6 Reasons Why You’re Becoming Forgetful

reminders
(Photo: iStock)

Feeling a bit forgetful lately? Or maybe you’re forgetting to remember why you’re forgetting? If you find yourself hitting the “reset password” option more than usual on social accounts or cannot remember where you placed the car keys, don’t fret.

We've all experienced faulty memory caused by pedestrian issues at one point or another and it’s nothing to panic about. Sure, superfoods boost our brainpower, but they can't solve everything. However, studies report memory lapses can be repaired if taken care of.

Underactive thyroid
Have you ever walked into a room and totally forgot why you went in there the first place? While it’s perfectly normal to blame sleep deprivation or overworking for the forgetfulness, you’re not The Absent-Minded Professor. The Food and Drug Administration reports an underactive or overactive thyroid can interfere with short-term memory, causing a lack of focus and concentration. Not only can poor thyroid affect memory and sleep cycles too, but it can also cause depression. Fortunately, a simple blood test and medication can remedy the situation.

Alcohol
From sangrias to tequila, we love it all! But according to a study from Seattle Pacific University, a woman’s tolerance for alcohol becomes lower as we get older. Simply put, that extra glass of wine or immunity boosting cocktail will make you more tipsy or drunk — something that doesn’t aid in adequate sleep or memory. When drinking, take a hard look at the root cause of that extra pour and try to make changes to benefit your mental health.

Too much or not enough sleep
It’s no secret that a lack of sleep puts us at risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and other chronic diseases. However, not getting enough or even too much can actually cause memory slips that rear its ugly head when you need it most — like say, that conference presentation. According to a study from Harvard University, while too little sleep impairs memory and thinking, too much affects the quality of rest, which can lead to mood changes and anxiety. Creating an adequate sleep cycle in a functioning environment is essential in keeping your brain attentive.

Anxiety and worry
As a consistent element of our everyday lives, memory is a fragile thing. Yet, it’s also one of the more crucial and constitutive components of our life. While memories are never as accurate as we would like them to be, stress and anxiety interfere big time by hindering the development of new memories or recovery of old ones. Anxiety and worry have an intense effect on our body and if left untreated, can damage cognitive processes. To aid in easing anxieties, there are productive and concentrated ways to utilize worry for your benefit, while challenging your thinking.

Idle all day
Our bodies were made for activity and movement, but in a report from Washington Post, the average American sits 10 to 12 hours a day — and that’s between work and home. It’s a common fact that a lot of us have sedentary jobs, but Harvard University suggests staying idle for that many hours in a day contribute to memory lapses, brain shrinkage, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s. It’s a scary thought to think, but exercise is the single most important thing to keep your brain functioning.

Whether it’s biking, walking, or making your efforts for lifelong fitness habits, you release more oxygen and nutrients to the brain. This increases brain-derived neurotrophic factors, which stimulates new brain cell production for healthy cognitive processes, like memory and focus.

Multitasking
There’s no greater feeling than being productive and getting every single errand checked off on your to-do list. Unfortunately, all that multitasking can make you forget more important things like changing baby's diaper or the date night you scheduled weeks ago.

When you’re overloaded and chronically distracted, you can’t focus and build new memories. In fact, neuroscientist, Earl Miller tells NPR that people can’t multitask well as our brains are wired to handle a bit of stimulation. But forcing it to work on more things can be hard for cognition to form new memories and keep them staying put. Spreading yourself thin over tasks can create stress and anxiety in the long run, so take it easy. Treat life like a browser if need be — open one tab at a time.