We’ve all had those days at work where you just can’t get your brain into gear. Maybe things are worrying you away like money or personal problems. Other times, you might just have had a sleepless night and feel extra tired. Brain fog is a common result of different daily stressors that causes our brains to function slower and may cause feelings of dissociation from the tasks and people in front of you. Brain fog isn’t a medical term, but it is something all of us have problem had to deal with at some point in our daily life. So what can you do when it strikes?
What causes brain fog?
There are lots of reasons why you might experience brain fog, a sense of disassociation, and lack of motivation. The easiest factors to point to are lack of sleep, poor diet, too much caffeine, too many distractions, and lack of exercise.
Brain fog can also be a symptom of larger, long-term health problems. If you’re feeling repeated symptoms of brain fog over a long period of time, then long-term stress and/or any medical conditions associated with stress may be the cause. It might be worthwhile to seek further medical treatment if you’re experiencing many of the following:
- Fatigue or low energy (also chronic fatigue syndrome)
- Feeling irritable
- Problems with concentration
- Lack of motivation and even mild depression
- Anxiety and confusion
Managing brain fog
While this might all sound a bit dire, the good news is that in many cases, there are simple ways to deal with brain fog and to restore your mental acuity.
The first thing is to look at your sleep patterns. It might sound boring, but good sleep routines are key to a host of health-related problems and brain fog is definitely one of them. The odd late night sports match or catching the late showing at the cinema isn’t going to have a big impact on your health, but regularly not getting enough sleep will. Use your smartphone to log your sleep and look at the days when you suffer brain fog – how much sleep did you get the night before? You might quickly realize that not enough sleep is the cause.
Treatment: Develop a nighttime sleep routine that involves no screen time two hours before bed. Screens are known to negatively impact the REM cycle and can cause disruptive sleep patterns. Incorporate a sense of calm into this routine, by taking a bath, reading a book, or drinking some chamomile tea – any tranquil activity that will help your brain wind down in preparation for a restful night of sleep.
We all know that water is one of the most vital ingredients for healthy bodily functions, but it also plays a part in mental sharpness and concentration. If you’re not drinking enough water, you may find that you suffer with brain fog as well as other physical symptoms such as cramps, dry mouth, and blurry vision.
Treatment: It’s common knowledge that an average-sized person should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. It’s important to get your daily intake throughout the day, rather than in a few quick sittings. When you first wake up in the morning – even before your morning coffee – try to drink at least one glass of water. Set timers throughout the day to remind yourself to drink a few glasses while you’re at the office or out and about. Make sure to drink one more glass of water before bed, so you don’t wake up dehydrated and with the early symptoms of brain fog.
Dealing with imbalances
A lack of adequate nutrients is an easy way to experience brain fog, but for many of us, it’s hard to get the proper amount of vitamins and minerals into our daily diets.
Treatment: More veggies and fruits, of course! There are simple ways to incorporate healthier foods into your diet. The internet is full of fun, healthy, and simple recipes you can try out. While it might be tempting to pick up a sugary treat during your afternoon energy lull, grab an apple or some carrots instead. Spikes and drops in blood sugar are a surefire way to experience brain fog.
If you’re still feeling sluggish and tired throughout the day, there are plenty of supplements that might be beneficial. You can try vitamin supplements, or maybe nootropics, which are neuro-enhancing natural supplements that can help boost the brain and clear up the brain fog. With any kind of supplement, always check with a medical professional before trying them out.