The Best Trick For Improving Your Memory Comes With A Catch
Memory is a funny thing — it’s as elusive and fleeting as water in the palm of a hand. But now science might have found a way to make our grasp of it a little more firm. Recent findings might seriously benefit people of all ages and walks of life, from students to even Alzheimer’s patients.
In the age of smartphones and the Internet, our brains hardly ever get a real breather. It turns out the constant downpour of information, both useful and useless, hinders our ability to learn and remember altogether. The expression “less is more” sounds truer than ever in light of recent studies.
The idea that the brain needs to recharge in order to retain new information is nothing new. As far back as 1900, scientists found that resting immediately after learning something for the first time helps people remember it almost twice as well. Now, recent research has built on this, claiming that these rest periods need to feature “minimal interference,” meaning no swiping left or right, no scrolling up and down. Not even overly vivid daydreams. Your mind needs complete rest. When was the last time you tried that without actually sleeping?
Alcohol And Memory
This might explain the love-hate relationship alcohol has with memory. Scientists from the University of Exeter had social drinkers learn new information, then split them into two groups of drinkers and non-drinkers. The drinking group could drink as much as they wanted the same night after they finished studying for a test. The next day, the two groups had to take the same test on the information studies the previous day.
Not only did the drinkers perform better, but the more they had to drink, the more information they recalled. These findings certainly add another magical property to the already wonderous potion that is alcohol. Even better, this experiment might help expand our understanding of the intricate ways memory works. Did somebody say “cheers”?
Implications For Alzheimer’s Patients
All jokes aside, another group of scientists discovered great potential benefits for people in earlier, milder stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. The latest body of research has established that new information we take in is most fragile immediately after we learn it. For Alzheimer’s patients, it’s as if every piece of information in their entire brain has just been learned, and therefore everything is harder to retain. Rest was found to do wonders for their memory, heightening it to almost normal indexes.
Whether you consider smartphones and technology to play a positive or negative role in your life is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is, our brains tend to be overloaded. The simple, and somewhat forgotten act of real rest can do wonders for your memory and overall wellbeing. So, just take five. Or a few more.
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