Have you ever hunted for your reading glasses only to locate them atop your head, or misplaced the keys to your automobile only seconds after setting them down? Have you ever had trouble remembering a person's name or how about an important commitment? Were you or someone you know in a serious accident that you (or they) can't remember? Memory lapses are very common and most of us have experienced at least some of these examples. Do your moments of forgetfulness aggravate you, and do you think that if your memory was better it would improve your life?

Although the brain functions behind storing and bringing back memories is still not completely clear to scientists and doctors, there have been several ground breaking experiments that point to answers regarding why we are sometimes forgetful. The causes of our forgetfulness hold the answers to how we can improve our ability to remember, so let's examine five of the most frequent reasons we forget.

LACK OF SLEEP. The amount of sleep we have directly impacts our memory, according to studies. We use all five senses to take in mental images throughout the day, and researchers think that we sleep in order to work through those images and store them in our brains. This is the reason that infants, children and teenagers, all of whom have brains still in development, need more sleep than fully developed adult brains.

How to improve memory? Sleep as much as your body requires. The Mayo Clinic offers these recommended daily sleep requirements:

Infants 16 hours
Pre-schoolers 11 hours
School age 10 hours
Teenagers 9 hours
Adults 7-8 hours

Think you can do well on less sleep than that? If so, then be aware that you will in fact do better on memory drills if you live within these May Clinic guidelines even though you may think you are rested on less sleep.

LACK OF BLOOD FLOW TO THE BRAIN. Blood flow gives life to your body. Stop the flow of blood, and your body can no longer live. Blood flow is exceptionally important to brain functions. Research has illustrated a direct relationship between the volume of blood passing through the brain, and the brain's ability to store and retrieve memories.

How to improve memory? Exercise is one of the most effective ways to increase blood flow. To show quantifiable progress on memory tests requires only about 3 months of light to moderate exercising, according to studies.

TOO MUCH STRESS. Stress is a normal part of life. But if your level of stress is unhealthy, you could be diminishing your memory capability as a result. Our ancient ancestors needed "fight or flight" hormones in order to survive, but stress causes us to release those hormones more frequently than physically necessary. Once released, cortisol, one of the stress related hormones, lingers in the body. According to research, memory is diminished when cortisol is present. Have you ever forgotten something in a stressful situation (like an accident in your car that you can't fully recall)? A high presence of cortisol is believed by scientists to be at least part of the reason.

How to improve memory? Cut down on the stress in your life. Visit www.findyourquietmind.com to learn more about ways you can reduce the levels of stress in your life.

LACK OF FOCUS. You must learn something in the first place before you can remember it. So focus more effectively as you are taking information in, and you will be better able to retrieve that memory at a later time.

How to improve memory? There are a number of methods for increasing your ability to focus. An approach that has a very good success rate is meditation. According to WebMD Health News, a recent study showed improved memory after just 8 weeks was shown to to be directly correlated with the practice of meditation. Come visit us at http://www.findyourquietmind.com/the-unexplainable-store-reviewed.php to learn about one of the best tools to support focus through meditation.

LACK OF PRACTICE. The bottom line is use it or lose it. Without exercise, your memory "muscle" will begin to shrink away.

How to improve memory? Take time to give your memory a good daily work out. If your memory is not tested by daily living, then take up some mental exercises such as brain teasers, crossword puzzles or Sudoku.

Tackle these 5 strategies, and you should expect to be rewarded with a noticeable improvement in your memory.

Author's Bio: 

Fabrianna Payne is now strong and healthy but has been a long time sufferer of anxiety, stress and panic attacks. She has joined the team at The Quite Mind and is dedicated to helping others find non-drug solutions to reduce and even eliminate the pain and isolation of anxiety. Come visit us at http:/www.findyourquietmind.com to learn more about natural alternatives to treating stress, anxiety and panic attacks.