Most people have experienced mental fog. It’s often described as a “cloudy-headed” feeling. Common conditions include poor memory, difficulty focusing, and struggling with articulation. Overworking, multitasking, or substance abuse (i.e. alcohol) can cause this foggy feeling.
“feelings of mental confusion or lack of mental clarity”– clinical definition of brain fog
Here are the top solutions to clear brain fog:
1. Change Your Diet
Brain fog can be caused by foods in your diet. Approximately 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies. Meanwhile, countless more are unaware of a mild food allergy. Food allergies can start at any age or be triggered from poor gut health, such as autoimmune disorders.
For example, gluten sensitivity is linked to brain fog. A study of 11 newly diagnosed individuals found a gluten free diet helped improve focus, memory, and verbal fluency. Many people suffer from a gluten allergy but don’t know it. Other common allergies include casein (dairy products), eggs, peanuts, and soy.
Research also indicates that low-fat diets can lead to cognitive decline. Studies with dementia patients found high-fat diets decreased brain focus. Dehydration can also cause impaired cognitive performance. Drinking too little water leads to an unhealthy gut, which can cause constipation or diarrhea. Consider your own diet and if there is anything possibly causing your mental fog. Take note of how your meals sit with you and experiment with elimination in order to discover what foods might be clouding your head.
2. Take supplements
Try taking a supplement like OptiMind (try it free here). OptiMind contains premium ingredients to help you stay focused and mental alert. Antioxidants are another key component for a healthy brain. Foods rich in antioxidants are able to fight off oxidative stress. Vitamin D and Vitamin B complex supplements are essential for cognitive function. These compounds supply the body with necessary nutrients to cleanse, rejuvenate, and heal. Some supplements are designed to enhance cognitive performance and clear mental fog.
Bacopa monnieri, better known as water hyssop or brahmi, is an ancient Indian medicinal herb used to improve memory and cognition in healthy adults. The active compounds in Brahmi, known as bacosides, are being evaluated for their effects on the brain and human health. Some research has shown the compounds in Brahmi to positively influence brain cells and improve retention of newly learned information.
3. Sleep more
Sleep is a critical component for a healthy, waking reality. It is necessary for your mental and physical health. Regulating and maximizing your sleep will improve attention, memory, and mood. Lack of sleep has severe health consequences and too much sleep is also bad for your health. While common sense tells us that 8 hours of sleep is the right amount, some people only require 6 hours for ideal performance. Find out what the right amount of sleep is for you by tracking your nightly sleep.
"You really can make up for lost sleep and restore focus and clarity. You can lose the brain fog within a week. But start now; the longer you have bad sleep, the longer it will take to catch up."–Dr. Epstein, medicine instructor at Harvard Medical School
Sleep studies suggest that sleep quality is more important than sleep quantity. The brain forms new pathways during sleep in preparation for upcoming information. High quality sleep improves attention, problem solving, and decision-making skills. Researchers from the Scripps Clinic Sleep Center report that people who sleep between 6.5 and 7.5 hours a night tend to live the longest. Harvard Health Letter suggests sleep improvement tips, like exercise and fasting close to bed, to “burn away brain fog.” Here are some recommendations on improving your quality of sleep.
Sleep Quality Checklist from Sleep Foundation:
- Regulate bedtimes and wake up times
- Nightly ritual or habit that includes winding down
- Cool, dark, quiet room
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals close to bedtime
- Comfortable bedding
- Exercise daily
Exercise is a fantastic way to eliminate mental fog and stress. Working out opens your blood vessels, gets your blood flowing, and increases oxygen levels. This drastically improves your body’s ability to perform, physically and mentally. Research suggests that exercise actually boosts the brain’s cognitive flexibility. Even walking for 40 minutes, 3 times a week, can increase brain health.
Studying the effects of running on depression found that running appears to increase cell growth in the hippocampus. This suggests that exercise improves learning and memory. Aerobic exercises and exercising in the morning seem to be the most beneficial for brain health and memory. Sticking to a schedule and having a workout buddy are great tricks to pick up a daily habit. Yoga, tai chi, and aerobic classes are excellent exercises for better memory and reducing brain fog. However, any form of exercise is beneficial so it’s important to choose an exercise routine that works with your schedule, budget, and ability.
5. Chill out
In today’s world, our lives are pretty hectic and often full of stress. Most of us don’t take time to chill out. The science of stress is well documented as the deadly hormone that hurts the body and weakens of the immune system. Stress can also lead to brain fog. Here are a few ways to decompress:
- Zen out-Meditation can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve overall health. It increases mental awareness as well. Researchers studied factors such as hearing, vision, and blood pressure amongst meditation practitioners and found meditation resulted in younger physiological testing.
- Jam out-Listening to music is known to reduce stress levels. In fact, classical music has been shown to slow down pulse, heart rate, and lower blood pressure. Music can also provide security, relieve distress, and boost self-esteem.
–Music and Learning from the John Hopkins School
Focus and Concentration Music
- Play to increase attention levels, improve retention and memory, extend focused learning time, expand thinking skills
- Relax with the Classics. The LIND Institute. Accelerated Learning research indicates slow Baroque music increases concentration. It works!
Modern living means high exposure to toxins from our environment. Cleaning supplies, upholstery, and clothing contain toxins that can hinder cognitive function. Chemicals for maintaining the lawn, furniture, and cars also contain toxins. These toxins build up in your liver, kidney, and throughout the body.
Heavy metals are toxins commonly found in water, air, and food. One example is copper toxicity, which is more recurrent and harder to diagnose. Symptoms include confusion, mood swings, and disorientation. Heavy metal detoxes focus around the adrenals to prevent burnout. It’s also important to minimize your exposure to toxins.
Bowel toxicity or candida infection requires detoxification to remedy brain fog. This involves fasting, drinking plenty of water, and changing your diet. It may also be blood sugar related. Regardless, most of these ailments require detox to relieve symptoms. Reducing mental fog goes hand in hand with changing your diet.
If you suffer from poor memory function, adopting any one of these techniques to your life will drastically improve your cognitive performance. Incorporating any combination of them or all of them to your life will definitely rid your mind of any foggy head symptoms!