Do You Suffer From Brain Fog?
Brain fog can occur at any time and can either be short lived or more chronic and longer lasting. What exactly is brain fog? It is defined as “a usually temporary state of diminished mental capacity marked by inability to concentrate or to think or reason clearly”. For me personally, I felt like I was in a perpetual state of brain fog for parts of my day every day for close to three years after having my second child. This was mainly due to the fact that my second child was a terrible sleeper and would wake up many times in the night. I had also got into some bad habits during those difficult times, such as consuming lots of sugary foods and drinks, forgetting to take my supplements and having too much screen time, especially at night.
Here are some things I found to help me get rid of brain fog which you can try too:
1. Create an electronic sunset
As someone once said: “A good day starts the night before”, which is why I’ve put this down as my first tip. Once it’s evening, pull down the blinds, close your curtains and put on dim lights in your main the living areas. Switch off unnecessary lights, especially the really bright ones. Wear ‘Blue Light Blocker’ glasses which block out the blue light waves from screens and lightbulbs. You should also set the night setting on your phones and tablets so they automatically reduce the brightness of the screens and reduce blue light waves from the screen. By doing all this, you’re sending signals to your brain that the day is turning into night so your brain will start to produce melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep better.
2. Get outdoors throughout the day
Regular exposure to natural sunlight (even on a cloudy day) especially in the first 2 hours after waking up helps to energize you as well as re-setting your circadian rhythm (your internal body clock) for better sleep later that night. Indoor artificial lighting does not produce nearly as much light energy (measured in lux) as being outdoors.
3. Schedule in “Movement Breaks” every hour
Having worked with children for over 20 years, I always recommend that teachers add in regular movement breaks for their students during their school day. The feedback I have received is that not only do short 3-5 minute movement breaks every hour help increase the children’s attention and reduce fidgetiness, it also energises the teachers too. This is particularly important if you work at a desk most of the day. It’s so easy to implement. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up and move. You MUST move away from your desk. Go get yourself a drink, go for a brisk walk outside your office or home or do a 5 minute movement or exercise routine (do some yoga poses, dance to your favourite upbeat song, run up some stairs or do some push ups and jumping jacks). You’ll get your blood pumping and your brain will feel more awake and more focused after the movement break.
4. Meditate daily
If you haven’t tried meditating yet, it’s worth trying now. You don’t need to be a yogi to be able to get the benefits of meditation, nor do you need to go to weekly meditation classes. Meditation has been scientifically proven to lengthen attention span and reduce stress levels. All you need is an app and 15 minutes of undisturbed time a day. That’s just 1% of the total number of minutes in 24 hours! There are several free Apps on the market you can start with. Try Insight Timer or Headspace. Calm is another good one which offers a free 2 week trial. Or find a YouTube meditation video to follow. There are many different styles of meditation, so try different types of meditation to find what resonates most with you.
5. Take these supplements
Vitamin D (1000-5000iu)
Fish oil (which contains about 1,000mg of DHA)
Vitamin B12 (1000mcg)
Alpha-linoleic acid – ALA (25 -100 mcg)
A herbal adaptogen such as Maca, Ginkgo biloba, ashwaganda or rhodiola, all of which have been proven by research studies to increase focus, attention and memory
Do these changes consistently over the next 2 weeks to see if this multi-pronged approach helps you clear your mind and feel focused and sharp again. If, after 2 weeks of consistently doing these 5 steps, you still have brain fog, then there may be deeper or more complex issues that need to be clarified and worked on. If you’d like a more personalised help to get rid of your brain fog problems, contact me here for a complimentary, no obligation free 30 minute Health Exploration Call to get the ball rolling.