Anyone else get to that point in the day where your coffee has worn off, leaving you feeling tired, unfocused, and a tad unmotivated? For the most part, we've all experienced a serious case of brain fog. You know the feeling: around 2 p.m., you're eagerly pouring your second or third cup of coffee to keep going. Or, you have trouble focusing and checking items off your to-do list starts to seem impossible. Even though brain fog is common, it doesn’t mean we should have to put up with it.
According to Dr.Jeffrey Egler, M.D. for Parsley Health, “Brain fog can be a symptom of a nutrient deficiency, sleep disorder, hormonal changes, bacterial overgrowth, depression, or even a thyroid condition,”. These are just a few examples of what could cause brain fog, so talk to your doctor if you regularly experience it, and they may be able to identify the cause of the issue. It really could be anything from diet to abnormally high stress levels. In the meantime, we've put together some lifestyle changes that might help improve overall concentration, productivity, and energy.
Get a good night's sleep.
All of our medical professionals and caregivers probably feel like broken records when it comes to this very key piece of advice. Honestly, 90% of our problems would probably be solved if we didn't stay up so late watching Netflix, or pushed ourselves to work for "a little bit longer".
The amount (and quality) of your sleep can contribute to brain fog in multiple ways. Things like hitting snooze, exposure to excessive light, or going to bed at different times every night can cause grogginess throughout the day. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, (but aim for 8-9) when possible.
Try a CBD mouth spray.
Do not knock this before you try it. I recently got a CBD mouth spray gifted to me and I swear by it now. Just one little spray under my tongue, and within minutes I'm feeling more relaxed. When you're not as anxious, you can take the time you need to lay out what needs to get done, and how much can realistically be completed by the end of the day.
Take more breaks.
We're all constantly trying to fit in as much as we possibly can into our work days. Although you may think this is the most efficient and effective way to work, you're actually overworking your brain and encouraging quicker exhaustion. Your brain is a muscle, and like all muscles, it's need to be given consistent breaks. Allow yourself to recharge so that the quality of your work is better overall.
Take your vitamins.
A very common cause of brain fog comes from what you may be lacking in your diet. Talk to your doctor about assessing your vitamin levels or adjusting your diet accordingly. For example, low levels of some B vitamins can cause dizziness, a decrease in brain function, and even memory loss. Having an appropriate amount of vitamin B can also act as a mood booster. Vitamin and supplement needs vary from person to person, so the key is getting answers on what is right for you.
It is said that people who spend more time outside have significant decreases in cortisol levels. Meaning, leaving your house can help with the way your body deals with stress, and can potentially prevent stress from turning into brain fog. So, if you’re preparing for a big presentation or major exam that requires your focus, don’t skip your daily run or a walk just because you feel pressed for time. It will give your brain the break it needs.