Can’t remember where you parked the car or the name of the actor in that movie you just saw? You’re not losing your marbles. More likely, your memory is on the fritz due to one of these four issues, says Mehmet Oz, MD. Check out these surprising causes of memory problems and the fixes Dr. Oz recommends.
Problem #1: Too Much Tech
According to Oz, one reason so many people are having trouble remembering names and numbers is simple: too much technology. Studies have shown that computers hinder our recall abilities because we rely on them so much for the information we need. For instance, you don’t have to memorize your friend’s phone number because your cell phone knows it.
The fix: Dr. Oz recommends playing games that work on improving your visual memory, like the Lumosity Brain Trainer.
Problem #2: Out-of-Whack Hormones
Can’t ever find the remote? It could be due to your hormones. Research has found that hormonal changes, particularly during menopause, can affect how you retrieve memories.
The fix: Consume more phytonutrients, plant chemicals found in a variety fruits and vegetables. These help keep your hormone levels in balance, says Oz.
Problem #3: Those Pesky Extra Pounds
Having trouble remembering what day of the week it is or what you ate for breakfast? It could be because you’ve packed on some extra pounds. According to Oz, weight gain slows your recall, making it harder to access seemingly simple pieces of information.
The fix: Lose weight. Oz recommends starting by cutting out one sugary drink a day.
Problem #4: Late Bedtimes
Finally, feel free to blame Jon Stewart or the Internet for your poor memory. According to sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, the more hours we spend awake, the more sluggish our minds become. We need sleep to clear our brain’s short-term memory stores and make room for new information, says Dr. Breus.
The fix: Set a bedtime alarm (for the same time every night) to remind yourself to go to sleep. Adding consistency to your sleep habits will result in deeper sleep and therefore a better memory, says Oz.
Want to learn more ways to keep your memory sharp? Take our Memory Boosters quiz.
What’s the one thing you have the hardest time remembering? Let us know in the comments section below.
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