If you do not get enough sleep, as a general rule, you are more likely to be tired a lot and have brain fog. It is an individual thing; however, most people need between seven and nine hours of good sleep every night.
Getting adequate sleep can help prevent brain fog and help you think clearly. Sometimes, people get enough sleep, but still have symptoms of brain fog like persistent fatigue or low motivation. Having a dietary deficiency along with consuming alcohol, sugar, refined carbohydrates and caffeine can impact brain function. Other triggers of brain fog include fatigue, long periods of standing, lack of sleep, and dehydration.
Experts believe brain fog is caused by increased inflammation as well as changes to hormones like cortisol, serotonin, and dopamine that manage your mood, focus, and energy. Cortisol is often referred to as the stress hormone and keeps you awake and alert. Dopamine and serotonin help you feel joyful, calm and motivated. There are several natural ways to treat brain fog.
Seven Natural Ways to Treat Brain Fog
- Curb sugar intake and replace them with healthy carbs. Cut back on processed and packaged foods that can be loaded with sugar plus a lot of harmful and artificial ingredients. This is the first step to fix brain fog. Sugar robs you of energy and focus, but you don’t want to go too low in your sugar intake. Refined sugar increases inflammation but good carbs like what are in fruits and vegetables do the opposite.
- Eat enough healthy fats and protein. Our body needs a steady supply of essential fatty acids and amino acids to create the brain chemicals required for clear thinking. The body is not capable of making essential amino acids so it’s important to get them from foods like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Consuming protein sources of amino acids can help keep the brain producing plenty of hormones that help support a clear mind. Healthy fats also help the body produce enough happiness hormones and fight off inflammation. It can vary between individuals, but most people need about 20 to 30% of their daily food intake to be from high-quality proteins. 30 to 40% of the diet should consist of healthy fats like avocado, coconut or olive oil, and seeds or nuts.
- Successfully manage stress levels. Life is so full these days, the constant inflow of emails, cell phone calls, and texts can be distracting and tiring. The alerts you get all day long are stressful even though you may not realize it. When stress is high, the body increases the production of cortisol. The odd side effect of too much cortisol is that you feel wired, yet tired at the same time. You may experience unwanted weight gain, have hormonal imbalances, insomnia, sexual dysfunction, anxiety, and depression. Stress-reducing strategies and techniques can help you keep cortisol levels under control. Chronic stress can greatly reduce your quality of life. Some techniques to reduce stress may include prayer, meditation, exercising, reading, journaling or simply spending time in nature. Doing things you enjoy increases how much dopamine, or the happy hormone, the brain makes. Laughing out loud, spending time with loved ones and friends, engaging in hobbies or trying new, fun activities can raise your dopamine levels.
- Get good, quality sleep. One of the most reliable and fastest ways to improve your brain function is to get enough sleep. When your body is rested, the hormones in the brain can stay balanced. It’s hard to stay focused at work, participate in meaningful conversations and retain new information if you are never quite rested. Getting enough sleep can also help you better manage food cravings, emotions and huger.
- Healthy, well-balanced exercising. Exercise can help reduce inflammation, increase energy levels and manage stress. Most people benefit from moderate, regular exercise as it helps balance hormones, improves sleep, and improves insulin resistance. All of these are beneficial for fighting fatigue. Exercise also releases natural endorphins which boost your stamina and lifts moods. Just be sure to get adequate rest between workouts as overtraining can lead to brain fog as well.
- Check to see if hormones are in balance. Adrenal insufficiency, chronic fatigue, and low thyroid function can increase the symptoms caused by brain fog. Imbalances in these hormones are usually caused by the same things that cause inflammation: a poor diet, stress, inadequate rest and sensitivities or allergies. Eliminate caffeine, excess sugar and alcohol from your diet to help balance out hormones naturally.
- Take care of sensitivities or allergies to foods. If you suffer from a food sensitivity but do not remove it from your diet, it can lead to reduced brain function. Lactose intolerance can be more than just a digestive problem. Allergies and sensitivities left unaddressed can cause changes in the gut. Allergies trigger inflammatory responses which can affect virtually every part of your body.