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A Bedtime Memory Building Exercise

by Joel

If knowledge is power and your mind is the container of this knowledge, then the more you improve your mind’s memory capacity, the more knowledge your mind will retain and the more power you will have at your disposal.  At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 

Anyway, over the last six months I have been practicing a particular bedtime memory building exercise every night before I fall asleep.  And it’s really been working wonders for me.  In this short time, I’ve noticed that I’m now able to remember smaller moments in my days, and instantly recollect details from these moments that I used to completely forget.

In a nutshell, here’s the memory building exercise:

Every night, as you’re lying in bed ready to fall asleep, review what you did during the day from start to finish in as much detail as you can possibly remember.  Start with the exact moment you woke up and got out of bed and finish with the moment that just passed as you laid back down in your bed.  Visualize every single detail in your mind, each and every step you took in sequential order from beginning to end as if you were watching a video recap of your day.

The first few times you do this, you may be surprised with how few details you can remember.  You’ll likely jump quickly through your recollection of the day from one major event or block of time to the next without recalling any of the meticulous details from the smaller moments contained within those larger time blocks.

But after just a few short weeks of practicing this exercise, you’ll notice an obvious improvement in your memory and you’ll gradually get better and better recalling even the minutest details from your day.  Your goal should be to grow your memory to the point where you can visualize the particulars present in every scene of every waking moment over the course of the day – the conversations you had, the people who were present at the time, the song that was playing on the radio, the billboards and people you saw when you were walking or driving home, etc.

And although I usually fall asleep long before I completely recap my day (this is totally normal), after six months of routinely practicing this memory building exercise, I have noticed the following benefits:

  • My memory has improved, especially my ability to recollect the minute details present in various situations over the course of a day, week, month, or longer period of time.
  • I’m living more in the moment.  I’m now more observant and aware of how I’m spending my time when I’m actually doing things throughout the day.  I assume this is because I’m subconsciously trying to remember the events that I will eventually recap later on before bedtime.
  • I’m more keenly focused on the task at hand.  I now absorb myself more in everything I do so I can extract the details and fully recollect the moment.  This has helped me narrow my focus and concentrate when I’m tackling difficult tasks.
  • Outside of recapping my day every night, I have improved my ability visualize other aspects of my life as well.  Future goals, past milestones, to-do’s, tasks at hand, etc.
  • I also seem to fall asleep more easily.  Often in the middle of recapping my day, I peacefully doze off into a deep slumber.  I assume this is because recapping the details of the day is kind of like counting sheep as they jump over the moon.

So give this bedtime memory building exercise a try.  It’s simple, relaxing, mentally stimulating, and seriously thought-provoking.

Photo by: Jah

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