Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on
February 24, 2022
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

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

Do you ever feel like your brain is foggy? Like you can’t think straight, and everything is a little bit cloudy? If so, you’re not alone.

A lot of people are asking the same question—“why do I have brain fog?”

Brain fog is a very common problem that many people experience on a daily basis.

In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of brain fog and some remedies that you can try to help clear up your head.

So, let’s get started.

What is brain fog? 

Brain fog is a term used to describe feelings of mental fatigue, confusion, forgetfulness, and lack of focus.

It is often accompanied by a feeling of heaviness in the head and can make it difficult to concentrate or think straight.

The term “brain fog” was actually coined in the early 1990s by Dr. Charles Parker, an American psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

Since then, the term has been used to describe a variety of cognitive symptoms that can interfere with a person’s ability to think clearly.

While brain fog is not a medical diagnosis, it is a real and debilitating condition that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. 

Why do I have brain fog?

There are many different reasons why you may be experiencing brain fog. Some of the most common causes of a foggy brain are the following:

Too Much Stress

When you are under a lot of stress, your body goes into “fight or flight” mode. This is a natural survival mechanism that helps us to deal with dangerous situations.

However, when we are constantly in a state of stress, our bodies and minds never have a chance to relax and recover. This can lead to a number of problems, including brain fog. 

Too Much Caffeine

While a cup of coffee in the morning can help you to feel more alert, too much caffeine can actually have the opposite effect.

Caffeine is a stimulant, and when you have too much of it, it can lead to feelings of anxiety, jitteriness, and irritability. 

It can also cause problems with focus and concentration.

Poor Diet

What you eat can have a significant impact on your mind and body. If you are not eating a healthy diet, it is likely that you will experience problems with focus, energy, and mental clarity.

Some foods that may contribute to brain fog include processed foods, sugary snacks, too much caffeine, and overconsumption of alcohol. 

Lack of Sleep

It is well-known that a good night’s sleep is essential for our overall health and wellbeing. However, many people do not get enough sleep on a regular basis.

If you are not getting enough rest, it can highly likely trigger brain fog and cognitive dysfunction throughout your day.   

Dehydration

It is estimated that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration can cause a number of problems, including brain fog.

When you are dehydrated, your body and brain do not function as well as they should. This can lead to feelings of confusion and difficulty thinking clearly.

Environmental Toxins

We are exposed to a variety of environmental toxins on a daily basis. These toxins can come from a number of sources, including air pollution, pesticides, and heavy metals.

If you are frequently exposed to these toxins, it is likely that they are contributing to your brain fog.  

Medications

Certain medications can also cause brain fog as a side effect. This includes medicines for ADHD, allergies, and high blood pressure.

If you are taking any medication and are experiencing symptoms of brain fog, talk to your doctor about possible alternatives. 

Medical Conditions

There are a number of medical conditions that can cause brain fog. Some of the most common include:

While this list is not exhaustive, it does give you an idea of some of the most common causes of brain fog.

Now that we’ve discussed some of the reasons why you may be experiencing brain fog, let’s take a look at some of the symptoms and their remedies that can help with your mental clarity.

Common Symptoms of Brain Fog

Before we discuss some of the ways that you can combat brain fog, it is important to know what some of the common symptoms are. This will help you to identify when you are experiencing a foggy brain.

Some of the most common symptoms of brain fog include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Lack of motivation
  • Mental fatigue
  • Fatigue 
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is likely that you are suffering from brain fog.

Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do to clear your head and get rid of the fog

Remedies for Brain Fog

There are a number of remedies that you can use to treat brain fog and improve your focus and concentration.

Some of the most effective remedies include:

Drinking adequate water

Drinking enough water is essential for keeping your body and brain functioning properly. When you are dehydrated, it is highly likely that you will experience some symptoms of brain fog.

Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water per day in order to stay hydrated.

Working out regularly

Regular exercise is a great way to improve your overall health and wellbeing, especially your central nervous system.

Not only does it help to clear your head, but it can also boost your energy levels and reduce stress. 

Aerobic exercise is especially beneficial for improving focus and concentration. 

Exercising your mind 

Just as you exercise your body, it is important to also exercise your mind. Puzzles, crosswords, and other types of mental exercises can help to improve focus and concentration.

You can also try learning a new language or playing a musical instrument.

Getting adequate sleep

As we mentioned earlier, getting enough sleep is essential for optimal brain function. Make sure that you are getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.

If you are having difficulty sleeping, try implementing some of the following tips:

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation  
  • Limit screen time before bed

Eating healthy foods

Keeping a healthy diet is one of the best things that you can do for your wellbeing, especially your immune system and brain health.

When you eat nutritious foods, it helps to fuel your body and brain. Some of the best foods for boosting brain function include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Iron-rich foods to maintain a healthy production of red blood cells

Do your best to include these foods in your diet to help improve focus and concentration.

Supplementing with brain-boosting nutrients

If you are not getting all of the nutrients that your body needs from food, you may want to consider supplementing with brain supplements, such as:

  • Omega-three fatty acids
  • Vitamin B complex, especially vitamin B12
  • Iron for a healthy supply of red blood cells to the brain
  • Magnesium
  • Ginkgo biloba 

These supplements can help ensure that your brain is receiving the proper nourishment and support.

Reducing stress

Chronic stress can have a number of negative effects on your health, including brain fog. If you are feeling stressed, there are a number of things that you can do to reduce it.

Some effective stress-relief techniques include:

  • Exercise
  • Deep breathing
  • Meditation
  • Spending time in nature
  • Yoga
  • Massage therapy 
  • Listening to calming music

Remember that when you take the time to relax and de-stress, it can help to clear your head and improve focus and concentration.

These are just a few of the many things that you can do to combat brain fog. By implementing some of these tips, you can help improve your focus, concentration, and overall brain function.

Can brain fog be diagnosed?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as brain fog can be caused by a variety of different factors, especially a number of mental health conditions. 

However, if you are experiencing chronic symptoms of brain fog, it may be worth visiting your doctor to discuss the possibility of being diagnosed with brain fog.

Your doctor will likely ask you a number of questions about your symptoms and medical history.

They may also recommend some tests to rule out other potential causes of your symptoms.

If you are diagnosed with mental fog, there are a number of brain fog treatment options that you can explore.

Your doctor may recommend making lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep or exercise, or they may prescribe medication or other therapies.

It is important to work with your doctor to find the best treatment plan for you.

The Bottom Line

Having brain fog can be frustrating and can affect your daily life.

There are a number of things that you can do to help improve your brain function and reduce symptoms of brain fog.

By implementing some or all of the tips in this article, you can help yourself feel more focused and clear-headed.

If you are experiencing chronic symptoms of brain fog, it is important to speak to your doctor to discuss treatment options.

With the right treatment plan, you can improve your symptoms and live a more normal life.

If you want to learn more about brain fog and how to clear it effectively, here are some more helpful articles for you to read. Also, consider joining this online community of brain health enthusiasts.

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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