Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Brain fog is one of the most annoying things to have. This is especially true when you have got deadlines or need to be super focused and organised! Ahhhh so frustrating.
It's not technically a medical term. Rather, it’s a term that describes a series of symptoms that affect decision making, focus, short term memory and motivation. Some people find it affects their speech. They say it makes it hard to find the right words when speaking and can even affect pronunciation.
The good news is it's not permanent. By taking the few simple steps below you can find a clear mind and prevent it from ever happening again!
Here are the top 5 causes of brain fog and what can you do about it?
1. Long Term Stressors:
When we get stressed our body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. Normally, cortisol levels subside when stress passes. But today we tend to live in a 24/7 stressed state. This is particularly true if you drink coffee. Stress hormones make it very hard to concentrate and focus well, it even can damage the brain! Studies have shown that high levels of cortisol reduce the brain's ability to function properly, even kill brain cells and reduce the size of the brain. It's been shown to shrink the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning! You can read more about this on my naturopathy and hormone imbalance page here.
2. Lack of exercise:
To have good brain function you have to move your body! Exercise pumps oxygen and blood to the brain it even increases the prefrontal cortex (parts of the brain that are associated with learning, thinking and memory)! Exercise also improves mood, motivation, sleep, immune function, detoxification and reduces stress!
3. Poor sleep quality: This one is pretty obvious but it's definitely one of the most common causes of brain fog. The average adult needs a 7-8 hours per night. So if your struggling to get to sleep, stay asleep or aren't getting into a deep sleep this will be one of the main causes of brain fog.
4. Blood sugar imbalances: Eating a poor diet of packaged foods, processed sugar, too many carbs, a lack of protein and not enough veggies is a guaranteed way to get a foggy brain. Blood sugar balance is key to improving mood, energy and brain fog so learn to eat right for your body type. I have resources and videos on this on facebook and online.
An adult human body consists of 60% water and according to H.H. Mitchell, Journal of Biological Chemistry 158, and the brain is composed of 73% water! This means when you don't drink enough water your head is guaranteed to be foggy!
Here's a calculation to work out how much water to drink. Body weight in kgs x 0.03 = number of litres needed per day!
Other things that cause bring fog are hormonal imbalances, free radical damage, toxin accumulation, some medications and chronic infections. However the truth is these are the secondary causes the ones above are most important as when you improve the top 5 the body takes care of the rest.
So these are the things to do: Drink water, exercise at least every 2nd day, sort out your sleep (herbs, vitamins and detoxing can help this alot!). Eat a balanced diet that's right for your body type, and reduce stress (do yoga, get out of toxic relationships, do a job you love etc.
If you want to learn more about this please do come along to my next wellness workshop on the Sunshine Coast or in Brisbane, Australia. xx