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How to Improve Memory & Concentration in Teens

By Katlyn Joy ; Updated April 18, 2017

While memory and concentration work together, one doesn't necessarily follow the other. Memory is the ability to recall information; concentration refers to the ability to concentrate your mental capacity on a problem or task. Teens may have difficulty with both things due to lifestyle factors or even just hormones. Helping teens improve their memory and concentration will boost their performance at school, work and even in relationships.

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Make certain that teens get a good night's sleep as often as possible. An occasional late night won't ruin an adolescent's concentration long-term, but a pattern of sleep-deprivation can wreak havoc. Key memory-building consolidation occurs during the deepest stages of sleep.

Get teens to exercise regularly to improve the brain's oxygen levels and to boost brain chemicals and protect brain cells.

Make certain that teenagers have a healthy and active social life. Meaningful relationships and active social lives are linked to fewer memory issues in life. Additionally, if you can combine this with laughter, all the better. Laughter activates regions across the brain.

Keep stress levels down in teens to protect memory and concentration. When chronic, stress can damage brain cells and even damage the hippocampus, or the area of the brain responsible for generating new memories and retrieving old ones. Meditation can help teens unwind and lower stress levels.

Provide teens with a healthy diet, especially brain-boosting foods such as Omega-3 rich foods and veggies high in antioxidants. Also keep fatty foods to a minimum and make sure teens avoid alcohol or other drugs that threaten their health and impair their memory and concentration.

Create a distraction-free workzone for teens to do schoolwork. Also, teach them concentration techniques such as involving multiple senses, including sight, hearing, touch and smell, in the learning process. Another concentration booster is to try to connect new material to information the teens already know. Have teens stop at intervals and attempt to paraphrase what they are reading to increase memory of new material.

Encourage teens to use free time to play some memory games or do crossword puzzles. These fun activities can boost brain function, improving both concentration and memory.

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About the Author

Katlyn Joy has been a freelance writer since 1982. She graduated from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville with a master's degree in writing. While in school she served as graduate assistant editor of "Drumvoices Revue" magazine.

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