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Anxiety & Stress

How to Get Rid of Brain Fog

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Have you been struggling to focus lately? Feeling fatigued, forgetful, or confused? If so, you may be dealing with a bout of brain fog. 

When left unaddressed, brain fog can become debilitating. It’s much harder to move through your day when you lack mental clarity. From completing tasks to conversing with others, cloudy cognition can leave you feeling disconnected, powerless, and frustrated.

So, how do you get rid of brain fog? Fortunately, there are many ways to wash those cognitive clouds away, including herbs for memory. Below, we’ll explain what brain fog is, what causes it, and most importantly, what you can do to get rid of it. 

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog is an experience of mental fogginess. Some refer to it as “cog-fog” because it can feel like your cognition is impaired or slowed down. 

When you’re unable to focus and feel mentally sluggish, keeping up with your daily responsibilities can be a lot more challenging. You may even find it difficult to recall information and stay engaged during conversations. 

As a result, brain fog can notably interfere with your quality of life and take a toll on your mental health. 

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What Causes Brain Fog?

Brain fog can stem from a variety of different conditions, both psychological and physical. Here are a few of the potential culprits behind your cloudy cognition:

  • Inadequate sleep – The saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is often touted by people who take pride in their productivity and ambitious drive. Unfortunately, sacrificing sleep and possibly experiencing sleep deprivation can kill your productivity, since it's a common cause of brain fog. 

Not getting enough sleep prevents your brain from undergoing a plethora of important processes. During sleep, your brain regenerates its cells, consolidates your memories, and flushes out damaging toxins that are known to cause Alzheimer’s disease.1 

If you don’t honor your sleep schedule, your brain may not be able to complete these crucial processes in time. Poor sleep can also disrupt your brain cells’ communication with each other, leading to frequent mental lapses throughout the day.2 

  • Poor diet – Just like the rest of your body, your brain needs high-quality fuel to operate at its best. If your diet is deficient in key nutrients, your mood, alertness, and energy levels can suffer. 
  • Inactivity – When you’re feeling fatigued, exercise may be the last thing you want to do. However, exercise keeps your brain sharp and alert. If you forgo exercise for a prolonged period of time, your physical inactivity can start manifesting as mental fatigue.

  • Stress – Stress can have a host of negative effects on your health. Whether your stress stems from an overwhelming workload or personal matters, it can also exhaust your brain. In turn, you won’t be as alert and clear as usual. 
  • Hormonal imbalances – Your energy levels and mental clarity can also be disrupted by hormonal changes.3 Hormones may shift more notably during pregnancy, menopause, or after giving birth. As a result, brain fog can set in suddenly during these phases in life.

  • Medication use – Brain fog can also be a side effect of certain medications. If your cloudy cognition has set in after adding a new medication to your daily routine, speak to your doctor about it to identify potential solutions.

  • Health conditions – While brain fog isn’t a formal medical condition in itself, it can be caused by one. Some of the medical conditions that are associated with brain fog include:
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Thyroid disorders

How is Brain Fog Diagnosed?

If your brain fog has been going on for some time, you may want to visit your doctor and see if they can help you determine its root cause. While there’s no single test that can pinpoint the cause of brain fog, your doctor can run various tests to rule out underlying conditions. 

For example, your doctor may ask you about your current diet, exercise routine, mental health, and medication use. They may also run blood tests to check your glucose levels, thyroid function, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies.

How to Get Rid of Brain Fog: 4 Helpful Tips

If your brain fog isn’t caused by a medical underlying condition or medication use, you may be able to treat it on your own by implementing the following healthy habits and changing lifestyle factors:

#1 Improve Your Sleep Quality

After a restful night’s sleep, you’re much more likely to wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day. That’s because high-quality sleep gives your brain a chance to detoxify and regenerate its cells. 

You can improve your sleep quality by:

  • Cutting off your caffeine intake by noon each day
  • Finishing your last meal two or three hours before bed
  • Avoiding alcohol and screens before bed
  • Going to bed early enough to get a full night’s rest
  • Going to bed at the same time every night
  • Creating a relaxing bedtime routine

#2 Nourish Your Brain With Healthy Nutrients

Your brain functions a lot better when it’s properly nourished. One of the easiest ways to improve your diet is to eat more unprocessed, whole foods for brain power, such as vegetables, fruits, meats, and whole grains.

You can also support optimal brain function and brain health by:

  • Limiting your sugar intake – Your brain uses glucose as its primary source of fuel. However, don’t use this as an excuse to load up on candy and soda. Excessive glucose in the brain is associated with memory issues and cognitive deficiencies.4

  • Getting enough vitamin B12 – The symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency often resemble brain fog. Not getting enough of this essential vitamin can cause memory problems, depression, fatigue, and confusion.5

    If you have persistent brain fog, you may want to get your vitamin B12 levels checked and take a daily supplement if you’re deficient.
  • Ingesting ample omega-3 essential fatty acids – Omega-3 fatty acids are known to support healthy brain function and fight against mental fatigue.6

    You can increase your intake of omega-3s by consuming more:

    • Cold-water fatty fish
    • Flax seeds, hemp seeds, or chia seeds
    • Walnuts
    • DHA supplements
  • Obtaining ample vitamin D – Nothing clears fog away quite like a sunny day. Likewise, getting adequate vitamin D from the sun or a supplement may help wash away your mental clouds.

    Vitamin D can improve your mood, memory, and cognitive alertness.7 If you don’t live somewhere that gets sun year-round, you can also take a supplement to keep your vitamin D levels up. 
  • Taking a nootropic supplement – You can also give your brain performance a boost with an herbal nootropic supplement, like Plant People’s Advanced Clear Focus.

    This daily capsule contains:

    • Organic Lion's Mane and Cordyceps mushrooms, which can help support brain function8
    • Bacopa, which can help improve mood, memory, and brain function9
    • Rhodiola, which can help fight against physical and mental fatigue10

#3 Move Your Body

It may be easy to compartmentalize the brain from the body, but they’re much more interconnected than you may think. Moving your body is an effective way to activate blood flow to your brain and optimize its health. 

Regular exercise can do wonders for your mood, alertness, and cognition.11 When you move your body, your brain gets showered in feel-good endorphins, which can energize you and wash away your brain fog. Exercise also increases the flow of oxygen throughout your body and brings key nutrients to your brain.

You don’t need to commit to strenuous gym sessions each day to get these brain benefits. Taking a short walk around the block is enough to wake up your brain and help you feel more alert. 

#4 Employ Daily Relaxation Techniques

These days, living in a state of chronic stress is all too common. Some people even view it as a point of pride. Unfortunately, excessive stress can devastate your health and bring about brain fog.

If you suspect that chronic stress is what causes brain fog in your daily life, you can mitigate it by adding these simple relaxation techniques to your daily routine:

  • Take a meditation break
  • Breathe deeply from your diaphragm
  • Practice gratitude each day
  • Journal to get your stressors down on paper
  • Practice a form of exercise that you enjoy

If your stress is caused by a troubling life event, you may also want to speak to a therapist. Professional support can help you navigate your current situation and develop healthy strategies to manage stress. 

Beat Brain Fog Once and For All With Plant People

While there are causes of brain fog, many of them can be addressed by adopting these healthy lifestyle habits. After following these tips, there’s a good chance that your brain fog will lift, allowing a newfound sense of mental clarity to shine through. 

If you want to give your brain an extra boost, don’t forget to include a high-quality herbal nootropic supplement in your daily routine. At Plant People, our Advanced Clear Focus can help you defeat brain fog and feel your very best. 

When you choose Plant People, you can trust that you're giving your body (and brain) the highest quality ingredients. After all, all of our herbal and hemp products are organic and proudly produced in the United States. 

 

Reviewed by Gabe Kennedy

 Co-Founder of Plant People, Gabe Kennedy is an acclaimed chef and entrepreneur. Growing up in a house of healers and herbalists, he is passionate about the power of food as a tool for health, and actualized this passion and belief system into his company, Plant People. Named to Forbes 30 under 30 Gabe has shaped menus and cooked his way around the world with his mission to promote a more communal, green and healthy world.

Gabe is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. You can learn more about his work at his website.

Sources:

  1. NCBI. The Neuroprotective Aspects of Sleep. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4651462/
  2. Nature Medicine. Selective neuronal lapses precede human cognitive lapses following sleep deprivation. https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.4433
  3. Harvard. Sleep, stress, or hormones? Brain fog during perimenopause.  https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sleep-stress-or-hormones-brain-fog-during-perimenopause-202104092429
  4. Harvard. Sugar and the Brain.  https://hms.harvard.edu/news-events/publications-archive/brain/sugar-brain
  5. Harvard. Vitamin B12 deficiency can be sneaky, harmful. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/vitamin-b12-deficiency-can-be-sneaky-harmful-201301105780
  6. NCBI. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404917/
  7. Scientific American. Does Vitamin D Improve Brain Function? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-d-make-a-difference/
  8. NCBI. Neuronal Health – Can Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms Help? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924982/
  9. NCBI. Effects of a Standardized Bacopa monnieri Extract on Cognitive Performance, Anxiety, and Depression in the Elderly: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3153866/
  10. NCBI. Rhodiola rosea L.: an herb with anti-stress, anti-aging, and immunostimulating properties for cancer chemoprevention. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6208354/
  11. NCBI. Exercise for Mental Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470658/

 

 

 

 

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