Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
July 21, 2022
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Do you feel like you can’t focus on anything? Are you having trouble remembering things? You might be suffering from brain fog.

Brain fog is a condition that causes cognitive impairment, and unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more common. If you’re looking for ways to cure brain fog, you’re in luck!

In this article, we will discuss nine research-proven ways to improve your cognitive function and get your brain back to its old self.

Let’s get started.

What is brain fog, exactly?

Brain fog is a mental condition that causes difficulty with focus, concentration, memory, and other cognitive functions.

If you’re suffering from brain fog, you’re not alone. In fact, according to one study, approximately two out of three Americans suffer from some form of cognitive impairment.

Brain fog is often a mild cognitive dysfunction that lasts a few days to a couple of weeks, but some people experience lingering symptoms for a few weeks to a few months, depending on the cause.

It is important to note that brain fog is not a stand-alone medical condition, but it is often a symptom of an underlying health condition or the result of lifestyle choices.

Causes

There are many potential causes of brain fog, but some of the most common include:

  • Dehydration
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Lack of exercise
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Mood disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar)
  • Neurological disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia)
  • Other medical conditions (e.g., chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer, multiple sclerosis)
  • Side effects of medications and treatments (i.e., chemo brain)

If you’re experiencing brain fog, it’s important to consult with a doctor to rule out any underlying health conditions.

Symptoms

The symptoms of brain fog often vary from every person, but some of the most common include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Trouble remembering things
  • Poor decision-making skills
  • Struggles with problem-solving
  • Inability to multitask
  • Brain fatigue or exhaustion
  • Disorganization
  • Low mood or energy
  • Irritability or sudden mood swings

While brain fog can be a nuisance, the good news is that there are ways to improve your cognitive function and get rid of brain fog effectively.

How to Cure Brain Fog

Below are nine natural remedies for brain fog that can help you bring back your mental clarity and improve your brain function in the long run, according to science:

1) Improve your sleep quality

If you’re struggling with brain fog, one of the first things you should do is look closely at your sleep habits.

Research found that poor sleep quality and sleep deprivation are two of the most common causes of brain fog and memory loss, so it’s essential to make sure that you’re getting enough restful sleep every night.

To improve your sleep quality, experts recommend:

  • following a regular sleep schedule,
  • avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime,
  • exercising regularly,
  • refraining from using screened devices on the bed or 30 minutes before bed,
  • not eating anything within three to four hours before bedtime,
  • and keeping a relaxed and comfortable bedroom environment.

If you’re still having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, there are also some natural sleep aids that can help, such as:

  • chamomile tea
  • and lavender oil.

If you suspect that you’re suffering from a sleep disorder, we highly recommend that you consult with a doctor or sleep specialist. They may be able to give you a more tailored treatment plan that works for you.

2) Spend less time on screens

If you find yourself struggling to focus or concentrate, it may be due to the amount of time you’re spending on screens.

A growing body of research has shown that too much screen time can lead to attention problems, difficulty focusing, and even cognitive decline.

To reduce your risk of developing these problems, experts recommend:

  • limiting your screen time to two hours or less per day,
  • taking breaks every 20 minutes to look away from the screen and focus on something else at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds,
  • and using blue light-blocking glasses if you must be on screens for long periods of time.

If you find it difficult to reduce your screen time, there are also some apps that can help, such as Offtime and Flipd.

Both of these apps allow you to track your screen time, set limits, and block distracting apps and websites, so you can focus on what’s important.

3) Reduce your stress levels

Chronic stress can take a toll on your mental and physical health, which can lead to conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome and brain fog.

Studies reveal that chronic stress can damage the hippocampus—a part of the brain that’s responsible for memory and learning.

It can also lead to inflammation, which has been linked to cognitive decline.

To reduce your stress levels, experts recommend:

  • exercising regularly,
  • meditating or practicing mindfulness,
  • spending time in nature,
  • practicing yoga or Tai Chi,
  • getting a massage,
  • listening to calming music,
  • journaling,
  • and breathing exercises.

If you find it difficult to manage your stress on your own, we recommend talking to a therapist or counselor. They can help you identify the root cause of your stress and give you the tools to manage it effectively.

Stress management is a vital part of maintaining good mental health, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you need it.

4) Improve your diet

What you eat has a direct impact on your brain health.

Research shows that a healthy diet is essential for proper brain function, especially in seniors.

So, it’s important to make sure that you’re eating plenty of nutrient-rich foods.

Some of the best foods for brain functions include:

  • oily fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines,
  • leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale,
  • nuts and seeds,
  • berries,
  • dark chocolate,
  • avocados,
  • whole grains,
  • and eggs.

In addition to eating brain-boosting foods, it’s also important to avoid foods that can damage your cognition. These include:

  • processed and refined foods,
  • foods high in sugar and saturated fat,
  • artificial sweeteners,
  • and MSG.

Eating a healthy diet is one of the best things you can do for your central nervous system. So, make sure to fill your plate with plenty of nutrient-rich foods.

And if you’re struggling to eat a healthy diet, we recommend talking to a registered dietitian or nutritionist. They can help you create a meal plan that’s tailored to your specific needs and goals.

5) Consider supplementing to get the right amount of brain-boosting nutrients

Even if you’re eating a healthy diet, it’s still possible to become deficient in specific nutrients.

This is especially true as we age since our bodies become less efficient at absorbing nutrients from food.

Studies suggest that certain nutrients are especially important for your immune system and brain functions, including:

  • Omega-three fatty acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Vitamin B complex
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Choline
  • Iron

If you’re not getting enough of these nutrients from food, we recommend talking to your doctor about supplementing. They can help you determine the right dosages and choose the best supplements for your needs.

Getting the proper nutrients is essential for maintaining good brain health. So, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about supplements if you think you might be deficient in specific nutrients.

6) Get moving

Exercise isn’t just good for your physical health—it’s also excellent for your mental health and cognitive performance.

Studies show that exercise can improve brain function and protect against cognitive decline.

It can also reduce stress levels, stabilize blood pressure, enhance the quality of sleep, and increase energy levels.

So, if you’re looking for ways to *** brain fog, we recommend getting moving. Just a few minutes of exercise can make a big difference.

If you’re new to working out, you might want to try aerobic exercises, such as:

  • walking,
  • jogging,
  • biking,
  • swimming,
  • dancing,
  • or HIIT (high-intensity interval training).

You can also try strength-training exercises to improve your mental clarity. These include:

  • lifting weights,
  • using resistance bands,
  • doing bodyweight exercises,
  • and taking yoga or Pilates classes.

Exercise is a great way to get rid of brain fog and improve your overall health.

And if you’re not sure where to start, we recommend talking to a personal trainer or fitness coach. They can help you create an exercise routine that’s tailored to your specific needs and goals.

7) Rehydrate well and often

Dehydration can cause a number of problems, including brain fog.

Researchers believe that even mild dehydration can lead to impaired brain function, while rehydration can enhance cognitive performance almost instantaneously.

So, it’s important to make sure that you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.

We recommend aiming for eight glasses of water per day. But if you’re working out, sweating a lot, or living in a hotter climate, you might need even more than that.

In addition to water, you can also rehydrate with:

  • tea,
  • natural fruit juice,
  • sports drinks, or
  • coconut water.

Drinking plenty of fluids is essential for maintaining good mental clarity. So, make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.

If you’re struggling to drink enough water, we recommend carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go. That way, you’ll always have water on hand when you need it.

8) Train your brain

Just like you train your muscles, you should also train your brain.

Studies show that brain training exercises help improve cognitive function and protect against cognitive decline. They can also enhance memory, focus, and problem-solving skills.

There are many different ways to train your brain. Some popular options include:

  • playing chess,
  • doing crosswords,
  • solving puzzles,
  • playing Sudoku,
  • taking online courses,
  • learning a new skill,
  • or learning a new language.

You can also try brain-training apps, such as:

  • Elevate,
  • NeuroNation,
  • Lumosity,
  • Peak, or
  • Fit Brains Trainer.

Brain training exercises are a great way to cure brain fog and improve your cognitive function.

So, if you’re looking for ways to sharpen your mind, we recommend trying some brain-training exercises.

9) Take healthy breaks throughout the day

If you’re struggling with brain fog, it might be because you’re not taking enough breaks.

When you work for long periods of time without a break, your concentration starts to dwindle, and your productivity declines.

That’s why it’s essential to take healthy breaks throughout the day. We recommend taking a five-minute break every hour or so.

During your break, you can:

  • stretch,
  • walk around,
  • meditate,
  • listen to relaxing music, or
  • do something else that relaxes you.

Taking breaks is essential for maintaining a healthy mind and body. So, make sure to take some time for yourself every day.

If you’re having trouble taking breaks, we recommend setting a timer or using an app to remind you.

There are many different apps that can help you take healthy breaks, such as:

  • Break Free,
  • Time Out,
  • Stand Up!, or
  • Breathe.

Taking breaks is a great way to combat brain fog and improve your concentration. So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or exhausted, make sure to take a healthy break often throughout the day.

Concluding Thoughts

Brain fog is a common problem that can have a negative impact on your life. It can affect your productivity at work, your relationships, and the quality of your day-to-day living.

But the good news is that there are many ways to cure brain fog.

By following the tips in this article, you can get rid of brain fog effectively and improve memory and cognitive performance in the long run.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to take care of your overall mental health, we have plenty of helpful resources in our blog.

And if you know someone who’s struggling with brain fog, we recommend sharing this article with them; they might learn a thing or two that will help them deal with the condition with more ease. 

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