Go Easy On The Caffeine And Alcohol
We exist in a culture where its socially acceptable to consume caffeine and alcohol, especially in moderation.
But when it comes to these two substances, its important to consider the difference between our understanding of moderation and what the science actually says.
Caffeine can cause jitters, headaches, insomnia, upset stomach, and rapid heart rate, especially if you have a caffeine sensitivity. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration recommends no more than 400 milligrams, or 4 to 5 cups, of coffee per day.
Its very easy to reach that 4 to 5 cup maximum without realizing it a Grande coffee at the popular chain Starbucks is about 2.5 cups, for example.
The same goes for alcohol. Alcohol is both a stimulant and a depressant, which significantly impairs cognitive functioning. Once the levels of alcohol in your body decrease, withdrawing from the substance can cause fatigue, headache, vertigo, hangxiety, and other symptoms of brain fog.
Binge drinking is defined as drinking 4 or more drinks or 5 or more drinks in 2 hours. But one drink is referring to a unit of alcohol. The typical 750 ml bottle of wine contains 10 units, as an example.
If youre trying to cope with drinking too much, talk with your healthcare professional.
Inflammation Makes Your Mind Less Alert
Inflammation is a factor in most major diseases. And brain fog is a symptom of so many of these diseases. It makes sense that inflammation could be causing the brain fog that debilitates so many people. And scientists at the University of Birmingham and the University of Amsterdam recently found evidence thats true.
The study included 20 young men who received a salmonella typhoid vaccine that causes temporary inflammation. A few hours later, they took a cognitive test that measured their attention while researchers looked at their brain activity.
These young men took the same cognitive test on a different day too, when they werent impacted by the inflammation triggered by the vaccine . Researchers also took blood samples from the young men both days to check inflammation levels.
Heres what they found
The temporary inflammation triggered by the vaccine affected a part of their brain that made it harder to stay alert. And the stronger the inflammation response in each individual, the more it impacted this part of the brain.
These results show quite clearly that theres a very specific part of the brain network thats affected by inflammation, says the senior author of the study Dr. Ali Mazaheri. This could explain brain fog.’
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Brain fog may be a familiar feeling. If youve ever had difficulty concentrating, struggled with poor memory, stammered when speaking, or noticed yourself processing information more slowly, you may have had a case of brain fog.
Brain fog is otherwise known as a leaky brain, or a sign of inflammation in the body. Inflammatory messages may be released in the brain as a result of head trauma, unregulated blood sugar, poor circulation, an inflamed gut, or chemical sensitivity.
Use these 4 tips to alleviate recurrent brain fog and take control of chronic inflammation:
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How To Cope With Brain Fog
Here are a few research-backed strategies for coping with brain fog:
- Get regular aerobic exercise
- Try cognitive stimulation, like puzzles, games, brain training apps, or learning a new language
- Make sure to get enough sleep
- Eat a diet high in monounsaturated fats, plant protein, whole grains, and fish
- Stay socially connected and active
We All Have Days When Were Justoff Dont We
Researchers have come to refer to this phenomenon as brain fog. It can include forgetfulness, moodiness, lack of mental clarity, an inability to focus, and the general feeling that youre two steps behind the rest of the world.
This happens to everyone from time to time. Symptoms vary from person to person. Some get frustrated and irritable, and others resign to hopelessness. It can affect your sleep patterns, appetite, social relationships, and even your physical health.
No matter what your brain fog looks like, it can be a total day-ruiner. Brain fog keeps us from operating at our best. It blocks us off from our happiest and most productive self.
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Brain Fog May Be Triggered By One Or A Combination Of These Causes
- direct viral damage
- injury to the blood vessels
- abnormal cerebrospinal fluid
- remnants of the virus persist and trigger inflammation
- dormant viruses in the body get reactivated
- autoimmune responses develop and mistakenly attack normal cells
- abnormal blood clotting caused by inflammation
The causes and exact symptoms of brain fog are difficult to pin down because they are also side effects of many other medical conditions and diseases.
Set Up A Command Center
Sometimes, its hard enough to keep track of your own schedule, let alone activities for your whole family. Keep it all together by using a whiteboard as a communications hub at home. List all your weekly tasks, and check them off as they’re done. Include a family calendar with everyone’s schedule on it and driving directions to special events. Don’t forget to write down phone numbers you use often: your kids school, your partners office, or the babysitter.
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Ways To Say Goodbye To Brain Fog
In order to alleviate persistent brain fog, its crucial to take broad steps to control overall inflammation. While your whole body will benefit from less inflammation, you will also find that you may boost your energy, clarity, and motivation.
1. Sleep and Stress: Get enough sleep at night and stick to a reasonable bedtime. Also, find ways to manage mental and emotional stressors, such as conscious breathing or purposeful exercise.
Lack of sleep, poor sleep quality, and stress can all interfere with the bodys ability to ward off inflammation and brain fog.
2. Blood Sugar: If you find that you skip meals or binge on sugar, it is essential to shift your eating patterns. Skipped meals and sugar binges can spike blood sugar, leading to the release of pro-inflammatory stress hormones. Spikes in blood sugar can also interfere with hormone signaling. Adrenal fatigue, estrogen dominance, hot flashes during menopause, and disorders like PCOS are all signs of a hormonal imbalance. Brain fog is often on the list of symptoms that accompany these disorders.
You can improve blood sugar regulation with an herb called steviaa natural, sugar-free sweetener.
Also, try incorporating small amounts of intentional movement into your day. Exercise not only helps control blood sugar but also improves the circulation of blood flow to the extremities, including the brain.
These low-grade infections accelerate the release of pro-inflammatory messages.
Trace It Back To The Source
Identifying the causes of brain fog can help you figure out how to address it more effectively.
Temporary sources of stress like a big project at work can contribute to mental fatigue. Those causes are often fairly easy to identify.
But if youve been dealing with anxiety or stress for a while, you might have a harder time recognizing whats affecting you.
If you cant quite pinpoint whats creating all the background noise in your mind, working with a therapist can be a big help .
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Make Sleep A Priority
Sleep deprivation can affect your ability to concentrate and think clearly. An estimated 1 in 3 adults dont get enough sleep, so theres a good chance that youre not getting enough shut-eye each night.
If youre working long hours or just have busy days, you may be tempted to stay up just a little bit longer to make the most out of your day and enjoy some downtime. We get it but its important to ensure that youre getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Here are some other ways to improve your sleep:
- Get up and go to sleep at the same time each night.
- Cut your screen time at least an hour before sleep.
- Maintain a sleep routine.
When youre well-rested, you can think clearly and will find it much easier to stay focused throughout the day.
Additional Brain Fog Remedies
- Sleep for eight to ten hours a night to ensure that your body and mind are well-rested
- Learn how to manage stress and avoid excess caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy diet by increasing intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins
- Find hobbies that relax the mind, allowing you to improve concentration and focus
- Participate in activities that stimulate the brain to strengthen the brain like solving puzzles
- Avoid bad habits such as binge-watching TV or staying out too late at night to ensure your mind is clear in the morning
Prescription & Otc Medications
Every medication carries some risks.Brain fog is one of the most commonly reported side effects of prescription and over-the-counter medications.Statin cholesterol-lowering drugs and prescription sleeping pills are notorious for causing memory loss.An entire group of drugs known as the anticholinergics work by blocking the action of acetylcholine, the brain chemical of memory and learning. Typical side effects of anticholinergic drugs include brain fog, forgetfulness, and inability to concentrate.Itâs not only prescription medications you have to watch out for.Many popular over-the-counter drugs also work by blocking acetylcholine including Benadryl , Pepcid AC , and Tylenol PM .
Check On Your Physical Needs
Not eating enough, or not getting the right nutrients, can make it difficult to focus.
When stressed, you might feel too tired to prepare balanced meals and turn to snacks or fast food instead. These foods typically dont offer much in the way of energy boosting nutrients. In fact, they might have the opposite effect, making you feel tired and lethargic.
Anxiety can also contribute to stomach problems that make it difficult to eat like you normally would. If you skip a few meals, you might end up feeling nauseous at the thought of food, which can drain you even more.
Adding the following foods to your diet can help improve cognition:
- fresh produce
- whole grains
- lean proteins like fish and poultry
That said, remember that eating something is better than eating nothing.
Taking care to stay hydrated can also help improve brain fog. You might know dehydration can affect your physical health, but it can also have negative consequences on your energy level, concentration, and memory.
Physical activity has plenty of benefits, so it may not surprise you to learn improved cognition is among them.
Exercise can help:
- increase the flow of blood to your brain
- improve memory and reaction time
You dont need to hit the gym for an intense workout . A quick 15-minute walk around the neighborhood at a brisk pace can often do the job.
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What Are Some Non
There are several conditions that can produce brain fog. For example, during and after pregnancy some people report having pregnancy brain or mommy brain” and people with cancer undergoing chemotherapy often describe experiencing chemo brain. Other medical conditions that are known to cause mental fogginess are multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injuries, and chronic fatigue syndrome. The symptoms can also be caused by certain medications.
“In some people, it can be that the virus directly attacks the brain, Budson said. That’s not common, but it can happen. He adds that the virus can also cause strokes which can affect cognitive function.
Jackson explained that people who were severely ill with COVID-19 could have experienced small areas of brain damage from hypoxia and inflammation while they were on ventilators.
What Can You Do To Clear Out Your Anxiety Brain Fog
When you identify and understand the underlying message of the anxiety that has led to you feeling foggy, you can address the issue instead of letting it stew any longer.
Since brain fog is the result of mental exhaustion doing something you enjoy can shift the chemistry of your brain and help you to regain some clarity.
Soothing rituals like a hot bath, sauna or massage promote circulation and relax muscles, which can in turn soothe our minds. A cup of hot tea, soaking up some sunshine, or simply hugging someone are some of our grandparents favorite calming rituals, and they still work today.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction, as explained in Jon Kabat-Zinns book Full Catastrophe Living, is a practice of being aware of whats happening with curiosity rather than judgment. It is simply the act of tuning into whats happening in your individual world at any given time even when whats happening is brain fog.
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Easy Ways To Boost Your Physical Activity
What Is Brain Fog And How Does It Relate To Mental Illness
Experiencing brain fog can make you feel like youre lost in a maze. You might feel confused, alone, frustrated, disoriented, bewildered, unclear, and adrift. Brain fog can also affect your emotional well-being. Being unable to think clearly may make you feel powerless, irritable, and downcast. Constantly feeling this way can put a damper on your mental health. Having a mental illness can trigger brain fog, as can other conditions. Understanding brain fog, its causes, and how it relates to mental illness can help you better understand the relationship between brain health, mental capacity, and emotional well-being.
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Seven Ways To Beat Brain Fog
HAVE you found yourself tired and struggling to focus on the task in hand recently? Welcome to the effects of ‘brain fog’, which experts say reaches a peak at this time of year a culmination of rising anxiety as we attempt to adapt to seasonal changes in weather and gradually diminishing amounts of daylight.
The prospect of too much or too little to do in the months ahead can leave you feeling overwhelmed or underwhelmed with daily life, adding to what psychologists term your allostatic load the mental and physical effects of exposure to stressors. With our ability to stay calm and focused hampered by our daily routines, it is easy to find yourself more frazzled and forgetful, mentally flighty and less able to focus on even the most mundane tasks. Informally, its known as ‘brain fatigue’, and anyone who has even the slightest experience of it will know the impact it can have on concentration levels, clear thinking, and mental alertness.
Our attention and focus rely on present-mindedness, says Sabina Brennan, research assistant professor at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. But our minds are more prone to wander and less able to focus on the here-and-now when we are stressed or anxious as many people are during the pandemic which means more people feel they are forgetful and struggling to concentrate.
Lose focus, and its easy for the mind to stray towards negative thinking, which adds to the stress load.
Operate a worry-free zone
What Might Help Clear The Brain Fog
To help clear the brain fog, I recommend pursuing all of the activities that we know help everyones thinking and memory.
- Perform aerobic exercise. You may need to start slow, perhaps just two to three minutes a few times a day. While there is no established dose of exercise to improve brain health, its generally recommended you work toward 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Eat Mediterranean-style meals. A healthy diet including olive oil, fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans, and whole grains has been proven to improve thinking, memory. and brain health.
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