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A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the IMST breathing exercise.
In case you missed it, IMST can improve blood pressure and ease sleep apnea in just five minutes a day.
In the old days, you’d have to put in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise to get results like that.
Well, hold on to your hat because the power of breathing doesn’t stop there…
I seem to “lose” my keys more frequently. I tell my husband with confidence that I’m not the one who had the remote control last when it’s sitting right next to me.
I keep telling myself that there has to be an easy solution to the problem and luckily there is.
If you’re experiencing your fair share of senior moments, too, researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered a breathing technique that can boost your brain’s memory center…
In through your nose and out through your mouth
If you’ve ever practiced meditation, you’re familiar with nasal breathing — the old “in through your nose and out through your mouth.”
And, it turns out it’s beneficial for more than just relaxation. It actually helps you better consolidate, reinforce and stabilize your memories.
In the Swedish study, reported in the Journal of Neuroscience, the researchers had participants learn twelve different smells on two separate occasions.
They were then asked the participants to either breathe through their noses or mouths for one hour. When the time was up, the participants were presented with the old smells as well as a new set of twelve smells and asked to say if each one was from the past learning session or new.
And, guess what…
When the participants breathed through their noses between the time of learning and recognition, they remembered the smells better.
And, it’s not the only study to show the power of nasal breathing when it comes to your cognitive processes.
A prior study by scientists at Northwestern Medicine found that breathing through your nose increases the function of the hippocampus region of your brain which is responsible for your memory processing while mouth breathing decreases it.
So, the next time you want to remember something like where your keys are, take deep breaths through your nose after setting your keys down. You’ll be much more likely to remember where they are a few hours later instead of being forced to search your house from top to bottom.
Other tips for improving your memory
And, nasal breathing isn’t the only way to boost your memory.
Here are 4 more ways to enhance your memory naturally:
#1 – Play brain games
When it comes to your brain, the old saying, “Use it or lose it”, is one to remember and if you want to keep your memory, you have to exercise your brain. You can use crossword puzzles, good old-fashioned board games or brain games on your computer.
One study of over 4,700 people found that just 15 minutes of online brain games at least five days a week can significantly improve both short-term and working memory.
#2 – Get more sunshine
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients when it comes to your health and the health of your brain and if you have low levels of the sunshine vitamin, problems could show up in your memory.
Low levels of D have been linked to dementia and studies show that people with lower blood levels of the vitamin are more likely to suffer memory loss than those with normal levels.
You can get your vitamin D natural by getting more sun each day or by taking a D3 supplement.
#3 – Feed your brain
Another nutrient that can support your brain health is phosphatidylserine or PS. This nutrient is the key building block for billions of cells in your brain and acts like brain food.
In fact, a multi-university study showed that subjects who took PS achieved a 30 percent improvement in their cognitive function, including learning, memory and recalling numbers, names and faces.
And, another study in Italy found that PS can improve your memory by 44 percent.
To get the phosphatidylserine you need each day to enhance your brain health and memory, I recommend a supplement.
If you’re experiencing problems with your memory, forgetting information or just noticing the beginning of those dreaded senior moments, you can fight back. Use nasal breathing as well as the other tips above to boost your cognition and preserve your memory.
Editor’s note: While you’re doing all the right things to protect your brain as you age, make sure you don’t make the mistake 38 million Americans do every day — by taking a drug that robs them of an essential brain nutrient! Click here to discover the truth about the Cholesterol Super-Brain!
- Breathing through the nose aids memory storage — Karolinska Institutet
- The breathing trick that helps you remember — Easy Health Options®
- Enhancing Cognitive Abilities with Comprehensive Training: A Large, Online, Randomized, Active-Controlled Trial — PLoS One
- Vitamin D deficiency as a risk factor for dementia: a systematic review and meta-analysis — BMC Geriatrics
- Vitamin D Status and Rates of Cognitive Decline in a Multiethnic Cohort of Older Adults — JAMA Neurology