How To Improve Your Memory And Stay Sharp

How to improve your memory and be less forgetful

Have you ever forgotten where you left your keys? Or when’s you best friend’s birthday? Or you were about to do something and you completely forgot what it was. Has that ever happen to you?

Of course, it did. It happens to everyone. But that doesn’t mean you have a bad memory… We can’t remember absolutely everything. Sometimes, we even forget our own name! Okay, that doesn’t happen, but we can forget many things in our daily life!

Once you’ll know how to improve your memory and stay sharp, you will never forget anything in your life! Alright, that won’t happen either, but you can definitely improve your recall if you want, I promise!

Everyone’s memory is different. Some people are better at remembering names, some never forget specific events and others are really good at memorizing anything that includes numbers.

I’ve met this guy once. He was a drug addict and let’s just say, he didn’t look very intelligent (nor did he act like it). He didn’t have anything interesting to say and his life was boring as hell.

But there was one thing he managed to surprise me with. His memory was fantastic when it came to numbers.

I wanted to test him out, so he gave me his phone and asked me to say any contact name and he will immediately say the number of that contact.

He had like a hundred contacts and I’ve tried around 30 names. Whenever I said a name, he just spelled out the correct number without even thinking.

I was like, “dude, how do you do that?” and he replied, “I don’t know!“.

You were thinking, that I will reveal his secret, right? Well, I wish I knew the secret myself, but surprisingly, he couldn’t figure it out either… Maybe drugs gave him a super memory? Naaaah… Don’t think so.

Maybe he tried to memorize all those numbers day and night just to impress others? Could be possible, but I guess we will never know!

How To Improve Your Memory And Stay Sharp

Our brains are just like any other muscle. You have to exercise and eat healthy if you want to achieve great results and grow your muscles, am I right?

The same goes for our brains. If we never exercise them and eat unhealthy, they are not “growing”.

It’s really important to have a good memory if you want to be the best version of yourself. All of us are getting so much information from so many sources every day.

Whether it’s your school, job, news, books, movies, documentaries, articles, courses or simply your mom telling you to clean your room (okay, the last one is easy to remember), we want to remember as much information as possible to educate our mind.

But it can be really overwhelming if your memory is not in the best “shape”. So, how to improve your memory and become less forgetful?

There are a lot of things you can actually do to boost your memory:

Exercise the brain

Don’t Forget To Sleep!

When I was going to school, I had two classmates who would occasionally play video games all night and go to school without even sleeping.

You could see it in their faces, they were not absorbing any of the information that flew around them. They looked like zombies, gazing at something, a normal human being wouldn’t see.

I guess they were basically dreaming with their eyes open.

I’ve once done an experiment myself. I didn’t sleep for more than 48 hours straight. I wanted to see how my perception will change after a longer period of not sleeping.

As time passed, I noticed that I can’t focus on anything. I couldn’t absorb any information, because my mind was always somewhere else.

And I felt quite high (almost like drunk, but different). I laughed at the most unfunny things, even though I was really tired and wanted to sleep.

The other thing I noticed was, I couldn’t remember a lot of things. I kept forgetting where I was going or what I was doing.

Sometimes, when people were talking to me, I immediately forgot what they said. I guess in their eyes, I didn’t appear as a very intelligent person, because of that…

It was a very interesting experience, but I wouldn’t want to do it again, because it’s not healthy.

The point is, if you are not getting enough sleep, you won’t be able to focus, absorb information and your memory will simply decrease with time.

Also, there’s a great way you can boost your memory by sleeping! My teacher once told me of this method and it really works…

Basically, he explained to me how sleeping directly after learning something new is beneficial for memory. When you learn something new and then go to sleep, your brain memorizes all of that information in a very effective way.

I used to practice my presentations like this (for school). I’ve practiced right before I went to sleep and in the morning I’ve remembered it quite well!

Meditate To Boost Your Memory

Meditation has many benefits. One of those benefits is increased memory capabilities.

When you’re meditating, you can tap into your subconscious mind. Things that you might have forgotten long ago, can simply return to you at any time during meditation.

I had this happen to me a lot. I’m just meditating and suddenly, I remember something from 10 years ago, without trying to remember it. It’s really awesome to have those memories returned to you!

Also, meditation is not only going to make you recall some long forgotten memories… It will also improve your memory overall.

You won’t be as forgetful as before, because you will be much more concentrated and focused all the time. When you’re meditating, you are also exercising your brain and it’s developing the ability to store MORE new information now, and as you age.

I would say, meditation is one of the greatest ways you can actually improve your recall. It definitely helped me a lot. I’ve noticed that I have a very sharp memory and I can remember a lot of details even if it’s something small and meaningless.

And you don’t have to meditate for hours every day to experience benefits. In fact, you can experience basically all the benefits that meditation can provide, just by doing it for 10-15 minutes every day.

You can check this guide “everything you need to start meditating”, if you have no idea how to start doing it.

Benefits of meditation

Exercise For Memory Gains!

Did you know that working out can actually increase your recall? A lot of studies have showed positive discoveries that exercising aids memory retention.

Some studies suggest, that you should workout a few hours after you absorb new information, because it helps you remember that information better.

When you exercise after studying and absorbing new information, the areas of your brains associated with memory retrieval become more clearly activated.

So, by exercising your body, you are also exercising you brain! Woah, that’s basically two-in-one… I wouldn’t want to miss on that!

There are many awesome benefits of regular exercise for your body and health. I highly recommend you to start exercising if you want to feel better, more energetic and simply boost your memory.

Learn A New Skill And Challenge Yourself!

If you really want to have a better memory, you must always try new things. You must give a mental challenge to your brain so it would be more active.

Try to learn something new all the time. Learn a new language, learn to play a new instrument, go to places you haven’t been before, Interact with new people.

Simply, get out of your comfort zone, so your brain is always mentally challenged. This way, your memory retention will become better. You’ll find it easier to remember even the smallest details.

Learning to play an instrument is especially good for memory, because you have to memorize a lot of things to play it correctly and it’s actually fun, so you’d always be looking forward to learning it.

If you’re always stuck in your comfort zone, you are never going to improve. Getting out of your comfort zone is not only about improving your memory.

It’s about living your life to the fullest. It’s about spending your days productively. When you constantly leave your comfort zone, you are facing your fears and challenges. And you must to that if your want personal growth!

So, don’t spend your days being lazy and scared of changes and new things. Always try something new and you’ll definitely see a lot of improvements when it comes to memory and life in general.

Listen To Music! Yes, MUSIC!

It might surprise you, but listening to music while absorbing any kind information can actually make you remember all of that in much better detail.

I’ve experienced this quite a lot, especially when I needed to prepare for exams in school. I remember this one time, I had to memorize all the continents, countries and their main cities.

Back then, I had a lot of trouble memorizing something like this. That day I discovered a song I really enjoyed and while I was trying to memorize those countries, I played the song on repeat.

I don’t know why, but it got me in such a rhythm that I memorized everything in 2-3 hours. I was amazed by my own capabilities, because I couldn’t memorize anything like that so quickly before.

When I was taking the exam, I sometimes remembered the specific parts of the song and it lead me to remembering the country or city that I was trying to memorize during the song part.

You don’t necessarily need to play the same song over and over again when you’re trying to learn something. That could drive you nuts (I’m surprised how it didn’t happen to me…).

I just really enjoyed that song back then (now I absolutely hate it, because of repeating it a million times). If you’re listening to music that starts to sound annoying to you, it won’t help you memorize anything, because your focus will be on how annoying the music is.

So, when you’re learning something new, I suggest you play your favorite music! I enjoy listening to music like this:

Teach Others And You Will Memorize It!

I can’t remember which teacher (talking about memory…) told me this, but teaching others will always make you remember the information much better.

Obviously, when the teacher told me this (still can’t remember which teacher…), I had to try it out, because I’m always looking for ways to improve!

And so I began a journey to become a teacher! No, just kidding… I didn’t try to become a teacher, I simply helped out my classmates.

What I did was, learn something new and then teach others the same information. I noticed that I was really retaining all that information for weeks and sometimes even months!

When you read something out loud, there’s a better chance that you will actually remember it. When you’re teaching someone, you’re not only reading the information out loud, you’re starting to understand and process it way better, thus improving your recall.

So, if you want to have a better memory, start helping out everyone around you. Present information to everyone, speak about it and you will remember it for a long time!

Remove Stress, Anxiety And Depression From Your Life!

If you’re constantly stressed or anxious about something, your brain is losing the ability to remember important things.

Doing breathing exercises can help you relieve stress and anxiety. You simply have to remove negative thoughts from your mind. Focusing on your breath is simple way to do that.

The reason it’s affecting your memory is, because you can’t concentrate and focus on learning something new. If you’re always worrying about your past or future, you’re not absorbing new information efficiently.

Your mind has to be clear of negativity if you want to increase your memory.

Quit Smoking If You Want A better Memory!

It’s obvious that smoking can cause many health issues, but did you know that it can also reduce your memory?

Smoking reduces memory quite a lot actually. It’s harder to remember small details and it can take your mind away from learning new things.

Let’s say you’re studying for 40 minutes and then you start feeling urges to smoke. You won’t be able to focus and concentrate on learning, because you’ll be thinking about cigarettes.

And if there’s no way to smoke when you’re feeling urges, it will distract you even more.

Distractions are not the only reason your memory is reduced. When you smoke, you’re simply killing brain cells that are responsible for retaining information and it gets your brain out of “shape”.

So, if you’re a smoker, I suggest you to break this bad habit if you want to live a healthier life and have a better memory.

Smoking reduces memory

Don’t Eat Junk Food!

A lot of studies took place towards how food can affect our brains and memory. Most studies show evidence that eating unhealthy foods will make your brain age faster!

That is a very serious thing. You should aim to keep your brain as healthy as possible for a VERY long time. If you’re constantly filling your stomach with burgers and fries, chances are, your memory will take a big hit over time.

You should eat more fruits and vegetables. Try limiting the amount of junk food you eat. Best of all, remove junk food from your daily life.

Also, always have a healthy breakfast. I like to start my day with some eggs or fish. If you manage to eat healthy foods, you will definitely find it easier to focus and concentrate, thus improve your memory!

Check out these brain foods to boost focus and memory

Never Stop Learning!

So, now you know how to improve your memory and be less forgetful, I hope it will help you out and your memory will be boosted 100 times!

Okay, if that happened, you would have SUPER memory… Sadly, you won’t boost your recall 100 times, but you can definitely see an increase if you just dedicate yourself towards improving it.

It all comes down to you. You can read and watch videos about this topic all day long, but if you never take any action, you won’t see any results either.

Never stop learning, because when you stop learning, your brain is slowly dying. It’s the same as your muscles. If you stop exercising and eating healthy, you will lose your muscles, right? The brain is no exception.

You must educate yourself every single day, if you want to see positive improvements in your life.


Do you find it easier to remember specific things? What works the best for you when it comes to improving your recall? Comment bellow!

20 thoughts on “How To Improve Your Memory And Stay Sharp”

  1. Amy says:

    I am definitely one of those memory challenged people out there. I think it’s genetic as my mom is worse 🙂
    I am always looking for tips and tricks to improve my memory and I have to agree that learning something new is a great way to do it. I am trying to learn a new language (Italian) and it’s slow but it’s working.
    What’s the optimal amount of hours of sleep per night do you think? Do you think napping would help too or is it just long, uninterrupted sleep that helps with memory?

    1. Donny says:

      Learning a new language is definitely a great way to improve your memory, even if it’s going slow! 

      The optimal amount of hours depends on the age and gender, but for me, 8 hours of sleep feels great. I never nap and I wouldn’t really know from my experience, but a lot of people who occasionally nap, say that it’s a great way to refresh your mind of all the stresses and worries. 

  2. Master Aspirations says:

    I got some great tips to improve my memory. I totally agree about getting the right amount of sleep. There have been times when I could only get 4 hours sleep within 48 hours and my focus was bad. Between not getting enough sleep and stress, improving those two have helped me tremendously with improving memory.

    1. Donny says:

      I know what you mean. Just like my experiment of not sleeping for quite some time, I couldn’t focus or even remember what happened a few minutes ago.

  3. Win Bill says:

    Most of these things are things that I used to do a lot. My memory has never been that good when I was little. I would literally learn something then immediately forgetting it afterwards. Later on, I practiced meditation and it really helps me remembering things. I guess the key is that my mind became more focus and less likely to be distracted by wandering thoughts. I also got I got into the habit of helping other people. When I helped someone learn something, I can remember it a lot better. It is because I force myself to fill in all the details that I normally miss if I superficially learn something without mastering it. These are all helpful. Thanks for reminding me of the things I forgot. I will start practicing again. I haven’t meditated for a long time. By the way, have you tried memorizing long numbers yourself too?

    1. Donny says:

      I have had a great memory since childhood. I always remeber my experiences and situations. But I’ve always had problems with remebering numbers. Especially when I had history classes, I couldn’t remeber the dates. But I guess I couldn’t remeber it, because I never really cared about the history and dates. I know that if I focused on it, I would remeber it. So when it comes to numbers, I find it really hard to remeber them. 

  4. Soby says:

    Hey hey, great recommendation over here. When I was a student, I’ve noticed many times that when I don’t sleep enough, my brain is just not working effectively. Especially my memory.So yeah, I’m also always trying to sleep enough. Although, I’ve never tried a meditation to improve my memory, this sound very interesting. I love the idea that music can also help!

    1. Donny says:

      I’ve noticed the same thing. I couldn’t focus on anything, because I didn’t get enough sleep. You should try meditation. Not only is it good for your memory, but it has tons of other benefits!

  5. Marques Pizarro says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I’ve had a hard time improving my memory.

    As a high school student, I tend to cram information by doing late night studying, and I couldn’t remember vocabulary, terms, and formulas! But now I know to prepare and get my sleep.

    Also, I’m going to utilize the strategy of teaching others, because it will help my classmates as well as myself! Thanks for sharing this article.

    1. Donny says:

      Sleeping is a big factor and it determines your quality of life. If you’re not getting enough sleep, not only will your health suffer, but your memory as well. 

      Seems like a lot of people love the strategy of teaching others. It’s really a good way to memorize things. And in the end, you’re not only helping yourself, but someone else as well!

  6. Vince says:

    Such a great post with so many cool tips. My favorite is teaching someone a new skill. If you can teach, you will remember it.
    Also, attaching emotion with subject seems to make it stick forever. Emotion equals memories.

    1. Donny says:

      Definitely, teaching someone else is always a great way to remember important information. Share knowledge and wisdom with everyone and you will retain it for a long time!
      Yes, I noticed it too. Emotions truly make it easier to remember specific things.

  7. Dom says:

    This was a great read! I didn’t realize how many different things affected memory…

    The “not getting enough sleep” thing is HUGE for me too. If I only get a couple hours, the next day I’m completely drained and it takes a toll mentally and physically as well.

    Also, huge fan of using music in conjunction with learning new things, I’ve noticed the same effects you mentioned about being able to retain more information that way. The type of music makes a big difference, I’ll have to try listening to some of the music you recommended and see if that helps even more.

    This was awesome, thanks!


    1. Donny says:

      Sleeping is very important for many things and it definitely affects your memory.
      I’m basically addicted to music. There doesn’t seem to be a day where I wouldn’t listen to music for at least 6 hours! So yeah, I’ve noticed how music helps to remember specific things sometimes.

  8. Chandra Ellington says:

    Donny, this is a really good article. I very much want to improve in this area, because I want to become a professional speaker that doesn’t need notes. I love the way you added humor in your article. I chuckled so much when you said, “Sometimes, we even forget our own name! Okay, that doesn’t happen….” 🙂 I also like the YouTube video with the “memory music” to listen to. The best take away I received from your article was “Teach Others and You Will Memorize It!” I never thought about that, but I can see how that will improve my recollection of information I want to retain. I tweeted the link you had about the “15 Brain Foods to Boost Focus and Memory.” I will be including all of those items in my eating routine. Thanks for sharing this much needed information.

    1. Donny says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article so much! I’ve really had a lot of experience with teaching others and retaining the information better. I remember I’ve struggled with remembering math formulas at school, but I’ve tried to teach one of my classmates and it stuck with me for quite a few years. It took me like 20-30 minutes to teach him, but the results was not only helping someone else, but also I wouldn’t forget it for a very very long time. Hopefully you’ll be able to improve your memory!

  9. Furkan says:

    I honestly never considered listening music for improving my memory. I know that it worked for memorizing, however, do you think that should I listen to music while studying calculus on the computer?

    1. Donny says:

      Yes you should listen to music while studying calculus. But, if you find it that music distracts you a lot, either listen to something like the video I’ve shared or don’t listen to anything at all.

  10. Jen says:

    Those are a lot of great tips to help boost your memory. I think I do a lot of things right like getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night and exercising daily, but there are definitely things I can do better.

    Unfortunately, I tend to eat too much junk food and sugar and it sounds like that can have a detrimental impact on your memory. Hopefully I can improve my diet in the new year!

    I love the tips that have to do with learning and teaching others. That is a great way to keep yourself sharp and your brain engaged. I’ve heard that those are also good ways to help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Just a couple more things I will be putting into my new year’s resolutions for 2018. Great advice and thanks for sharing your tips!

    1. Donny says:

      A lot of people tend to eat too much junk food. It’s tasty and makes you feel good so why not, right? Well, as tasty as it gets, it’s not the best choice if you want a healthy body and healthy brain. It does impact our ability to remember things, so it’s a good idea to limit junk food or completely erase it from your diet.

      Indeed, helping and teaching others keeps you sharp and engaged in a mental activity. You want to get yourself in a lot of metal activities if you’re looking to increase your memory’s capabilities!

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