Forgetfulness Helps the Brain


How Forgetfulness Benefits Your Brain

Do you ever wish you had a better memory? New research suggests that some types of forgetfulness are a feature and not a fault. 
Your brain is wired to hold some information for a short period of time and others for longer access. The combination can be exhausting and result in having trouble recalling what you value most.
Scientists now believe that forgetfulness helps you tune out useless information so you can spend more time on what’s relevant. It’s a form of learning that enables you to adapt to your changing environment and make better decisions. 
In other words, without forgetting, your brain would be overwhelmed, store endless amounts of information, and become fixated and weighed down. Some theories believe that PTSD occurs because the forgetting function is broken, and the brain struggles with the inability to let go of painful experiences.
Disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia are not about forgetfulness, it’s a breakdown in your brains ability to access memories and process correctly.
But, if you’re forgetting too much in the short term, the issue might be your sleep. Research suggests that even one night of sleep deprivation can harm short-term memory. Other studies found that poor sleep affects the regions of your brain that help you in short-term processing and decision-making. It’s so bad that researchers estimate poor sleep can reduce your learning capacity by 40 percent. 
To stay sharp and improve your sleep, remember to try to go to sleep and wake up at similar times each day, cut off eating within 2 to 3 hours of sleep, foam roll or stretch before sleep, journal your thoughts, or read a book. Overall, try to sleep at least 6 hours every night, as that’s the cutoff when the breakdown occurs.
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