Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on
May 26, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

Written by Dr. Valentina Quintana MD on:

Want Less Brain Fog?

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You might be reading this because you’re feeling like you’re not functioning at your best. You’re having trouble remembering things and making decisions.

If that’s the case, you might be experiencing brain fog, which many people deal with nowadays. So, what helps with brain fog?

Well, there are many things that can help you clear the fog, take back your mental clarity and enhance your cognitive function in the long run.

In this blog post, we will discuss ten things that can help improve your brain health and reduce the symptoms of brain fog.

Read on to learn more!

What is brain fog, exactly?

Before we dive into what helps brain fog, let’s first take a look at what it actually is.

Brain fog or mental fog is a term used to describe the feeling of mental fatigue and mild cognitive dysfunction.

Most people experience brain fog for a few days to a couple of weeks, while others deal with it for months.

Some other brain fog symptoms include:

  • difficulty concentrating
  • forgetfulness or problems with recall
  • lack of motivation or inspiration
  • poor decision making
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • irritability or low mood
  • physical and mental fatigue
  • troubles in problem-solving
  • often lost in a train of thought in the middle of conversations

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to address them as soon as possible before your brain fog develops into a more serious type of cognitive dysfunction, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Take note that while brain fog is not a medical diagnosis, it is often caused by underlying health issues or medical conditions (e.g., chronic fatigue syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, sleep disorders).

So, it is crucial to consult your doctor if you are experiencing several symptoms of brain fog.

What causes brain fog?

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

  • too much stress
  • sleep deprivation
  • poor nutrition
  • dehydration
  • hormonal imbalances
  • chronic health conditions (e.g., lupus brain fog)
  • certain medications or treatments (e.g., chemo brain)

The causes of brain fog often vary from person to person. It’s important to pay attention to your body and figure out what might trigger your symptoms.

Once you know the cause, it will be easier for you to find a solution.

What helps with brain fog?

Now that we know what brain fog is and what causes it, let’s take a look at some of the things that can help bring back your mental clarity and enhance your cognitive health in the long run:

1) Sufficient and efficient sleep

One of the best things you can do for your overall health is to get enough sleep.

Needless to say, sleep deprivation can cause brain fog.

When you don’t get enough rest, it will take a toll on your mental and physical health, especially your immune system.

Most adults need around seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night. For some, it may be longer than eight hours.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night, there are a few things you can try to help you sleep better.

We highly recommend following these tips:

  • establish a regular sleep schedule
  • create a relaxing bedtime routine
  • avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • exercise regularly
  • limit screen time before bed
  • eat a light evening dinner
  • create a comfortable and dark sleeping environment

If you still can’t seem to get quality sleep, it might be time to consult your doctor. They can help you find the underlying cause of your sleeplessness and provide treatment options for both brain fog and sleep disorder.

2) Regular aerobic exercise

One of the best things you can do for your brain is to exercise regularly. Aerobic exercises, in particular, have been shown to improve mental clarity and cognitive functions.

Some examples of aerobic exercises include swimming, running, brisk walking, and cycling.

Lack of regular physical movement can cause brain fog. So, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three to five times a week.

In addition to improving your cognitive health, regular exercise can also help with stress management, weight loss, and chronic pain relief.

3) Mediterranean-style meals

The Mediterranean diet is not only good for your heart, but also for your entire central nervous system. This type of diet includes plenty of healthy foods, such as:

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • legumes
  • nuts
  • and seeds.

It also features healthy fats, such as olive oil and fish.

Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet can help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of dementia.

So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your brain fog, make sure to include plenty of Mediterranean-style meals in your diet.

4) Brain-supporting supplements

There are a few supplements that have been shown to be effective in improving brain fog and brain function. These include:

  • Omega-three fatty acids
  • vitamin B12 or B complex
  • vitamin D
  • vitamin E
  • magnesium
  • iron

If you’re considering taking any of these supplements, it’s important to speak with your doctor first. They can help you determine the right dosage and monitor any potential side effects.

5) Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is a type of eating pattern that involves periods of fasting followed by periods of eating.

The most common patterns of intermittent fasting include:

The 16-eight method: The goal of this method is to reduce insulin resistance by restricting both carbohydrates and fat while fasting for 16 hours and eating only during an eight-hour period.

For example, you would eat all your meals between noon and eight pm.

The five-two method: This entails eating normally for five days a week and restricting your calories to a minimum of 500 on the two non-fasting days.

On the fasting days, you would consume only 500-600 calories.

There are many other intermittent fasting methods, but these are the most common ones.

There is some evidence to suggest that intermittent fasting can help improve brain function and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you’re considering trying intermittent fasting, it’s important to speak with your doctor first to make sure it’s safe for you.

6) Rehydration

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

When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t have enough water to function properly. This can lead to a decrease in focus and brain functions.

It’s important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially when it’s hot, or you’re sweating a lot.

The best fluids to drink are water and unsweetened beverages, such as herbal tea.

If you’re not getting enough fluids from your diet, you may need to take a supplement, such as electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals that help balance the body’s fluid levels. They can be found in many foods and beverages, as well as in supplement form.

If you’re considering taking an electrolyte supplement, it’s important to speak with your doctor first.

They can help you determine the right dosage and monitor any potential side effects.

Rehydration is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for people who are suffering from brain fog.

7) Refraining from cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol

Cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol can all have a negative impact on your brain function.

Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance that can lead to dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

Drugs and alcohol can also cause changes in the brain that lead to cognitive dysfunction.

They can also inhibit the healthy flow of red blood cells to the brain, which causes brain fog and other cognitive impairments.

If you smoke cigarettes, use drugs, or drink alcohol, it’s important to speak with your doctor about ways to quit sustainably.

There are many resources available to help you quit any substance abuse, including:

  • counseling
  • behavioral therapy
  • nicotine replacement therapy
  • medications

If you’re struggling to quit your addiction, it’s important to seek help from a doctor or other healthcare provider.

They can help you create a recovery plan and provide support throughout the process.

Quitting cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol can be difficult, but it’s important for your cognitive health.

These substances can cause long-term damage to your brain and lead to cognitive impairment.

8) Fun brain games and activities

Brain games and activities are a great way to improve your cognitive function and keep brain fog at bay.

There are many types of games that can help you train your brain and get entertained, including:

  • puzzles
  • memory games
  • logic games
  • crosswords
  • sudoku
  • chess
  • trivia games

Training your brain through games can help improve your memory, focus, and problem-solving skills.

They can also help reduce the risk of cognitive decline in old age.

If you’re looking for a fun way to improve your brain function, there are many options available.

9) Social activities

Social activities are important for mental health. They can help reduce stress, improve mood, and promote brain growth.

Some great social activities include:

  • joining a book club
  • going to the movies
  • attending a concert
  • taking a dance class
  • volunteering
  • camping or hiking with friends
  • meeting new people

Social activities can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and improve brain function.

They’re also a great way to meet new people and make friends.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your mental health, consider adding some social activities to your life.

10) Efficient stress management

Chronic stress can have a negative impact on cerebral health. It can lead to changes in the brain that can impair memory and learning.

It’s important to find ways to manage stress effectively. Some great ways to do this include:

  • exercise
  • meditation
  • yoga
  • deep breathing
  • massage therapy
  • aromatherapy

There are many ways to manage stress, and what works for one person may not work for another.

It’s important to experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you.

Efficient stress management is important for cognitive health. It can help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

The Bottom Line

Brain fog can be a frustrating and debilitating condition. It can lead to changes in mood, memory, and focus.

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help clear the fog naturally. These lifestyle changes can help improve your brain function and reduce the risk of cognitive decline as you age.

If you want to learn more about brain fog treatment options and how to take care of your overall mental health, check out these helpful resources. Also, see what brain health advocates talk about in this online community. 

Join The Mental Health Community You've Been Dreaming Of

This discord family is a safe place where we can all (anonymously if we choose) talk about and seek help for what is going on in our heads.

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