Diet, exercise, sleep and other ways you live your life can affect your memory.

More often than not, people think that memory slips can only be caused by diseases, forgetting personal habits.

Here are some of our lifestyle choices that can lead to faulty memory.


Diets play an important role in the retention of memory; some diets like saturated fat (found in meat) causes memory slips.

Foods consumed by humans have changed in the last 50 years. They have become more highly processed and neurotoxic.

The chemicals present in such foods cause premature brain cell death, which can affect memory and cognition.

Studies have shown that people who eat more saturated fat do worse on memory tests than those who eat less.

Foods like omega 3-rich fish, heart-healthy olive oil can protect the memory.


Thirty minutes exercise daily is good for the brain and the whole body. Some believe that their daily running around and activities are equivalent to exercise; they are wrong.

Daily activities that require more energy is not equivalent to exercise. It’s at best, stress, which also does serious damage to your memory.

In a previous laboratory study carried out on mice which were exposed to repeated stress, results showed that they had impaired temporal order recognition memory.

Exercise improves cognitive functions which enhance our memory storage and retrieval


Sleep deprivation impairs your ability to process information and consolidate new memories. Good sleep helps your brain file memories which become accessible later on.

Long term memories are enhanced by rapid eye movement sleep (the one experienced at night), so the better your night sleep, the better your memory.

Short term memories are enhanced slow wave sleep. Here, deep sleep is required where there is no rapid eye movement.

Just one hour, thirty minutes of missed sleep each night can reduce daytime alertness by 32 percent, studies say.

Alcohol/Tobacco consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to permanent memory loss. Alcohol distorts the activity of the hippocampus (the organ in the brain responsible for the formation of emotions and explicit memories).

Smoking also damages blood vessels. It causes a thinning of the brain’s cortex (cortex is the outer layer of the brain). When the cortex is shrunk, the brain is exposed to memory loss.


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