Kim West, LCSW-C, a sleep expert near Annapolis, Maryland, and author of Good Night, Sleep Tight, offers tips for achieving restful slumber, which may in turn naturally boost your memory.
- Go to bed and wake up at around the same time daily. Routines “condition” us for sleep, which makes it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
- Give yourself plenty of time to wind down. Listen to quiet music, take a bath, or read a book.
- Get some natural light in the afternoon. Try to leave the house or briefly escape your artificially lit office cubicle by going for a walk or sitting in a sunny room.
- Eat dinner at least three hours before going to bed.
- Take a nap if you need to catch up on your Zs. Just keep it to a short 20- to 30-minute siesta or commit to a 90- to 100-minute snooze session so you don’t wake up during a non-REM sleep cycle and feel groggy afterward.
Good to know: Don’t try to boost your memory with the herbal supplement ginko biloba because it hasn’t been proven safe for use during pregnancy.