spice things up Both rosemary and sage improve people’s scores on word-recall tests by stimulating the brain’s memory center. In fact, students in ancient Greece wore sprigs of rosemary in their hair on test days.

Step 4 Dance! Hit the dance floor, jog, or do anything that gets your pulse racing. Physical activity rushes oxygen to the brain and builds new cells in the brain region linked to memory.

Step 5 Take naps If you can possibly swing it, take naps. Research has found that people who squeeze in a catnap during the day retain twice as much of the information they learned that day as those who don’t.

Step 6 De-stress yourself De-stress yourself by taking up yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. When you’re stressed, the brain activates an enzyme that impairs short-term memory.

Step 7 Be a social butterfly Be a social butterfly. One study found that people who socialize regularly do far better on memory tests than their less outgoing counterparts, since participating in conversations exercises the brain.

Step 8 Eat blueberries Have a handful of blueberries each day. Blueberries contain a chemical that dramatically improves memory, and a half-cup is all you need to get the benefit.

Step 9 Move your eyes Moving your eyes side to side for 30 seconds every morning can improve memory by ten percent. How? It gets the two sides of the brain working in harmony.