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How many people’s birthdays do you remember? More than you can count on one hand? Sure, these days social media and technology make it easy to simply set reminders for dates and deadlines. But your brain is the most important muscle in your body. And it needs exercise! What better way to do just that than by working to improve your powers to recall.

So here are 10 tips to improve your memory according to science.

1. Watch Less Television

Recent scientific studies connect memory loss and poor recollection to the act of binge-watching TV. In fact, for people within the age bracket of 40 and 60, watching more than 4 hours of television daily can increase the risk of dementia. So all those hours you spend procrastinating and watching Game of Thrones can have more disastrous long term effects than just leaving you behind schedule.

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2. Exercise Daily

Don’t worry you don’t need to spend hours at the gym. All you need is to put aside 10 minutes during your busy day – either in the morning or before bed – where you will exercise every day. Because this period of physical activity strengthens the link between the parts of the brain associated with memory, specifically the dentate gyrus and hippocampus.

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3. Regular Sleep Patterns

Sleeping is important. Often students stay up all night studying before exams. But that is a completely wrong strategy to follow. Because when you are sleeping your brain is permanently storing all you learned during the day. So having regular sleep patterns is essential if you want to improve your memory. Additionally, the average person requires 8 to 10 hours of daily sleep.

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4. Stimulants

Stimulants like coffee and tea have been known to improve memory. Starting your day with a caffeinated beverage a surefire way to boost your brain’s ability. And there is scientific proof backing this strategy. When John Hopkins researchers tested volunteers by giving half of them caffeine pills and the other half placebos the results were startling. The caffeine group proved themselves better able to recollect images.

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5. Foods That Boost Memory

There are certain foods that can definitely boost your memory. Specifically, foods containing chemicals called flavonoids. For example, blueberries and cocoa. And getting these items into your diet is now easier than ever. All you need to do is add a daily healthy smoothie to your diet. The results will be instantaneous.

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6. Try Acronyms

Like all muscles the brain needs exercise. So if you’re trying to improve your memory it is only logical to assume that you will need to practice. Try remembering a list of items every day. Use the first letters of each item to form an easy to remember acronym. You can do this with grocery lists, daily tasks or even a word list. And soon your ability to recall information will be unparalleled.

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7. Meditation

Studies show that meditation has a host of benefits for the human brain. And one of these happens to be an improved memorization ability. So spend 10-15 minutes every day in mindful meditation. During this time you block out all excess information and distractions. This allows you to focus solely on increasing your ability to concentrate.

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8. Chewing Gum

This is not a scientifically proven method. In fact, there are dozens of contradictory studies out there regarding whether or not chewing gum can help improve memory. However, there are no harms associated with chewing gum. So why not try it. After all, some studies do link chewing gum to stronger mental connections between memories.

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9. Fish Oil Supplements

Fish oil supplements come highly recommended by medical experts all over the world. The omega 3 fatty acids can drastically improve your overall health. And in addition to reducing stress and lowering the risk of heart disease, fish oil also helps improve your memory. So add fish oil supplements to your diet to see improvements in both your short term and long term memory.

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10. Drink Less Alcohol

Alcohol is extremely bad for your health. And studies have shown that drinking too much alcohol can physically affect the brain by damaging the hippocampus. This greatly decreases your brain’s ability to memorize.

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