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16 Ways Sudoku Can Be Good For Your Brain and Mental Health

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

Man solving sudoku puzzle on floor

Several games have the potential of keeping your brain healthy just by playing them. Sudoku is one such game. Spending some time on this game can certainly be entertaining and keep you engaged. It boasts more than just entertainment, though. 

With ways to keep your brain and mental health in tip-top shape, Sudoku should be one of your go-to number pattern games. There are many reasons why you should feel inspired to enjoy a daily round of Sudoku.

Sudoku is a fantastic way to exercise your brain, keeping your mind occupied and active, along with numerous logic puzzles and brain training games. We all want to keep our brains healthy and active as we age. And what better way to do it than play a game? 

These are 16 ways Sudoku can be good for your brain and mental health:

1. When you play Sudoku, you keep your brain working better and for longer. 

Do you know you can improve your mental health by exercising different parts of your brain? Whether you are learning a new language, playing an instrument, or attempting a Sudoku puzzle, keeping your brain occupied impacts your mental health. When you spend some time exercising your brain, cognitive functions improve instead of decline as you age. You can keep your brain working better and for longer by using it more when you play Sudoku.

2. People who regularly engage in playing Sudoku may be able to delay mental decline.

Coupled with logic games, crossword puzzles, and other similar games, Sudoku players stretch their minds through deductive reasoning and other cognitive skills. When we stimulate our brain, we protect it against the threat of memory loss and function. While playing Sudoku won’t prevent mental diseases, it can certainly keep your brain active to the point that it delays the onset of mental decline.

3. Critical thinking will help you improve your concentration span. 

Sudoku is one of those puzzles that make you think. As you focus on where to place the numbers, your concentration is enhanced. You have to think critically to avoid making mistakes, making sure no digit is duplicated in a row, column, or section. As you think critically, your concentration is enhanced, and this can help when you’re concentrating on other things in life. 

4. Playing a timed version of Sudoku can help develop your memory. 

Once you get the knack for playing the game, you remember the strategies you used to solve the puzzle. You become sharper in identifying the patterns and practical solutions, and this can decrease the time you take to solve the game. When you remember how to do something in a set amount of time, you enhance your memory skills. So the next time you play Sudoku, try to beat your previous times.

5. Sudoku can help you master your ability to retain knowledge. 

We can develop the way we possess knowledge skills when we play Sudoku. For instance, you can remember all the patterns and solutions you learn, so you can build speed the next time you play. You can apply the tips you use to retain all the strategies when acquiring new information. 

6. Manage your stress levels by playing a game of Sudoku.

While we should not use Sudoku as a cure for replacing anxiety and stress-related medication and exercises, regularly engaging in this game can help you manage your stress levels. Believe it or not, a good amount of stress is essential. Stress, another word for pressure, on your mind can cause you to expand your thinking capabilities. 

7. Sudoku doesn’t allow you to autopilot. 

Young woman solving sudoku puzzle on sofa

When we work and need a break, we need to consider taking intelligent breaks. Instead of letting your brain shift to autopilot, work it. Spending ten minutes on a game of Sudoku will still help you relax and unwind from the daily grind of life, but it doesn’t leave your mind idle. Since you focus and are required to use brainpower to play Sudoku, you keep your mind active by having fun at the same time.

8. Sudoku and other logic puzzles can help keep your brain younger. 

Although our knowledge and emotional skills may improve as we age, we see declining memory and other cognitive functions. There is a way to reduce memory decline by keeping our brains young and active. Data from almost 20 000 participants over the age of fifty revealed that those who engage in games like Sudoku and crosswords have a brain function at least ten years younger than their age suggests.

9. You might be able to gain increased neuroplasticity by playing Sudoku. 

When you play Sudoku, you have to look at numbers from different angles and consider what’s needed and which numbers are missing. You look for patterns. As you keep doing this, you can potentially increase your neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the ability of your brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections. Increased neuroplasticity is beneficial and can trickle down into everyday life, where you need to look at things from multiple angles to make a decision.

10. Enhance your skills in performing deductive reasoning. 

As you search up and down the grid to see what’s there and what’s not there, you perform deductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning skills will help you conclude why a specific number must be in a set spot, helping you complete the game. As you work on this area of your brain, you can apply these skills in your decision-making process in other areas of life. 

11. Work on your analytical skills. Sudoku isn’t luck but skill-based.

Put one wrong number in a block, and your mistake carries throughout the grid, causing frustration when you’re unable to complete the grid successfully. That’s why guesswork is out of the question when it comes to Sudoku. You have to use your skills to make logical decisions, and this sharpens your analytical skills. 

12. Reduce momentary anxiety. 

By playing Sudoku, your brain works harder than you realize. Anything that can cause you to think a little more, using more brain function, will help you to reduce momentary anxiety. Games like Sudoku and other logic and puzzle games allow us to destress. They cause us to use more brainpower instead of staying idle and naturally drifting to a default negative state of mind.

13. Playing Sudoku encourages cognitive stimulation. 

Although our brain is not considered a muscle, it still needs to be exercised. We don’t want a lazy mind as we age. Playing Sudoku will help you encourage cognitive stimulation. It’s better to start when you’re younger, so your brain function will be better with age. 

14. Playing Sudoku stimulates the left side of your brain. 

brain function, lef and right side, retro style

Which side of your brain do you use more often, your left or right side? While we all use both sides of our brain, one side tends to be more dominant. If you’d like to exercise the left side of your brain more, start actively playing Sudoku. The left side of your brain is responsible for logical thinking, and you can stimulate this area with any puzzle-solving game.

15. Relaxation is great for your mental health. 

When you overwork yourself, you can experience burnout. You need to take breaks regularly and get your mind on something completely unrelated to your busy schedule. Playing a game of Sudoku can be used to help you relax. Spending at least ten minutes on a game of Sudoku can help you break away from the stress of the day while still keeping your mind healthily active. 

16. Playing Sudoku can make you happy. 

Beginners may find Sudoku initially intimidating. However, this game has nothing to do with math. It has everything to do with number patterns. If you don’t like numbers, you can replace them with letters, colors and symbols. Completing a Sudoku game can make you feel delighted, positively impacting your mental health.  

Final Words

These sixteen reasons should motivate you to adopt a healthy habit of playing a daily game of Sudoku

Now you know the benefits that playing a game of Sudoku has on your mental health. The next time you come across the game in your daily newspaper, spend a few moments on the game. There are also many Sudoku apps available for download. Be sure to try them out, and remember to take care of your mental health. Happy playing.

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.