Short-term memory loss, what it is, what causes it, and how to prevent it -- check this out.
Hey, guys, this is Ron White. Maybe you saw me on Stan Lee's Super Humans on the History
Channel or the National Geographic show, Brain Games. When I was training for the USA Memory
Championship, and I'm a two-timer USA Memory Champion, I would store information in my
short-term and my long-term memory. What is short-term memory? Short-term memory is anything
that's in your memory for just 15 to 30 seconds. If it makes it past that 30-second mark, it's
considered to be long-term memory. Examples of short-term memory might be temporarily
remembering or memorizing a phone number until you have a chance to write it down. You just
say it over and over in your brain -- 867-5309 -- until you have a chance to write it down.
Another example of short-term memory is when you're having a conversation with someone,
and you think of something that you want to say, and you hold that in your short-term
memory until you are able to fit it into the conversation. A 50-year-old study suggests
that the brain can hold, on average, seven pieces of information in the short-term memory.
More recent and modern studies, though, suggest this number is closer to four pieces of information.
Now, a lot of people may get panicked because they have short-term memory loss. But, here
are some examples of short-term memory loss that are absolutely normal and nothing to
worry about. Misplacing common objects, like your keys -- totally normal. Another example
would be not being able to think of the right word -- totally normal. Not being able to
remember what you just read or walking into a room and not remembering why you are there
are also examples of normal short-term memory loss. Even occasionally calling someone by
the wrong name is nothing to really be that worried about.
But there are some signs that your memory may be in more serious trouble, and those
would include getting seriously lost when you're driving home and you're really close
to home; or having a hard time following very simple movie or book plots. Another example
of what may be serious short-term memory loss would be something like not being able to
remember if you've eaten yet today. Repeatedly asking the same question over and over again
or even personality changes are more examples of more serious short-term memory loss.
So, that's what short-term memory loss is; now, what causes short-term memory loss? Sleep
apnea is a sleeping disorder where breathing temporarily stops briefly, but frequently,
during the night. You may have sleep apnea if you wake up with a headache, or you have
daytime fatigue, or people complain about you snoring. These are signs of sleep apnea.
One reason sleep apnea affects the memory is because, during the night, your brain is
briefly deprived of oxygen and this is going to impact your brain and memory. The type
of memory that sleep apnea is going to affect is remembering where you put your keys or
trying to remember directions.
Another thing that can cause short-term memory loss is a silent stroke. These silent strokes
really affect the smaller blood vessels and, in doing that, it's going to affect the amount
of oxygen that gets to your brain and it's going to affect your short-term memory.
The third thing that can impact your short-term memory is medications. When I was training
and preparing for the USA Memory Championship, I would not take anything like a Tylenol PM
or an Advil PM in the weeks or months prior to the tournament because I knew that would
cloud my head and affect my short-term memory. Some examples of medications that can really
affect your short-term memory are sleeping aids, antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications,
pain killers, and even diabetes medication can impact your short-term memory.
Number four, the next thing that can lead to short-term memory loss is a nutritional
deficiency or, specifically, a lack of B12. A lack of B12 can lead to confusion and even
And number five -- stress, anxiety, and depression can also lead to short-term memory loss. Prolonged
stress will lead to depression and this is really going to impact your ability to remember
and function. Think about it. Was there a time in your life when you were really, really
stressed? Your memory was probably also really poor during that time.
So, that's what short-term memory is and what can cause it. Now, here are some steps to
help you prevent short-term memory loss. The first step is getting a good night's sleep.
Studies will suggest eight hours of sleep is really the optimal amount of sleep that's
going to support healthy, normal brain function the next day. Number two, a good way to combat
short-term memory loss is through exercise. Now, remember that stress, anxiety, and depression
can lead to short-term memory loss? One of the best natural cures to combat stress, anxiety,
and depression is exercise. It's also going to get that blood flowing and that increased
blood flow is more oxygen to your brain and your memory is going to thank you for that.
Next, avoid unnecessary medications. In other words, if you are taking pills to sleep, it's
much better to go to sleep because you're exhausted from a good workout or a long day
than it is to take medications to help you sleep because this might cloud your head the
next day. So, specifically, maybe some supplements that have B12 in them, but just make sure
that you're getting all your essential vitamins and nutrients because that's going to really
help your memory. Don't smoke. Tobacco is going to kill your memory. It's terrible for
your brain. It's terrible for your body. It's terrible for your memory. Avoid smoking. If
you haven't started, don't start. Studies show that men who are heavy drinkers will
experience mental decline, on average, six years earlier than those who are light drinkers.
So take it easy on the bottle.
All right, guys, studies will tell us that the average person can hold four to seven
pieces in their short-term memory. I have a technique known as the Mind Palace that
will allow me to hold literally hundreds of pieces of information in my short-term memory.
The Mind Palace is my favorite memory training technique. I have a free training for you
on that and I show you exactly how to build it the right way and avoid all the common
mistakes. So, get the training right here on how to build the Mind Palace the right
way or click the link right here for my free gift to help your short-term memory.