Do you feel you’re not yourself lately? Are you having trouble focusing and concentrating on tasks? If so, then you may be suffering from brain fog.
Brain fog can be a frustrating and debilitating condition that impacts your productivity at work, relationships, and overall outlook on life.
Luckily, there are many cures for brain fog that have been proven to work and improve cognitive function in the long run.
In this article, we will discuss eight of the most effective brain fog cures, according to research.
Let’s get started.
What is brain fog, exactly?
Brain fog or mental fog is a condition that causes decreased mental clarity, slowed thinking, and forgetfulness.
While the cause of brain fog can vary from person to person, it often occurs when the brain is not getting enough oxygen.
Other factors that cause brain fog include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Sleep disorders
- Poor nutrition
- Food sensitivities
- Lack of movement or exercise
- Chronic stress
- Hormonal imbalances
- Mood disorders
- Neurological disorders
- Medical conditions
- Cancer treatment (i.e., chemo brain)
- Medications (such as antidepressants)
Symptoms of brain fog can include:
- Difficulty concentrating or focusing on tasks
- Slow thinking
- Slow reaction time
- Poor memory recall
- Trouble communicating
- Irritability or frequent mood swings
- Brain fog can also cause physical fatigue and make it difficult to motivate yourself to exercise or complete other tasks.
This is not an exhaustive list, and the factors that cause brain fog vary from person to person.
There is no specific diagnosis for brain fog because it is often a symptom of an underlying health condition or because of lifestyle choices.
This mild cognitive dysfunction often lasts for a few days to a couple of weeks, but other people who experience severe brain fog often deal with the condition for several months.
Now that we know what brain fog is, let’s look at some of the most effective cures for brain fog based on research.
Research-Backed Brain Fog Cures
Here are eight cures for brain fog that have been backed by science:
1) Spending less time on electronic devices
If you find yourself struggling with brain fog, one of the first things you should do is cut back on your screen time.
This means putting away your phone, tablet, laptop, and any other electronic devices at least for an hour, especially before bedtime, and limiting your screen time to no more than two hours per day.
Research has shown that the blue light emitted from screens can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and lead to brain fog.
So, by spending less time on electronic devices, you can improve your sleep quality and cognitive function.
In one study, participants who limited their screen time to two hours or less per day reported feeling more productive, less tired, and more focused than those who didn’t limit their screen time.
If you can’t cut back on your screen time all at once, start by slowly reducing it by 15 minutes each day until you reach your goal.
You can also try using blue light-blocking glasses or installing a blue light filter on your electronic devices.
If you work in front of a computer all day, take regular breaks to walk around and get some fresh air to help improve brain function.
If you have trouble sleeping at night, try reading a book or taking a bath before bed instead of looking at your phone or watching TV.
Also, consider investing in an e-reader so you can still read books without being exposed to blue light from screens.
2) Spending less time on social media platforms
Another way to reduce brain fog is to spend less time on social media.
A recent study found that people who limited their social media use to 30 minutes per day had less brain fog and felt more productive than those who didn’t limit their social media use.
So, if you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your newsfeed, take a break and do something else instead.
If you can’t give up social media entirely, try using an app like Freedom or Cold Turkey to block access to your favorite sites for a set period of time.
You can also delete the apps from your phone and only access social media from your computer, so you’re less tempted to use it.
Note: You can also try using a social media scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to help you limit your time on social media.
Also, consider unfollowing or “unfriending” people who regularly post negative or triggering content that disrupt your mental health.
3) Managing stress levels
Chronic stress can lead to brain fog, so it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels.
Studies reveal that meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can all help reduce stress and improve brain function.
In one study, participants who completed an eight-week mindfulness meditation program reported less brain fog than those who didn’t meditate.
So, if you’re feeling stressed out, take a few minutes to yourself to do some deep breathing exercises or meditate.
You can also try other stress-relieving activities like yoga, Tai Chi, or Qigong.
If you have trouble managing your stress on your own, consider talking to a therapist or counselor who can help you develop healthy coping mechanisms.
4) Getting enough sleep
Another highly effective brain fog cure is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep.
Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night, but many people don’t get that much.
If you’re not sleeping enough, it can lead to brain fog and make it difficult to focus and concentrate.
Poor sleep can also weaken your immune system and aggravate chronic fatigue syndrome.
Research shows that sleep deprivation can also lead to anxiety, depression, and overall cognitive dysfunction.
To improve your sleep quality, make sure to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, establish a regular sleep schedule, and create a relaxing bedtime routine.
You can also try sleeping in a dark room with noise-canceling headphones or an eye mask to block out distractions.
And try following a sleep routine where you go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. You can also try using a noise machine or white noise app to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you still have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, talk to your doctor about a potential sleep disorder and the treatment that can help.
5) Eating nutritious meals
Eating nutritious meals is another can be a very effective cure for brain fog.
Studies suggest that a healthy diet can improve your immune system and enhance your brain function and overall cognitive performance.
On the other hand, research reveals that a diet high in processed food, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to brain fog and cognitive decline.
So, if you want to improve your brain health, make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Certain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and iron are essential for cognitive health.
Omega-three fatty acids help to support cognitive function and can be found in foods like salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed.
B vitamins are also important for brain functions and can be found in leafy green vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
And iron helps in transporting oxygen to the brain and can be found in red meat, dark leafy greens, and beans.
So, if you’re looking to improve your cognitive health, make sure to eat plenty of foods that are rich in omega-3s, B vitamins, iron, and other vitamins and minerals.
In addition to eating a nutritious diet, you may also want to consider taking brain-boosting supplements, especially if you think that you are not getting enough essential nutrients from your diet.
Studies suggest that certain supplements can improve brain function and help alleviate brain fog.
These brain-boosting supplements include:
- Vitamin A Acetate
- Vitamin B Complex
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Remember that supplements may interact with other medications you may be taking or other supplements, making them do more harm than good to your brain and body.
So, if you’re considering taking any brain-boosting supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor first to make sure they are right for you.
And always buy supplements from a reputable source to ensure that they are safe and effective.
7) Getting regular aerobic exercise
Another potentially effective brain fog cure that’s supported by research is regular aerobic exercise.
Exercise has numerous benefits for mental health, including improving your entire central nervous system, and enhancing brain function, memory, and cognition.
Research suggests that aerobic exercise, in particular, is especially beneficial for cognitive function.
So if you’re looking to improve your cognitive health and alleviate brain fog, make sure to get regular aerobic exercise.
You can find aerobic exercises like walking, running, biking, swimming, and dancing.
And there’s no need to go overboard with your exercise routine. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a day is enough to improve brain function and reduce brain fog.
8) Exercising the brain
In addition to exercising the body, you also need to exercise the brain to keep it healthy and function properly.
Studies reveal that brain-training exercises can enhance your problem-solving and decision-making skills, reaction time, memory, creativity, and attention.
There are many brain-training exercises that you can do to improve brain function and combat brain fog.
These brain-training exercises include:
- Crossword puzzles
- Brain teasers
- Memory games
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Learning a new language
- Learning a new musical instrument or a new skill
So, if you want to improve your mental health and alleviate brain fog, make sure to exercise your brain regularly with brain-training exercises.
Brain fog can be an overwhelming and crippling condition, especially if it goes on for months, disrupting your focus and performance at work or in life in general.
Thankfully, there are several brain fog cures that can be achieved naturally with a bit of lifestyle change.
And always remember that a healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent and combat brain fog.