4 Reasons Why Your Memory May Be Poor (And How To Fix It) | Iris Reading
4 Reasons Why Your Memory May Be Poor (And How To Fix It)

4 Reasons Why Your Memory May Be Poor (And How To Fix It)

4 Reasons Why Your Memory May Be Poor (And How To Fix It)

Major causes for poor memory in people who are not being treated for a disease are:

  • Abusing alcohol.
  • Sleep deprivation.
  • Stress & depression.
  • Dietary habits.

All 4 of these things have one thing in common: they damage our brain (neurotoxic).

Fortunately, there are still ways for you to cope with your poor memory. The neurotoxic effect is reversible by following certain healthy practices.

In this article, we will tell you how each of these things is linked with memory loss and cognitive decline (poor brain function).

We will provide clinical data. And, most importantly, we will talk about ways you can fix your memory or even improve it!

1. Alcohol and recreational drug use

Alcohol has neurotoxic effects. People who binge-drink reduce the volume of their hippocampi – the brain region associated with memory and learning.

Binge drinking is a state of consuming enough alcohol to raise your blood alcohol concentration to 0.08 grams/ml or more.

A study was conducted among 155 college students found that those who binge-drank every week, or at least once a month, had poorer memory than those who didn’t.

How to fix alcohol-associated memory loss? 

Regulate your alcohol consumption.

For men, the recommended amount of alcohol is a maximum of 2 drinks; for women, it’s at most 1 drink.

One drink can be defined as either one of the following:

  • 1 shot glass of 80-proof-spirits (1.5 ounces).
  • 5 ounces of wine.
  • 12 ounces of beer.

2. Sleep deprivation

Both quality and quantity of sleep are linked with memory. If you don’t sleep for enough hours or wake up too often while sleeping, your brain will be fatigued. A tired mind is not efficient at either storing memories or recalling them.

One study analyzed the effect of sleep deprivation in 40 children between the age of 10 – 14. They were divided into two groups and trained for a memory test.

One group received the memory test after a night’s sleep. The researchers tested the other group on the same day without sleeping.

The group that got overnight rest scored 20% better than the group that didn’t.

Another study found similar effects in nurses working on night shifts.

It has been discovered that these nurses are more likely to make mathematical errors compared to those who work in the daytime.

Moreover, 68% of the nurses on nightshift showed lower performance on memory tests compared to daytime nurses.

How to prevent memory loss due to fix sleep deprivation?

Get enough sleep.

You can try the following for a night of better sleep:

  • Schedule sleep in your day.
  • Give yourself enough time to sleep.
  • Keep your bedroom dark, comfortable, and exclusively for sleep, sex, or quiet activities.
  • Having a bedtime routine helps.
  • Avoid large meals, alcohol, bright lights, or caffeine before bed.
  • Exercising for 30 minutes, around 5 hours before bed, can be really helpful.
  • Take a nap if you need it – limit the time to 30 minutes to avoid messing up your sleep schedule.
  • Don’t force sleep. If you can’t sleep, do something quiet until you are sleepy.

3. Dietary habits

Dietary habits are one of the most significant contributors to poor memory. Added sugars and refined carbs lead to poor memory, while antioxidants and fish oil improve memory.

Added sugars

In a study of 4,000 people, people who consumed a lot of added sugar had smaller brain volumes and poorer memory.

Refined carbs

Western diets rich in refined carbs are linked with declining brain function, leading to poorer memory and even dementia.

Your body quickly converts carbohydrates into sugars, raising the level of blood sugar.

An investigation on 317 children found that consuming a carb-rich diet (white rice, fast food, noodles, etc.) was linked with worsening short-term memory.

And another study found that eating breakfast cereals every day declines adults’ mental function.

Anti-inflammatory diet

Antioxidant-rich food reduces inflammation and improves cognitive function and memory. Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables

One study found that out of 31,104, those who took a fruit/vegetable-rich diet had a lower risk of developing dementia. 

Berries are particularly rich in antioxidants.

Another study on 16,010 women found that those who ate more blueberries and strawberries had a slower cognitive decline and better memory.


Cocoa is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids. It can enhance the growth of blood vessels to the brain, which supplies more blood to the part that controls memory.

A study tested 30 healthy people and found that those who consumed 720 mg of dark chocolate had better short-term memory than those who consumed white chocolate.


Obesity can lead to changes in genes in our body that control our memory.

A study on 50 people between 18 – 35 found that those with a higher body mass index (BMI) had significantly worse memory test scores.

Obesity can also cause insulin resistance or inflammation – both associated with poorer cognitive function.

How to fix memory loss due to dietary habits?

Dos Don’ts
Consume an antioxidant/anti-inflammatory diet: berries, fruits, vegetables, curcumin, etc. Consume a lot of added sugars.
Add cocoa to your diet Have a western diet rich in carbohydrates.

Take fish oil supplements

Thirty-six adults took part in a study where one group took concentrated fish oil supplements for 12 months while the other didn’t.

Those who took the concentrated supplements had significantly better short-term memory and recall

Exercise to maintain body weight

Working out will help you avoid becoming obese. This would help in overcoming the declining memory resulting from obesity.

One hundred fourteen people aged 19 to 93 demonstrated better cognitive function and memory performance after just 15 minutes of moderate exercise.

Exercise to improve brain function

Exercise produces proteins in your body that help your brain maintain itself, reducing cognitive decline.

Moreover, it has been observed that people who exercise regularly during their mid-life are less likely to develop dementia later on.

4. Stress & depression

Our conscious thought process can be affected by depression, stress, or anxiety. This increases the difficulty for our brain in building short-term memory.

Our attention span is so widely spread out in such a state that we don’t consolidate new information.

How to fix memory problems caused by stress/depression/anxiety?

  • Follow a healthier diet
  • Get some exercise
  • Get proper sleep
  • Meditate
  • Practice mindfulness


Along with many other benefits, meditation can also help with boosting memory retention and recall. It reduces stress and anxiety while helping to lower blood pressure as well.

From people in their 20s to their older ages, meditation has shown to be beneficial for enhancing memory.

A study found that Taiwanese college students who practiced mediation had a much better spatial short-term memory than their peers who didn’t meditate.


Studies have associated mindfulness with lower stress and better cognitive performance.

While meditation is a practice, mindfulness is a habit. You can be mindful anytime, anywhere.

A group of trained students was found to have better recall ability and recognition memory than those who weren’t mindful.


What to do for memory improvement? What NOT to do if you want a good memory?
Drink within the suggested amounts. Binge drink
Get proper sleep. Consume caffeine or big meals before bed.
Consume an antioxidant/anti-inflammatory diet: berries, fruits, vegetables, curcumin, etc. Consume a lot of added sugars.
Add cocoa to your diet Have a western diet rich in carbohydrates.
Get at least 15 minutes of exercise. Let your body weight reach obesity thresholds.
Practice mindfulness and meditation. Be in environments/people who are a source of stress/anxiety.

All of the things mentioned above might sound like they require a lot of effort (especially exercise and diet control). Many of us likely feel this way because of the lack of productivity.

However, with this fantastic course on maximizing your productivity, all of this would become a breeze for you!

And if you want an even better memory, you should try this memory course. It helps in maximizing your memory storing ability in just 90 minutes!

So, what are you waiting for? Visit Irisreading right now and start working towards better cognitive health!

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