Best ways to improve memory


Improving your memory is important for dream work and enhancing your life in general. These are my best tips on improving memory, focus and cognitive function.

Get in tune with the cycles of nature

The sun provides vitamin D, which supports the immune system, brain, nervous system and has other benefits. Sunshine reduces depression, increases happiness and boosts cognitive function. Exposure also increases the brain’s release of serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that is mood boosting and helps us stay calm and focused. At night or in darkness, serotonin is turned into melatonin, which promotes sleep.

Get enough sleep

We get the most restorative sleep in the first four hours of sleep. We have many cycles of sleep during the night, along with five brain wave levels. During deep sleep, the body builds tissue, fortifies the immune system and prepares for the next day. REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is when dreams occur and it increases in duration the longer you sleep. This stage of sleep is healing and just as important as deep sleep. Getting eight hours is often recommended for getting a healthy combination of restorative and REM rest.

Wake up slow

To improve dream recall after waking up, try this technique. Give yourself an extra five or ten minutes in the morning, so this doesn’t interfere with your day. When you wake up, stay in the same position in which you were sleeping. Have a clear mind and don’t think about what you need to do next. Just let thoughts, images, memories and emotions come to you. If you take the time to care about your dreams and get into this practice, more dreams will come to you.


Each time you journal, it will improve your memory. We use memory often, scanning for dreams and events that happened during the day. This is also a good way to honor memories, so more will come in the future. With practice, we’ll become better story tellers.

The good and bad of a diet

The best foods for cognitive function:

  • any anti inflammatory foods
  • curcumin or turmeric
  • cocoa
  • coffee
  • berries
  • green tea
  • wine
  • grape juice
  • beats
  • avocado
  • broccoli
  • dark chocolate
  • nuts
  • rosemary
  • coconut oil
  • spinach
  • kale
  • oranges

Foods to avoid:

  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • refined carbs
  • saturated fat

Food and drinks with caffeine can disrupt sleep, so I suggest enjoying them six or more hours before you go to bed.

My memory is wonderful!

Using positive affirmations like this will give you confidence and help bring what you want into existence. Practice these tips or choose your favorite ones to add into your routine to improve your memory and please let me know how it goes.

Photo by Bret Kavanaugh on Unsplash

Jolene Gentry


  1. Great post!
    I have always been interested in what factors help improve memory.
    This post gave helpful and practical tips for how to improve your memory and I am using most of these already.
    I have not tried waking up slow and seeing how this could influence my memory. I’ll try this tip out to see what happens.
    Caffeine certainly can cause my sleep to be disrupted. I usually try to have limited amounts of it in the late afternoon so as not to fall asleep too late.
    Being sleep deprived will keep my memory from being as sharp as well as cause other health problems.
    Positive affirmations can do wonders for confidence.
    Thanks for sharing this useful information!

    • Jesse Lee,
      Thanks for your response. It’s so nice that you’re practicing many of these already. You’re ahead of the game! Your feedback helps and I’m glad that you enjoyed my post.

  2. Interesting post! I definitely could use improvements in my memory. I find stress really impacts it. When I’m under a lot of stress, my brain gets foggy and I can’t remember simple things as well. I will keep these tips in mind! Thanks so much.

    • Thank you for your response, Carla. Stress can negatively effect our lives in many ways. Taking a five or ten minute break for deep breathing helps me so much when I’m stressed. I’m glad you found my tips helpful.

  3. Huh- Wake up slow. I never would have hit on that one, but I like it. I’m definitely going to chew on it for a while, see if it helps… but what if you can’t remember to wake up slow?

  4. I don’t believe I’ve spent more than 30 mins under the sun in years. I only knew, daytime = being awake and night time = sleepy time. Never truly looked into the why. I felt I learnt something highly important there. I am a gamer so I sometimes don’t get enough sleep but I understand the negatives of that definitely.

    We dream ALMOST every night, yet if you were to ask me right now to tell you about some of the dreams I’ve had, I would probably only be able to tell you about two. I will try waking up slowly tomorrow morning, because usually as soon as my eyes open, I’m out of bed.

    I’ll pay attention to the foods you suggested as well. Made a print out for my kitchen! Lol

    • You’ve touched my heart! I’m so glad to help. I remember when I used to spend a lot of time gaming. It was fun, and just a cycle I went through. Let me know if you’re able to remember more dreams. I’m just recently noticing how good nature feels and how it affects my life. Thanks for your comment

  5. Nice article Jolene!
    I am already applying most of the steps, but the “wake up slow” part is new to me. I will give it a shot!
    I also find water as a key ingredient for optimal brain function. Try to pay more attention to how much water you drink, and make sure it’s enough for you. I start my day with a big glass of room temperature water.

    Best regards,

  6. Wow
    Thank you for this article. I have been recently doing meditation trying to improve and heal myself.
    I will bookmark this page as it will go along well with what I am trying to do.
    I will be buying all these foods you mentioned for improving brain power. Thanx again.

  7. Interesting. At 60 years of age, I’m in the habit of going to bed when I’m dead tired and getting up as soon as I’m aware of things. Bad dreams that I don’t want to linger on get me out of there, quick. Life, right? It’s either no dreams or bad dreams, so if I could do without it, I would. Is there a Label for this or is it just PTSD? What advice could you give, besides counselling and medication?
    That’s all the Head Doctors ever prescribe but it doesn’t really work, that’s my experience.
    Anyhow, good write up. Thank you.

    • I’m going to write a post about nightmares soon. I’m so sad to learn that you either have nightmares or no dreams. The first thing I’d suggest is to think about the nightmare in waking life. You’re safe and in the comfort of your own home (or anywhere you feel safe). What happens in your nightmare? Is it a reoccurring nightmare or is it always different? Who’s there? What are the major elements? Do you feel sad, angry or fearful? Try to work out what the nightmares mean for you. If you like, you can email me the nightmare or nightmares and I’ll work with you on possible meanings. Only you can decide what it means for you, because it’s important that you keep the power of your dream.

      The next thing I’m wondering is if you can enjoy sleep more or allow yourself to enjoy it. Do you get a minimal amount of sleep because of the nightmares? Is it your lifestyle? Sometimes it could even be your room if it’s cluttered and stressful or a bed that’s uncomfortable. I hope things get better for you. Thanks for writing

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