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Remember keywords to improve your retaining power

india Updated: Feb 28, 2012 23:38 IST
Dr Anoop Misra
Dr Anoop Misra
Hindustan Times
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Even after I have revised my lessons, I feel like I don’t remember anything. I feel tense all the time. Are there any medicines that can keep me calm and help me focus on studying? Sanskriti Pandey

These problems are encountered by most students, and are part of the body’s reaction to going into ‘battle mode’. While feeling tense is generally uncomfortable and leads to fatigue, it may help sensitise your senses and help you become ‘battle-ready’.

The following will help you:

While you may think that you do not remember anything, a little bit of digging inside your head will help rejig your memory. Remembering key words
in answers will further help you

To avoid fatigue and tension due to lack of sleep, make sure you get six to eight hours of sound sleep

Avoid going without water and electrolytes (salt) or long periods of fasting

Start consuming omega 3 fatty acid rich foods such as walnuts, almonds, fish and eggs

Avoid tranquillisers (diazepam, zolpidem, alprazolam and others) as much as possible, since they may lead to loss in concentration and judgment

While medicine is not the solution, sometimes vitamin tablets (B12, vitamin D), or calcium become necessary. However, let your physician decide when to it is best to use them


Are there any medicines or food items that can help enhance memory, and boost retention power? Saksham Gupta

Although some medicines are taken to boost memory, in reality, these do not enhance memory. They send nerves in hyperdrive and may actually prove harmful. The simple logic is that if you are tired, have an irregular and imbalanced diet, are devoid of sleep, and study in an unplanned manner, you may have a ‘poor memory’. The following will help you:

Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids (see above), non greasy foods, fruits, fish and eggs

Fluids: Take water, coconut water, buttermilk, jaljeera, nimbu pani throughout the day

Salt/potassium: Salty liquids, small amount of fruit juices

Vitamins: You will get enough vitamins from the items mentioned above, but sometimes extra vitamins are required, especially in vegetarians.

I am having sleepless nights for the last one month. Even when I get some sleep, I only have nightmares of failing and wake up tired and nervous. I can’t even concentrate on my studies. Prakash Jain

Anxiety, mental insecurity, poor diet, poor physical health, excess caffeine, anxiolytic drugs - can all cause nightmares. The following will help you:

Have a glass of milk before going to bed; milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps the brain produce serotonin, a chemical that can help you relax

A minimum of six to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep with 15-20 minutes of power nap during the day is required. To achieve this, your room needs to be dark, noise-free, of comfortable temperature. You should also sleep on a comfortable bed and mattress. Darkness releases a hormone melatonin in brain, which induces sleep and relaxes your muscles.

Listening to some easy music before going to bed may help

Have small meals at regular intervals, and make sure your meals are not greasy. Avoid fried foods, and instead snack on at least two fruits per day

Avoid late dinners or late night snacking. There should be a minimum gap of one to one and a half hours between dinner and sleep time

Mentally dealing with the day’s unfinished business is also helpful. Write down all your worries before you go to bed. This may help clear them from your mind and prevent them from re-surfacing during your sleep or in the early morning hours

Avoid sedative drugs, caffeine (coffee, energy drinks, colas), cough syrups and untested
supplements.