Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. Do you spend fifteen minutes looking for your wallet? Experience trouble focusing on one thing for more than few minutes? Often have a nagging feeling that you’re forgetting something important?
You’re in a “brain fog,” a very real phenomenon documented by a study at the University of Rochester Medical Center.1 Here are some easy solutions your brain is begging for.
1. You Need To Get More Quality Sleep
The National Sleep Foundation Recommends that adults get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. If you’re anything like most of us, it’s rare to get that much. But anything less than seven, and you’re technically considered sleep deprived. “Sleep deprivation studies repeatedly show a negative impact on mood, cognitive performance, and motor function,” says an article based on research from the Emory University School of Medicine.2
2. Breathe, The Stress Is Killing You
Cortisol, your body’s stress hormone, keeps you awake and alert. This is well and good until your body starts to produce too much of it. After all, you can’t stay alert forever. Instead, you’ll start feeling wired and tired – a dangerous combination that will leave you moody and not mentally sharp. Taking time to de-stress each day, with exercise, meditation, or prayer can lower your cortisol levels and relax your mind.
3. You’re Eating For Your Belly, Not Your Brain
When you’re tired, you’re more likely to be scarfing down sugary snacks. This might give you a short burst of energy, but it’s also raising your blood sugar and making your brain sluggish. Avoid sodas or starchy snacks – even natural sweeteners like honey can cause a sugar crash – and opt for a source of energy like fruit, vegetables, or nuts for a boost your mind and body prefer.
4. Your Brain Is Hungry, Take Your Vitamins
We usually think of food as a fuel for the body, but it’s also a fuel for the brain. Vitamin B, which can be found in organic meats, leafy greens, and fish, can relieve stress.3 Omega-3 fatty acids, occurring in wild fish, seeds, and nuts, will stabilize mood hormones.4 To make up for any gaps in your diet, try a multi-vitamin containing calcium, selenium, and zinc – all vitamins that aid in sleep.
5. Your Medication Could Be To Blame
If you’re stuck in a brain fog you should look at any prescription medications you’re currently taking. Any drug that starts with “anti” such as anti-depressants, anti-histamines, or anti-hypertensive might be affecting your acetylcholine levels.5 Acetylcholine is the chemical neurotransmitter responsible for memory. Without it, your brain can’t function properly. Deficits of acetylcholine have even been connected to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
6. It Might Be An Undiagnosed Issue
Don’t panic, but there might be a bigger underlying problem that’s creating your brain fog. The root cause might actually be a hormonal imbalance caused by low thyroid function, anemia (low red blood cell count), or even leaky gut syndrome, which leaves your body unable to absorb nutrients.6 You should address these concerns during your annual check-up with your physician.
7. You Need to Explore Natural Alternatives
Safer and cheaper than prescription drugs, a number of natural medicines have been shown to reduce stress and increase cognitive function. Adaptogens, or herbs that protect and balance the body, are one especially effective remedy. These plants can normalize physiological and mental function.7 Licorice root, ginseng, and holy basil are all commonly found adaptogens that can heal and balance your body and mind.