Brain fog can debilitate wellbeing and harm your productivity while work piles up to cause even more stress.
It is an endless cycle of feeling tired and anxious that many people regularly battle, but it doesn’t have to be that way if you know how to improve brain fog symptoms.
Many things can cause cloudy thinking, and several solutions target unique underlying causes of brain fog.
While every method to get rid of brain fog may not work for you, there are plenty of solutions to try until you find the best one for your situation.
Let’s look at the most helpful self-treatment methods you can implement in your daily life.
- 1. Get More Sleep
- 2. Reduce Stress
- 3. Change Your Diet
- 4. Vitamins and Supplements
- 5. Regular Exercise
- 6. Challenge Your Mind
- 7. Find Enjoyable Activities
- 8. Avoid Alcohol, Smoking, and Drinking Coffee
- 9. Reduce Time On Computer and Mobile Phone
1. Get More Sleep
Sleep is vital for overall health, but many people don’t get enough (1). A lack of sleep can contribute to brain fog. When we do not get enough sleep, our brain does not have the time to process memories and information.
The amount of sleep needed to improve symptoms associated with lack of sleep is different for everyone, but getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night can give you more natural energy that can burst through the brain fog.
For sleep to improve the symptoms of fatigue, it has to be consistent. One or two days of quality sleep may help with mental clarity temporarily, but it is not an optimal long-term solution.
Instead, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day and avoid phones, tablets, computers, and other screens in the hour leading up to your bedtime.
2. Reduce Stress
Almost everyone has to deal with stress, but severe or chronic stress can cause numerous problems, including cognitive impairment (2). Many people know that their stress hurts their brain health but do not know how to reduce it.
Stress and brain fog can lead to burnout as well. You should always try to take some days off to destress and empty the clutter from your mind.
Taking some time away from work can help ease stress and anxiety and give a much-needed break for better mental health and central nervous system. Not only that, but anxiety can also contribute to depression that can make brain fog even worse.
If you have never tried mindfulness meditation or breathing techniques, that is another potential option for brain fog treatment.
Try sitting in a quiet place without distraction and being aware of your thoughts as they pass through your mind without judgment.
Take deep breaths by inhaling slowly and deep into your nose, holding it for a few seconds, and then releasing it exhaling through your mouth. This can calm the mind and body and help you strengthen your resilience to stress and brain fog.
3. Change Your Diet
Monitoring your diet and food intake can do a lot for your body since an unhealthy diet can trigger brain fog. Proper brain function requires a sufficient flow of nutrients and oxygen.
Therefore, choosing healthy options that support health and provide natural energy that can positively affect brain fog is essential.
For example, iron deficiency, which causes low levels of red blood cells, is a medical condition that plays a role in brain fog in a few key ways.
There are also other diet considerations to keep in mind. For example, when you eat foods that can fight inflammation and boost your immune system, that can also benefit brain function.
Choose a diet rich in healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as well as lean protein. Eating these types of goods can profoundly affect your health, including the risk of mental fogginess.
Finally, if you have any allergies, you should always avoid certain foods that you do not tolerate.
This could be lactose, gluten, food additives, and more (3). You may not even realize that allergies to certain foods are the most common causes of brain fog. Also, be sure to drink enough water because dehydration can also contribute to constricted mental capacity.
4. Vitamins and Supplements
Many types of supplements target different brain functions, health issues, normal neurotransmitter production, healthy hormones, and balanced nutrition.
Many vitamins impact brain fog and can prevent age-related cognitive dysfunction, decline and increase mental clarity. Folate and other B vitamins are a good choice, especially if the underlying cause of brain fog is a nutrient deficiency (4).
There are also plenty of herbs that can support normal brain activities like optimal levels of neurotransmitters and help with forgetfulness, concentration, and feelings of motivation and positive mood.
Some good choices for research-backed herbs include bacopa monnieri, ginkgo biloba, rhodiola rosea, citicoline, and lion’s mane mushroom.
Finally, plenty of supplements for brain fog combine natural or synthetic nootropics that directly target the issue.
These supplement remedies can be a good choice for focusing, a feeling of positive mood, improving trouble with concentration, and preventing a sense of exhaustion all the time.
Some even contain natural or synthetic stimulant compounds that can help with focus and reduce brain fog symptoms.
5. Regular Exercise
Many people do not include enough exercise in their weekly routine. Still, regular exercise can help keep your mind sharp and promotes a better attention span, energy, and the production of essential neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
In addition, starting to exercise throughout the week can help you find relief from the frustrating symptoms of brain fog (5). Not only that, but sometimes brain fog correlates with depression that can also cause cognitive impairment.
If left untreated, depression can contribute to poor memory, lack of sleep, trouble paying attention and might reduce your productivity. In addition, these changes can make brain fog worse or even cause brain fog sometimes.
While brain fog may make you want to sleep and be lazy, that will not do much for the cure. Sleep will treat only your acute symptoms.
To cure your brain, try to get out of bed and challenge yourself to make positive lifestyle changes that can make you feel more aware, reduce foggy thinking, and start eliminating brain fog.
6. Challenge Your Mind
Just like with any other muscle, it is crucial to train the brain. For example, when you do puzzles, riddles, and other cognitive games, the brain function becomes limber and more active.
You may find that the fog in your brain has lifted. There is even some evidence that brain puzzles can help to prevent and improve the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
It can be easy to get stuck in a rut doing the same mundane things daily with no cognitive challenge.
While it is okay to do that sometimes, it does not keep your brain limber and fresh. But, then, when the fog brain sets in, it is much harder to clear away the cobwebs if you haven’t been challenging your mental capacities.
Brain puzzles have been shown to help with forgetfulness, the ability to concentrate and could play a role in preventing age-related cognitive function problems and memory loss.
Many older individuals find that keeping their brain active feels better for their overall wellbeing and can prevent negative changes that sometimes come with age.
Even if it is just a crossword puzzle, it can do a lot for your cognitive care and help you boost your memory.
7. Find Enjoyable Activities
Participating in hobbies and doing things that bring you joy can go a long way towards clearing away the mental clouds that affect your wellbeing and productivity.
When we do things we are passionate about, like social activity, riding a bike, painting, music, or even watching a movie, we allow our brains to shift away from our responsibilities.
While these fun activities require you to focus, it is much easier to concentrate on something that you enjoy. This can help clear the brain fog that you can then carry over to the rest of your life.
In addition, doing things we like to do also releases beneficial brain chemicals that can protect your health, slow the progression of cognitive decline, and heal your mind.
8. Avoid Alcohol, Smoking, and Drinking Coffee
Alcohol, smoking, and drugs can also play a significant role in the fogginess you feel each day (6).
Alcohol is an intoxicant and impacts thinking ability during consumption, but it can also lead to brain fog even when the immediate effects are no longer present.
Smoking can also lead to headaches, illness, and other medical issues that can contribute to a feeling of fog brain.
Caffeine may initially help you clear away the foggy feelings, but there comes a crash later on. When this happens, your mind will be slow, even when compared with your baseline.
While a small amount of caffeine each day does not hurt most people, it can cause higher stress levels for some. In turn, the fogginess worsens instead of getting better.
9. Reduce Time On Computer and Mobile Phone
The human brain was designed to look at the real world and process the surrounding information.
With a computer or phone screen, it can still process, but the efforts are not as natural. For short periods, screen use appears to cause little or no problems.
However, extended periods in front of a screen make it more difficult for the brain to function correctly and connect adequately with the experienced stimuli.
Not only that, but prolonged screen time can also hurt your vision. When we have to squint and blink more, it breaks up the ability to properly focus on the task at hand. This side effect may not cause brain fog, but it certainly does not help.
Brain fog can diminish your quality of life by making it harder to remain productive and motivated. Cognitive fatigue can even make us anxious, stressed, and even depressed.
There are some lifestyle changes you can painlessly make to improve your cognitive cloudiness.
You can eat healthier foods, stay hydrated, exercise, avoid drugs, alcohol, and get enough sleep every night. However, that is not always enough for improving your quality of living.
Many people do best with vitamins, natural nootropics, and cognitive supplements that can boost energy, memory, and concentration while also making it easier to think clearly without fogginess developing.