Do you ever get the feeling that your brain has a thick layer of fog surrounding it? You feel extra tired and unable to focus? I refer to this sensation as "foggy brain" because it feels like something is interfering with my mental clarity.
Possible main culprits for that fogged over feeling include lack of sleep, eating fried foods, drinking too much caffeine and soda, stress, and a possible food intolerance or allergy. The good news? There are some quick fixes to make your brain feel better so you can get back to work . . . and play!
- Alter Your Diet — March is National Nutrition Month so try to be extra mindful of what you're putting into your body. Steer clear of processed and sugar-filled foods and eat lots of brightly colored fruits and veggies. Eating nutrient-rich food is important because as soon we eat, our bodies need to break down the food so that these nutrients can be absorbed by our blood and used to refuel our body (and brain!) to function optimally. If you consume sweets, your blood sugar level will spike and the drop, causing fatigue and moodiness. When it comes to carbs, it's best to stick with whole grains since your body slowly utilizes them as a source of energy, while keeping your blood sugar levels stable.
Find out what else you can do to make your brain feel better.
- Drink Up! — This may be the simplest solution to "foggy brain," but be sure to stay hydrated. Water can do wonders for clearing the mind to boost your mood. A recent study at Tufts University showed that dehydration was associated with a negative mood including fatigue and confusion.
- Sleep It Off — Being overtired may be the number one reason for your brain fog symptoms. Sleep deprivation tremendously affects brain functions and reaction times, and with Americans only averaging around 6.9 hours of sleep per night, sleep may be the best place to start. Here's how to get a good night's rest.
- Removing Foods From Your Diet — If you're feeling tired, sluggish, or are having a hard time focusing, you may be suffering from a possible food intolerance or allergy. Try to pay attention after you eat and see if your exhaustion intensifies after meals. For example, some people with sensitivity to gluten may feel lethargic. Try eliminating a type of food that you think may be causing you problems for one week and see if your energy improves. You could also ask your doctor for a food allergy test to help you pinpoint the problem food.
How do you overcome foggy brain?