Do you often feel like you have cotton wool in your head or by midday you can no longer function at work? Have no mental or physical energy? Struggling to find the ability to concentrate like you used to and struggling with mental inspiration? Are you constantly too tired to think? You may be suffering from brain fog! How to cure brain fog depends on what is causing it.
What is Brain Fog?
Brain fog makes you feel like you are limping along with a flat wheel, unable to function to your full mental capacity. This can be at the office or even in social settings, or the home environment!
Brain fog can be defined as chronic mental fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and cognitive dysfunction.
There can be many causes for brain fog. It can be caused by an underlying medical condition or by certain medications administered for certain medical conditions. If you have a medical condition or are taking medication for chronic ailments, it is best to consult your doctor for treatment. Your doctor may be able to adjust your treatment to reduce the brain fog symptom.
However, brain fog can also be a symptom of problems from our modern, fast paced lifestyle! And these causes you CAN do something about!
Brain fog can affect your lifestyle and health by increasing the risk of anxiety and depression, reducing your ability to perform and also reduce you general happiness!
Don’t let a symptom that is treatable make your life unbearable!
What Are The Symptoms Of Brain Fog?
The most common symptom for this condition is lack of concentration. Your mind wanders constantly and you find it difficult to focus mentally. This makes getting anything done feel like a major chore!
Another symptom can be forgetfulness. This can take the form of misplacing items like your keys or wallet, unable to remember what you ate yesterday, or even remembering facts. This can be a real problem if you are a student studying for exams or a business person preparing for a presentation!
Constantly feeling tired, or chronic fatigue can also be a symptom. Falling asleep on the bus on the way to work, a constant feeling of lethargy no matter how much sleep you get! Not even your morning coffee helps you kick that tired feeling anymore!
Chronic fatigue may also be a symptom of other underlying health issues, so if you suffer from this symptom it would be wise to seek the advice of your medical practitioner!
Since chronic fatigue is also a symptom of other disorders, consider talking to your doctor if it’s happening to you.
Lack of motivation, feeling unproductive like a hamster on a wheel and feeling like you just can’t get started and don’t achieve much in your day! All these and the and the others mentioned above can indicate that you are suffering from brain fog!
What Causes Brain Fog?
There are a number of aspects of our modern lifestyle that can result in brain fog. Fortunately the question of how to cure brain fog has a relatively easy answer! And the best part is that it is something that is within your power to control with a few simple changes and a measure of discipline!
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the side-effects of our modern lifestyle! We often glorify it and wear it as a badge of achievement! How often haven’t you heard someone say, “We pulled an all-nighter to get the job done”, as if this is a praiseworthy undertaking!
The problem with this mindset is that it has become the norm in our modern lifestyle. The all-nighter occurrences are becoming more frequent and even worse, expected by our employers or college programs!
Lack of sleep is a fast, downward spiral into the doldrums of brain frog! Sleep is like a bank account. You cannot keep withdrawing from it indefinitely without dire consequences. At some point you will need to replenish your balance in your sleep account!
Lack of sleep is not only a cause for brain fog, but can result in many other health issues as well. Some of our body processes can only take place while we are asleep! Not allowing these processes to take place is placing strain on your body and its ability to function correctly! Not only is lack of sleep a factor, but also lack of QUALITY sleep.
A number of factors can be affecting the quality of your sleep. Having coffee to close to bed time – not a good idea unless it is de-caff! Working right up until bedtime and not giving your mind a chance to wind down will cause you to lie in bed with your mind too active to fall asleep!
We also don’t seem to be able to put down our electronic devices. Just do some research into how blue light emitted from our devices affects our sleep patterns or charging these devices next to our bed!
How to Get More Sleep
We need to get 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep per night in order to function properly. More would be better!
The process to achieve this is simple lifestyle changes that are geared to encourage sufficient, quality sleep! These are things we can easily implement in our lives with a little discipline and planning!
Here are a few things you can try.
- Get some exposure to natural sunlight during the day – this has been shown to have many health benefits, including improving your sleep quality at night.
- Reduce your exposure to blue light from electronic device screens at least two hours before bed. If you struggle with this, try investing in blue light eliminating glasses.
- Do not drink caffeine drinks late in the day. Caffeine can stay in your blood for 6 to 8 hours, resulting in difficulty sleeping. Try not to take in caffeine after 4pm. If you must have a cup of coffee, try a decaffeinated variety.
- Try to go to bed and wake up at consistent times. As human we thrive on routine. If your mind knows it is bed time, your mind will start to relax and prepare for sleep.
- Get some regular exercise – see below on how exercise can contribute to relieving brain fog.
Lack of Exercise
How could lack of exercise have anything to do with brain fog? Well, exercise stimulates blood flow to your brain. This not only sends more oxygen to your brain, promoting mental sharpness and increased brain activity, but also has a number of other benefits!
Exercise has been proven to improve quality of sleep, improve your memory and reduce stress. Exercise also has the capacity to actually increase the size of the areas of the brain associated with memory and thought processes. It is therefore only logical, that lack of exercise can adversely affect our bodies and minds in such a way to cause brain fog as a symptom.
How to Exercise More
How to cure brain fog resulting from lack of exercise can be a challenge. We often start exercise programs with the best intentions of continuing them, but with one major flaw! We bite off more than we can chew, we start a program that is too intrusive on our lifestyle and we struggle to fit it into our schedule.
As a result, we start by missing a day or two here and there, then it becomes a week, then we get disheartened and give up altogether!
The way to be consistent in your exercise is to have a plan that is realistic for your lifestyle and one that is designed for your success. Remember the old saying “How do you eat an elephant?” the answer is “One bite at a time!” The same principle applies with achieving any life changing goal.
This improves your chances of seeing the program to completion and not giving up in frustration and despair! The program also includes an eating plan in conjunction with the exercise plan and helps you keep track of your overall progress with easy to follow charts, shopping lists and recipes.
Stress is something we are all familiar with. It seems that it has become the norm in our lifestyle, and something we just accept as being part of life. Yet it is an unwelcome intruder, a monster in the dark corners of your mind that not only does damage to your mental health. Stress has been shown to manifest physically in our bodies as well, even kicking off diseases such as diabetes!
You should not accept stress as a normal part of your life. The damage it does has the potential to in the best case make you life miserable, and in the worst case, actually shorten your life!
When it comes to brain fog, stress can produce a number of symptoms that contribute to the condition. High levels of continuous stress can produce the following brain fog symptoms.
- Difficulty in thinking clearly
- Unable to wind down and relax
- Trouble falling asleep
- Inability to focus on tasks
- Craving for junk food
How to Reduce Stress
Since stress has become an integral part of our lifestyle, it is one of the most difficult causes of brain fog to address. It is also one of the most difficult to escape from on a regular basis, as it requires discipline and determination!
Here are some tips and techniques to help you in your quest to reduce stress!
- Stay hydrated – When you are dehydrated, your body does not deal well with stress, so be sure to get your 8 glasses of water per day!
- Avoid or reduce alcohol, caffeine and nicotine intake – This is probably one of the hardest adjustments to make. We often feel that having an alcoholic drink helps us relax. In fact, when taken in small quantities, alcohol is actually a stimulant. Likewise, nicotine and caffeine are also stimulants, which are not effective or helpful when trying to reduce stress. Rather treat yourself to some sugar free dark chocolate, or drink water, herbal teas or natural fruit juices!
- Get some exercise – Exercise has been proven to be a great stress reliever. Try to include regular exercise as part of your daily regimen.
- Get more sleep – Sleep is a great way to reduce stress! It allows natural body processes necessary to detoxify your system to run properly and helps the level of cortisol in your system to reduce to normal levels.
- Take a relaxing long weekend away – The key word here is RELAXING! Don’t plan an adventure weekend or where your try to pack as many activities into as short a time as possible. Plan a trip where you can unplug from social media, the internet and the rat race. Take a good book to a log cabin out in nature, or a fishing trip. Get outdoors and RELAX!
- Reduce your sugar intake – Refined sugars cause wild highs and lows in your energy levels1 When you hit the lows, it can result in feeling exhausted and irritable, contributing to your stress levels. Reducing sugar intake can be difficult, since there is sugar in everything, once you start reading ingredient labels on foods!
To many people, incorrect diet as a cause of brain fog may come as a bit of a surprise. But think about it! Race car manufacturers operate high performance cars with finely tuned motors. They feed these engines specific fuels to optimize the vehicles performance! Think of your body as a finely tuned machine.
What fuel are you giving your finely tuned machine? Like a performance race car, if you give your body the wrong fuel, it will splutter, misfire, perform erratically and ultimately break down!
The foods we consume directly influence our brain health, from your ability to sustain attention to memory and cognition.
A diet high in processed foods, refined sugars and carbohydrates and a lack of protein, vitamins, minerals and micro nutrients can have an adverse effect on you. They can cause nutrient deficiencies in your body, impacting your mood, energy levels and ability to focus. In other words, leave you floundering in brain fog!
Foods for the Brain
There are specific food groups we must consume to support higher level brain functioning. When your focus is not what it used to be or you find yourself mentally fatigued in the middle of the day, a closer look at your diet could reveal the reasons for your sluggish mental performance.
Take a look at the post 20 Brain Power Foods That Help Improve Memory.as this could provide the support you need for high powered, alert and focused results.
The good news is that food that feeds your brain includes some surprising (read yummy) foods!
Some of them, to name a few, include Dark chocolate, red wine and almonds! Are you intrigued? Go take a look at the post and see how eating brain food can be a satisfying undertaking!
If you are suffering from brain fog and need a “quick fix”, then nootropics may be of value for you. If you are writing exams at college, under pressure at work with deadlines that need to be met, nootropics can provide a short term solution to the problem.
While some nootroopics are prescription only, there are others available that are made for purely natural ingredients. All natural products will reduce the risks of side effects, and are available without prescription.
Take a look at these posts, Mind Lab Pro and 5 Top Nootropic Stack Supplements. These posts will help you decide if nootropics would be an effective supplement for you to take during times of high demand on your mental alertness!
As mentioned under the topic of stress, dehydration not only affects stress, but can be a cause of brain fog in its own right – even if you are not stressed!
The symptoms of dehydration include confusion, fatigue, inability to focus, impaired short and long term memory and impaired problem solving ability! Doesn’t this sound just like Brain Fog?
We have all heard the quote that we are mostly made of water, but this is especially true of the brain! The human brain is composed of 73% water and a drop of just 1% can result in impaired cognitive function!
How to Stay Hydrated
Increasing your water intake is great advice on how to cure brain fog. Most of us don’t drink enough fluids. Though we are all different, and some people need less water that others, and some people need more, there is a medical recommendation.
Most health authorities recommend the average person should be drinking about eight 8oz glasses of water a day. This averages out at about 2 liters (half a gallon) of water per day.
If you struggle with drinking that much water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your water to add a bit of flavour. Another strategy is to have a bottle of water with you at all times and sip on it frequently throughout the day, rather than drinking large amounts in one go!
Here are some other tips that can help you stay hydrated!
- Don’t wait till you are thirsty – sip water all day.
- Eat Fresh Fruits and vegetables – these foods are high in water and will help to keep you hydrated.
- Grow plants indoors – plants excrete water vapor through their leaves and are a natural way to humidify the air.
- Get outside more – Air conditioners dry out the air and the dryer the air, the more water we lose just by breathing. Getting outside into the natural air will help reduce moisture loss through this means!
The modern processed foods we eat, the environments we live in, the fast paced lives we lead all flood our bodies and minds with toxins. These toxins slowly cause deterioration in our physical and mental health. This leads to ill health and unproductive, mostly due to the toxin induced brain fog.
How to Detox
While it is often difficult to avoid the toxins from our modern world altogether, there are steps we can take to minimize their harmful effects on our minds and bodies. Every now and then a good detox program that addresses both mind and body is a good idea.
Our bodies work in cycles, just like the seasons. Our bodies follow rhythms and cycles and the changing seasons are a good time to detox certain systems in our bodies! This program also shows you how to take steps to undertake a mental detox! What is the point of having a healthy body if you don’t have a healthy mind!
Brain fog is a very real symptom of our modern society, but it is something we can limit in our day to day lives with a little care, discipline and knowledge. I hope these tips help you along the path toward clarity of mind and the associated healthy body!