As the human body ages and matures, it starts to wear out in many areas. Our health begins to deteriorate, and we slowly lose strength. As women reach a certain age, they experience menopause. The most common problem associated with aging is short-term forgetfulness, which can be a symptom of a more serious issue known as dementia. We use our brains to store information. New information is stored in a temporary holding space before being transferred a more permanent storage space in the brain. Short-term forgetfulness occurs when new information is received into the temporary storage area, such as something we’ve heard, seen, or done recently; yet we cannot retrieve or recall that memory. Short-term forgetfulness is one of the signs of old age. Unfortunately, doctors and scientists have not been able to pinpoint what causes this short-term memory loss. This article will look at some of the causes of short-term forgetfulness and how avoiding short-term memory loss.

Lack of enough rest and sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the most common causes of short-term forgetfulness. We often don’t place enough value on the benefit of a good night’s sleep. Still, according to experts, a night of restful sleep is essential for optimal brain function, especially when it comes to memory retention. The brain transfers memories from the hippocampus to a more permanent holding area known as the prefrontal cortex. This activity is significant, and it happens when we are in a resting or sleeping state. Adults who do not give themselves time to rest or sleep will experience impaired brain function. If the brain isn’t functioning due to sleep deficit, new information cannot transfer properly to the prefrontal cortex and is left in the hippocampus. This information will eventually disappear from your temporary memory storage, causing short-term forgetfulness.

Blood clots in the brain

Blood clots need to be taken seriously, and medical treatment is required. Short-term memory loss can occur when clots form in the brain, impeding the nerves from functioning correctly.

Eexcessive alcohol intake and drug abuse

Alcohol slows down the nerves that help form and maintain memory in the hippocampus, contributing to short-term memory loss. Years of alcohol intake can damage the nerves supposed to help you store new memories, and in worst-case scenarios of alcohol abuse, they are irreparable. People who have battled with addiction and substance abuse such as cocaine, marijuana, tobacco, and other harmful drug use are more likely to suffer from temporary memory loss. Drug-related memory loss may eventually lead to more permanent memory loss or even mental illness. Other standard drugs sold over the counter, such as anti-anxiety medications, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, anti-depressants, and pain medications received after surgery can also cause memory loss.  

Brain tumours

Brain tumors may affect or cause short-term forgetfulness, depending on their size and location. For example, tumors located at the hippocampus put pressure on the nerve activities around the affected area, impacting their ability to perform efficiently. These tumors may cause forgetfulness and make concentrating even for a few minutes difficult. Frontal lobe tumors cause short-term memory loss, affect mental capabilities, and can even impair vision.


Aging is an everyday cause of short-term memory loss. As you age, you might find it increasingly difficult to learn new things, and you might not be able to recall things you’re certain you know. Scientists cannot precisely pinpoint the kinds of memories that are lost during senescence or when, exactly, that memory loss occurs. Episodic memory, which is stored in the hippocampus, is commonly affected by the aging process. It is said that a decline in our memory begins from the age of 45. After the age of 65, about 40% of people will experience some form of memory loss. The brain starts to lose focus. Living a healthy lifestyle can help prevent short-term memory loss.

Head/Brain injuries 

Head trauma such blow to the head or a concussion from falling or an accident may cause some form of short-term memory loss. Depending on the severity of the head trauma, it can result in long-term memory loss. Temporary memory loss resulting from an injury can improve, and it is possible for normal brain function and memory retention to return.

Mental illness

Mental illness is one of the most severe causes of short-term memory loss. When important parts of the brain are damaged, the ability to remember, concentrate and make decisions are affected. Mental illness such as depression or dementia can cause forgetfulness and make workplace concentration very difficult. Recovering from a mental illness can be challenging, but not impossible, with the right help from experts and medications.

What Can You Do Now That You Have Short-Term Forgetfulness?

Your brain is to overlook. We encourage you to be more proactive about your brain health by joining our community on our app, Retiink. We have many resources available, including brain-boosting activities and exercises to keep you grounded and help you optimise brain function. Enjoy performing brain-boosting daily tasks on the app and receive daily reminders. You can also invite friends and family to support you in your journey to mental fitness.

Download the app on Google Play Store, fill in your details, and get started immediately.

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