How to Manage Brain Fog
Brain fog is real for many people and it can impact overall functioning and productivity. Brain fog can occur as a result of lack of sleep, a poor diet, poor gut health and food sensitivities, medication you are taking, alcohol or other non-prescribed substances, thyroid issues, mental health concerns like depression and anxiety, stress, hormone changes or vitamin deficiencies. If you feel like you often have brain fog, you should speak to your doctor. You don’t have to feel like this ongoing.
If you need to wait to see your doctor, some first steps for getting relief from bring fog are:
Get 8 hours of quality sleep per night. So many people try to convince themselves that they can function on five or six hours of sleep per night and don’t realize the negative impact this is having on their overall functioning. Research consistently proves that adults need eight hours of sleep each night to function at their best. Anything less than seven hours on an ongoing basis impairs you and can cause you to experience brain fog. If you are able to function at your best, you will be more productive and efficient and then have the time to get the proper amount of sleep.
Do not hit the snooze button. I know that this is not popular with many people, however, there is science that backs up why this is a bad idea. Hitting the snooze button will put you back into a new sleep cycle, which you will not complete unless you go back to sleep for up to an hour and a half. If you do not give yourself this extra hour and a half to complete the sleep cycle, you will end up feeling groggy for up to several hours once you get up. If you have the habit of hitting the snooze button, it is one worth changing. I was able to do this and it make such a difference in my level of alertness each morning.
Keep a food journal. Write down what you eat and drink and then chart how significant your brain fog is following each snack and meal. Note any patterns. For example, do you experience more brain fog when you eat gluten or dairy? For me it is gluten. I am not happy that gluten does this to me, but it is better to be aware of it than not. I get to choose if and when I will have it and am informed that brain fog will likely follow.
Try eliminating certain foods. If you suspect there are foods that may be contributing to your brain fog, eliminate them for a couple of weeks and notice how you feel. The important step with this is to only eliminate one type of food at a time so that you are clear if it is causing you any negative symptoms. When you eliminate multiple food items at a time, you will not know which food is the problem. A good place to start is with sugar, gluten, or dairy. A nutritionist can support you with this as well.
Exercise. Work up a sweat for 20-30 minutes per day. This will help with any anxiety, depression and stress you may be experiencing that is clouding your brain. If you are feeling groggy, this will feel like the last thing you want to do, however, you will feel better when you are done. I can promise you that there are days when I don’t feel like exercising but I have never regretted it once I was done!
Abstain from alcohol and non-prescribed medications (if you can safely do so without experiencing withdrawal symptoms) for a couple of weeks and notice if there are any changes. As we age, our bodies can respond differently to what we ingest. You could be experiencing brain fog because of how much you are drinking or taking; however, you could also be responding differently due to changes in your hormones and/or body over time. Important Note: If you are using substances daily, speak with a medical professional before stopping. Particularly with alcohol, if you are having more than a couple of drinks per day, you could experience significant withdrawal symptoms up to and including death. Alcohol is the most dangerous substance to withdraw from if you are drinking a significant amount of alcohol regularly.
Get fresh air and vitamin D. Try to get outside and get fresh air and some sun when possible. If this is not possible, try opening windows to make sure fresh air is getting in. The air quality inside is not always great and can impact us in negative ways, including causing us to feel groggy. Being able to inhale fresh air can be helpful in clearing your head and helping you feel refreshed.
Go HERE to get my Free 5 Day Habit Challenge that will support you in making any of these changes in your life starting today. I keep it simple…you are busy…you don’t have time for a long course. This is short and to the point so you can take action and get the results you want.
Live your best boss lady life!
Karen Vincent Solutions
Join the Karen Vincent Solutions mailing list to receive the latest news and updates to help you Live Your Best Boss Lady Life. Your information will not be shared.