Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on
July 11, 2022
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on:

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Covid-19 has everyone on edge. For some, the worry is about getting sick. For others, the concern is about what happens after you get sick.

One of the biggest concerns for people who have contracted Covid-19 is the brain fog that comes along with it.

Brain fog can make it difficult to think clearly, remember things, and concentrate on anything.

If you are one of the millions of people who are struggling with covid-19 brain fog, don’t worry—you are not alone!

In this article, we will discuss six solutions for dealing with covid-19 brain fog according to research.

Let’s get started.

What is Covid brain fog?

Covid brain fog is a symptom of the coronavirus that can impact your thinking and memory. It can make it difficult to focus, remember things, and think clearly.

This cognitive impairment can affect your day-to-day life, making it harder for you to deal with things that are normally done with ease.

The Cause

There is still a lot unknown about the coronavirus and how it affects the brain.

However, there are some possible theories as to why you may be experiencing brain fog if you have contracted Covid-19.

One study found that the virus could be affecting your central nervous system, especially the blood and cerebrospinal fluid—composed of tissues that wrap around the brain’s hollow spaces. It provides nutrients and protects the brain and spinal cord from harm, cushioning them from direct injury.

The study found that the virus disrupted the central nervous system as there were anomalies found in the cerebrospinal fluid of people infected by the Covid-19 virus who are exhibiting cognitive symptoms.

Another possibility is that the stress of dealing with a global pandemic can affect cognition negatively.

The Symptoms

Covid brain fog can present itself in a variety of ways.

You may find it hard to focus or pay attention. You may have trouble with your memory, both short-term and long-term.

Your decision-making skills could be affected, as well as your ability to multitask. You may also feel more forgetful than usual.

You may also find it difficult to come up with words in conversations or remember people’s names.

You may have issues with retaining and relaying information and may notice that your processing speed is a lot slower than usual.

Others also report having headaches, dizziness, and fatigue. You may even experience changes in your personality or mood.

How long does covid-19 brain fog last?

Covid 19 brain fog is one of the many lingering symptoms that last even after healing from the infection—also deemed as “long Covid” or “post-Covid.”

Long Covid is a term used to describe the set of symptoms that people experience even after they have recovered from the initial infection. These symptoms can last for weeks or even months.

Brain fog is just one of the many long Covid 19 symptoms that people are dealing with.

Other long Covid symptoms include fatigue, anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. 

Solutions for Covid 19 Brain Fog

If you are struggling with brain fog, there are some things that you can do to help ease the cognitive symptoms.

Here are six solutions for long covid-19 brain fog according to research:

1) Sleeping well and maintaining a regular sleep schedule

One of the best things that you can do for your brain health and fight cognitive decline is to get enough sleep.

Research shows that sleep plays a vital role in cognitive function and cognitive health.

During sleep, your brain is able to consolidate memories, repair itself, and get rid of toxins.

A lack of sleep can lead to:

  • damaged brain cells,
  • impaired judgment,
  • poor executive function,
  • decreased reaction time,
  • poor decision-making skills,
  • neurological disorders.

Sleep deprivation can also make it difficult for you to focus, pay attention, and think clearly.

So we recommend that you aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night.

If you have trouble sleeping, there are some things that you can do to help yourself fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.

These include avoiding caffeine before bed, establishing a regular sleep schedule, and creating a relaxing bedtime routine.

You should also avoid screens before bed and create a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom.

If you still have trouble sleeping like most people who deal with post-Covid neurological symptoms, we recommend that you talk to your doctor about other options, such as medication or therapy.

In this study about the multidisciplinary approach to brain fog and related persisting symptoms post COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, patients were given sleep medicine and recommended integrated wellness to address the lingering neurologic symptoms of Covid.

2) Getting regular aerobic exercise

Exercise is not only good for your physical health, but it’s also excellent for your brain and overall mental health.

Aerobic exercise, in particular, has been shown to improve cognitive function and brain health.

In this study, researchers found that aerobic exercise can help to improve memory and thinking skills in adults over the age of 50. 

The study participants who exercised three times a week for six months had better scores on tests that measured memory and thinking skills than those who didn’t exercise.

Another study on the effects of physical exercise on the brain during the Covid-19 pandemic reveals that mild to moderate exercise improved the life satisfaction of people who contracted the virus.

The researchers also found that a mix of different exercises and training methods, including but not limited to aerobic exercise, resistance training, and stretching, can all help to decrease depressive symptoms during the pandemic.

So we recommend that you get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, or biking, every day.

If you’re not used to exercising, you can start by doing just ten minutes a day and gradually increase your time as you get used to it.

You can also try different types of aerobic exercise to find an activity that you enjoy and will stick with.

3) Rehydrating well

Dehydration can lead to a variety of symptoms, including brain fog. When you’re dehydrated, your body and brain don’t function as well as they should.

Research reveals that even mild dehydration can cause headaches, fatigue, trouble concentrating, and dizziness. It can also make you feel irritable, anxious, and depressed.

In this study, researchers found that people who were dehydrated had worse attention, short-term memory, and motor coordination than those who were well-hydrated.

Another study recommends that nutrition and hydration are vital to Covid-19 recovery. Patients generally need about three liters of fluid per day, and drinking water every hour has been beneficial.

So, we recommend that you drink as much water as you need every day.

You can also get hydrated by eating foods that contain a lot of water, such as fruits and vegetables.

Coconut water is another excellent option for rehydration because it contains electrolytes, which are essential for proper hydration. 

If you’re not used to drinking enough water a day, you can start by drinking two glasses a day and gradually increasing your intake as you get used to it.

You can also find other ways to stay hydrated, such as taking a bath, drinking herbal tea, or using a humidifier.

4) Eating Mediterranean-style meals

The Mediterranean diet is a style of eating that is based on the traditional foods eaten in countries like Greece, Italy, and Spain.

A study from Harvard Medical School found that the green Mediterranean diet can help improve mental health and cognitive function and protect the brain against atrophy—the loss of neurons and neuron connections.

In another study, researchers found that people who ate a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

In a recent study, researchers suggest that the Mediterranean diet can be an effective nutritional approach for Covid-19. 

So, we recommend that you eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

You should also include healthy fats, such as olive oil and avocados, in your diet. And do your best to eat fatty fish or seeds and nuts at least twice a week.

If you’re not used to eating a Mediterranean diet, you can start by adding one or two new meals per week.

You can also find other ways to incorporate Mediterranean foods into your diet, such as using olive oil as a salad dressing or adding nuts and seeds to your breakfast cereal.

5) Spending time in nature

Spending time in nature can help improve your mental and physical health.

In one study, researchers found that people who spent time in nature had less anxiety, stress, and depression. They also had more energy and vitality, and an improved respiratory system.

Another study found that people who walked in nature for just 20 minutes had lower levels of rumination—a type of thinking that is associated with depression and anxiety.

In this study, researchers found that people who spent time in nature had better attention span, working memory, and creative problem-solving skills.

So, we recommend that you spend at least 20 minutes a day in nature, while following Covid-19 social distancing protocols.

This can be done by taking a walk in the park, going for a hike in the woods, or spending time in your backyard.

If you live in an urban area, you can also find ways to connect with nature, such as visiting a botanical garden or listening to the sounds of nature.

You can also bring nature into your home by decorating with plants or using essential oils.

6) Leveraging neuroplasticity-based therapies

Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and adapt in response to experience.

It allows the brain to reorganize itself by forming new connections between neurons.

This process can be harnessed to help people recover from various neurological conditions, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, and other cognitive impairments.

In a recent study, researchers found that neuroplasticity-based therapies can help improve cognitive function in people with Covid-19, and alleviate brain fog symptoms. 

So, we recommend that you try a neuroplasticity-based therapy, such as brain training exercises or transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS).

You can also find other ways to support your cognitive health, such as getting enough sleep, managing stress, playing brain-training games, and exercising regularly.

Concluding Thoughts 

Covid-19 brain fog is a real phenomenon that can cause you cognitive impairment for months on end.

But there are things you can do to help improve your mental health and mitigate the effects of long Covid brain fog and other cognitive problems.

We recommend that you try one or more of the solutions listed above. And if you’re still struggling with Covid brain fog, be sure to talk to your doctor for more tailored treatment.

If you want to learn more about getting rid of brain fog symptoms and improving your overall cognitive health, we have a plethora of educational resources for you. 

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