I am a man in his mid thirties, but I already have a pretty bad memory. (I have always had a bad memory.) I can remember certain kinds of facts and music very well, but when it comes to words or even random stuff like how did I fix a particular issue when I last encountered it, my mind goes blank. Lack of sleep aggravates it even more. Lack of sleep also severely retards my language skills because I can't recall any vocabulary. Other than the memory issues I am a healthy person. Is there anything I can do to improve my memory?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! This post would be a better fit on CognitiveSciences.SE. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Jan 31 '16 at 16:53
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic $\endgroup$ – rg255 Jan 31 '16 at 19:52

You are not alone. I think most people do not use the memory capacity of the brain optimally. Some people use it more optimally than others though.

The researchers who wrote the book "Make it Stick" researched exactly this problem.

Of their many excellent findings, I think the most important was that most people did not convert the knowledge that they accumulated in working memory into long term memory because they did not do spaced repetition of recall practice.

When we learn something new those synaptic connections are weak unless we strengthen them. The brain seems to let go of information that it deems to be less important in this fashion.

Everybody forgets a little. But if you practice recalling what you've learned at spaced intervals, that seems to greatly improve the ability to convert working memory to long term memory.

Its important that recall involve actually struggling to recall the information. Its the struggling that seems to strengthen the synaptic connections. Just rereading some material wont work.

I put everything that I learn into Q&A documents that I use for recall practice. This seems to have significantly improved my ability to commit new knowledge to long term memory.

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