Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on
July 2, 2022
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

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

Do you feel like you’re not yourself lately? Are you struggling to focus and feeling forgetful? You might be experiencing brain fog.

Brain fog is a condition that affects many people, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

So, if you’re looking for ways to improve your brain health and what to do for brain fog, you came to the right place!

In this blog post, we will discuss 11 healthy habits that will help you develop a sharper brain and reduce the risk of having brain fog or other cognitive impairments.

Let’s get started.

What is brain fog, exactly?

Brain fog or mental is a general term used to describe the symptoms of a mild cognitive dysfunction characterized by a lack of mental clarity.

The symptoms can last from a few days to a few months, depending on the severity of the factors that cause brain fog.

Causes

Brain fog can be caused by many different things, including:

  • stress
  • sleep deprivation
  • sleep disorder (e.g., insomnia, apnea)
  • poor diet or nutrition
  • lack of movement or exercise
  • mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety, ADHD)
  • neurological disorders (e.g., schizophrenia, dementia)
  • certain medical conditions (e.g., thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • medications and treatments (e.g., chemo brain)

Mental decline, which is a normal part of aging, can also cause brain fog.

As we get older, our brains change, and we may not be able to process information as quickly or remember things as well as we used to.

Symptoms

The symptoms of brain fog can vary from person to person, but some common symptoms include:

  • poor memory
  • difficulty concentrating
  • trouble multitasking
  • forgetfulness
  • slowed thinking or processing speed
  • trouble finding the right words
  • fatigue or tiredness
  • moodiness or irritability
  • problems with decision-making
  • difficulties in problem-solving

If you’re experiencing these symptoms and they’re affecting your quality of life, it’s important to see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Also, there are things you can do to help improve your cognitive function and reduce the risk of developing brain fog. 

What to do for brain fog?

Here are 11 healthy habits you can start today to help improve your brain function and reduce the risk of developing brain fog:

1) Spend less time on mobile devices or computers

If you’re spending hours on your phone or in front of a computer screen, it’s time to cut back.

Prolonged exposure to blue light can disrupt your sleep cycle and lead to fatigue, which can contribute to brain fog.

So, make an effort to put away your devices at least an hour before bedtime and limit your screen time to no more than two hours a day.

You can also try using blue-light-blocking glasses to reduce the amount of blue light exposure. 

There are a few things you can do to make it easier to cut back on your screen time, such as:

  • setting timers for yourself and sticking to them
  • downloading apps that limit your screen time
  • keeping your phone out of reach or in a different room

By spending less time on your devices, you’ll be giving your brain a break and the chance to relax as well as eliminate brain fog.

You may even find that you sleep better and have more energy during the day.

2) Manage stress levels

Studies suggest that chronic stress can take a toll on your brain health and lead to cognitive decline.

So, it’s important to find ways to manage your stress levels.

There are a few things you can do to help reduce stress, such as:

  • exercising regularly
  • practicing meditation or mindfulness
  • getting enough sleep
  • eating a healthy diet
  • avoiding drugs and alcohol
  • spending time with friends or family
  • taking breaks during the day

Do what works for you and find what helps you relax.

By managing your stress levels, you’ll be able to think more clearly and reduce the risk of developing brain fog. 

3) Prioritize sleep quality

Getting adequate sleep is important for your blood flow and overall health, especially for the central nervous system. 

Research shows that poor sleep can lead to high blood pressure, cognitive decline, and an increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

To help improve sleep quality, it’s important to:

  • stick to a regular sleep schedule
  • create a relaxing bedtime routine
  • avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
  • avoid eating 3 to 4 hours before bed
  • exercise regularly
  • limit screen time before bed
  • create a relaxing environment in your bedroom

If you’re still having trouble sleeping and staying asleep, talk to your doctor about what you can do to improve your sleep quality.

A sleep specialist can also help you find out if you may be struggling with sleep disorders and provide tips on how you can optimize your sleep to reduce brain fog.

By establishing healthy sleeping habits, you’ll be able to reduce fatigue and think more clearly.

You may also find that you have more energy during the day. 

4) Eat a nutritious diet

What you eat can have a big impact on your digestive system, immune system, and mental clarity.

Research suggests that eating a diet that’s high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can lead to inflammation and increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

On the other hand, eating a diet that’s rich in whole foods, healthy fats, and antioxidants can help improve brain function and reduce the risk of developing brain fog.

Some of the best foods for your cognitive health include:

  • blueberries
  • salmon
  • avocados
  • nuts and seeds
  • dark leafy greens

In addition to eating healthy foods, it’s also important to avoid skipping meals or going too long without eating.

When you’re hungry, your blood sugar levels drop, which can lead to fatigue and make it difficult to concentrate.

So, make sure to eat three healthy meals a day and snacks as needed to avoid brain fog.

By eating a nutritious diet, you’ll be providing your brain with the nutrients it needs to function properly. 

You may also find that you have more energy and focus.

5) Consider taking supplements

If you think that you’re not getting enough nutrients from your diet, you may want to consider taking supplements.

Some of the best supplements for cognitive health include:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Iron
  • L-Theanine
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids

But it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements, as they may interact with medications you’re taking or have other side effects when taken simultaneously.

A certified nutritionist can also help you figure out if you have any nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed.

By taking supplements, you’ll be giving your brain the nutrients it needs to function properly.

You could discover that you have more energy and concentration.

6) Get aerobic exercise regularly

Exercise is not only good for your overall health, but it can also help improve brain functioning by enhancing the blood flow of red blood cells to the brain.

Research suggests that aerobic exercise can help increase the size of the hippocampus, which is the part of the brain that is responsible for memory and learning.

Studies also show that regular exercise can also help improve cognitive function in people who have Alzheimer’s disease.

To get the most benefit from aerobic exercise, it’s important to:

  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise most days of the week.
  • Find an activity that you enjoy and can stick to in the long term.

Some great examples of moderate-intensity aerobic exercises include:

  • walking
  • jogging
  • biking
  • swimming,
  • and dancing.

You may want to consider working out with a friend or joining a class to make it more enjoyable.

7) Train your brain daily

Just like you exercise your body to stay in shape, it’s also important to exercise your brain so that it stays sharp.

Research shows that brain-training exercises can help improve memory, learning, and thinking.

Some great examples of brain-training exercises include:

  • playing games that require memory or problem-solving skills
  • doing crossword puzzles or Sudoku
  • taking an online course
  • learning a new language or skill.

You can also try some memory exercises, such as:

  • reciting a list of items in reverse order
  • repeating back a string of numbers
  • or trying to remember the names of all the people you meet in one day.

By training your brain on a regular basis, you’ll be helping to keep it sharp and preventing cognitive decline.

You could find that you have an easier time learning new things and retaining information.

8) Rehydrate well and often

Your brain is made up of 73% water, so it’s important to make sure you’re drinking enough fluids each day.

Studies suggest that when you’re even slightly dehydrated, it can lead to fatigue and make it difficult to concentrate.

Aim to drink eight glasses of water a day or more if you exercise regularly or are in a hot climate.

You may also want to drink more water if you’re taking certain medications, such as diuretics or laxatives.

In addition to water, you can also get fluids from:

  • fruit and vegetable juices
  • soups
  • herbal teas
  • milk
  • caffeinated beverages.

Just be sure to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, as too much can lead to dehydration.

By drinking enough fluids, you’ll be helping to keep your brain healthy and prevent cognitive decline.

You could discover that you have more energy and attention.

9) Take healthy breaks throughout the day

In addition to getting enough sleep at night, it’s also important to take breaks during the day.

When you’re constantly working or studying, your brain can become fatigued, and it becomes more difficult to concentrate.

That’s why it’s important to take a few minutes each hour to rest and rejuvenate your mind. 

Some great ways to do this include:

  • taking a few deep breaths
  • stretching your body
  • drinking water
  • taking a power nap
  • going for a short walk
  • listening to calming music.

You may also want to try some relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation.

By taking healthy breaks throughout the day, you’ll be helping to improve your focus and concentration.

You may also find that you have more energy and are able to think more clearly.

10) Get some sunlight and spend time in nature

Research shows that spending time in nature has numerous benefits for the brain.

For example, one study found that people who walked in a park for 30 minutes had better short-term memory than those who didn’t.

Other research suggests that spending time in nature can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood, and increase energy levels.

So, make sure to get some sunlight every day and spend time outside in nature.

You could go for a walk in the park, go hiking, or simply sit outside in your backyard.

By getting some sunlight and spending time in nature, you’ll be helping to improve your mood and brain function. 

You may also find that you have more energy and feel less stressed.

11) Connect with others

It’s important to stay connected with others, even if you can’t be together in person.

Research shows that social interaction is essential for cognitive health.

One study found that people who had strong social relationships were less likely to experience cognitive decline.

Other research suggests that social interaction can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase brain activity.

So, make sure to stay in touch with your family and friends, even if you can’t be together in person.

You could call or video chat with them, send them emails or text messages or even connect with them on social media.

By staying connected with others, you’ll be helping to improve your mood and cognitive function.

You may also find that you have more energy and attention and feel less isolated.

The Bottom Line

Brain fog can become overwhelming and debilitating, especially if it goes on for months, affecting your career, relationships, and life in general.

If you experience brain fog, there are many things you can do to help improve your cognitive function.

By following the tips in this article, you’ll be on your way to a healthier and sharper mind.

Want to learn more about natural brain fog treatment options? We have plenty of resources on the topic

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