Brain fog can make every day exhausting and stressful, as your clouded mind struggles to remember appointments, medications, and more. If you are having trouble concentrating on work or study, cannot maintain a schedule, or have difficulty focusing on anything, brain fog could be to blame.
The trouble is that brain fog is difficult to recognize, and even harder to alleviate. Many people feel that they’re simply not focusing hard enough, or that they’re scatterbrained by nature. If you’re having trouble keeping your thoughts in a row, it might help to learn more about brain fog, what causes it, and how you can clear your mind.
What Is Brain Fog?
Brain fog is a type of cognitive dysfunction. While not classified as a medical condition itself, it is typically a symptom of an underlying problem, or a side effect of a medical treatment. It feels much like it sounds: disorganized thoughts, impaired thinking, and poor memory.
People with brain fog often become frustrated at their own symptoms, feeling powerless over their own minds. Even if they want to concentrate and complete tasks, they might find themselves making mistakes, forgetting steps, and failing to meet expectations.
This can put a strain on their career, and even follow them home to their family and friends. They might forget important appointments, or struggle to feel “present” during interactions. This can not only affect their life and relationships, but also their self-esteem, confidence, and ability to connect with others.
To make matters worse, brain fog can also put loved ones, coworkers, and even innocent bystanders at risk. If you regularly drive or operate machinery while cloudy-minded, you risk involving yourself and others in a fatal accident.
Brain fog cannot be swept away with energy drinks, positive thinking, and willpower. To truly clear your mind, you have to narrow down what’s causing your cognitive impairment, and find a solution that works for you.
What Causes Brain Fog?
There are many potential causes of brain fog. It can take time to determine what’s causing it, and many cases involve multiple factors. Health issues linked to brain fog include:
If you live with chronic stress, you could be experiencing high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and even anxiety and/or depression. The negative effects of stress tend to stack over time, putting you at risk for further health complications.
Chronic stress also causes mental fatigue, causing days to run together in a thick haze. Your brain becomes exhausted, which makes it harder for you to think, focus, or reason with any accuracy or consistency.
Another common cause of brain fog is poor sleep. Your body and brain need long, uninterrupted stretches of sleep to recharge and reset. Without this precious downtime, your physical and mental performance will certainly decline. Fatigue and brain fog go hand in hand, so it’s important that you get proper rest every night.
If you struggle with a sleep disorder like insomnia, sleep apnea, or restless leg syndrome (RLS), there is a chance that your brain fog is caused by a lack of sleep. Resolving these issues and getting some quality sleep can not only clear your mind, but help you perform better in every aspect of your life.
Hormones play a large part in our mood, mental state, and thought patterns. Imbalances caused by disease, thyroid issues, and aging can all lead to cognitive impairment.
Menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause are commonly cited triggers for brain fog among women. Men experience hormonal changes as well, and their brain fog is often accompanied by hair loss and sexual dysfunction. With the help of an endocrinologist, you can begin re-balancing your hormones, clearing away brain fog and improving other bodily functions.
The importance of a balanced diet cannot be understated, especially when discussing brain fog. Vitamin deficiencies can cause fatigue, exhaustion, memory problems, sleep issues, and lack of concentration. If you’re not getting enough B12, magnesium, or iron, supplementing your diet could help restore better cognitive function.
Allergies or food sensitivities can trigger brain fog as well. Some common allergens that can make you feel slow and sluggish include aspartame (a common artificial sweetener), gluten, dairy, and legumes (including peanuts and soybeans.)
Certain medications and medical treatments are known to contribute to brain fog. Lowering the dose or switching to a similar but different medication can help, but that isn’t always an option.
Sometimes you can’t switch, for example, if you are receiving chemotherapy. This can cause what is commonly referred to as “chemo brain” or persistent brain fog. While stopping treatment might not be possible, there are medications and supplements that can help you manage these side effects.
Chronic illness and inflammatory conditions are frequently at the center of problems like brain fog. Common conditions linked to cognitive impairment include: Chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, anemia, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, hypothyroidism, migraines, depression, Sjögren syndrome, Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, and arthritis.
If you suspect that your brain fog is linked to an underlying condition, try seeking medical treatment for that first. Once you’ve gotten a formal diagnosis, you and your physician can begin building a treatment plan that addresses the root problem, reducing symptoms like brain fog.
What Are the Signs of Brain Fog?
There are many signs and symptoms that can indicate brain fog. The problem lies in identifying and linking them together. Many people live with fatigue and brain fog for years, downplaying their symptoms and “powering through” each day.
However, if you struggle with one or more of the following, your brain fog might be more prevalent than you think.
Lack of sleep and brain fog go hand in hand; your brain requires deep sleep to repair and rejuvenate itself. The longer you go without proper rest, the more impaired your thinking and decision making will become.
However, stress and cognitive dysfunction can also make it difficult to fall asleep in the first place, leading to insomnia. Many people find themselves laying awake for hours, trying to sort through or silence their stressed, fuzzy thoughts.
Headaches or migraine episodes have been known to cause cognitive impairment, including brain fog. Some people actually experience brain fog preceding a headache or migraine, like a type of warning sign.
Fatigue and brain fog are often grouped together; people suffering from low energy aren’t just tired physically, they’re exhausted mentally as well. Feelings of malaise, daytime sleepiness, and lack of motivation only make it harder to think, contributing to brain fog.
Brain fog primarily affects your cognitive function, or ability to think clearly. If your thoughts are consistently muddled or fuzzy, you may have trouble following directions, completing tasks, or remembering what you were supposed to do in the first place.
Perhaps one of the most hallmark symptoms of brain fog is forgetfulness. Forgetfulness is often characterized as a personality flaw or side effect of growing older, but this isn’t the case. Anyone can experience brain fog, and it’s easy to lose track of things when you’re not operating at full capacity. People with brain fog find themselves forgetting keys, purses, wallets, birthdays, anniversaries, names, and more.
With the rise of social media, many people find that they lack the patience and concentration for things they once enjoyed, like crossword puzzles or long novels. However, if you’re struggling to concentrate despite your best efforts, brain fog might be to blame.
People struggling with brain fog often feel anxious and overwhelmed about every task on their to-do list, which feeds into bad habits like procrastination. You might put off tasks until you feel mentally “ready” to tackle them, only for your brain fog to persist through the entire day, week, or month.
Even if you do accomplish everything you aimed for, you might find yourself feeling anxious after the fact, wondering if you left something undone or forgot a vital step.
Brain fog fills your mind with pointless, irrelevant thoughts, sapping your energy and focus. This makes it difficult to commit yourself to your work, studies, or hobbies, and as time goes on, this lack of motivation can cause you to fall behind in what matters to you.
Take a look at your calendar from the last six months. Are your absences from work, school or planned activities increasing? People with brain fog often struggle to keep commitments because they feel like they already feel overwhelmed and cannot cope with additional stressors.
As time goes on, the symptoms and consequences of brain fog will begin to pile up. Fatigue, anxiety, and low motivation make it difficult to function normally, and you might find yourself falling behind and missing opportunities. It’s no wonder that, with so many side effects, people with brain fog often end up with mild depression as well.
How to Get Rid of Brain Fog
Sudden, severe, or long-term brain fog should always be presented to a healthcare professional first. However, if your symptoms are mild, you can try some lifestyle changes to see if they make a difference.
Can’t seem to focus on a task? Step away and do something else, then return with renewed concentration. During your break, avoid getting distracted by screens. Instead, do something that benefits your brain more. You can take a nap, meditate, talk to a friend, spend time outside, or make something in the kitchen.
Feed Your Brain
Snack foods that are high in sugar, salt, and caffeine can make you feel better fast, but they quickly burn off and send you further into the fog. Try slowly shifting your diet to give your body and brain what they need. Non-saturated fats like avocados or nuts can provide a healthy brain boost, and fruit can provide antioxidant support. To top it off, make sure to keep your water bottle within reach.
You Got to Move It
Movement increases brain function, which can help you break free from a mental rut. If you start feeling stuck, try going for a walk, jumping on the exercise bike, or putting on a work-out video. You don’t have to work up a sweat to enjoy the benefits of exercise; even fifteen minutes of dancing or yoga is enough to help clear the mind.
It’s all too easy to reach for coffee, energy drinks, soda, or tea to help “wake up” a foggy brain, but too much caffeine can actually make the problem worse. You don’t have to abstain completely, but try to maintain a healthy limit.
Practice Sleep Hygiene
It can’t be stressed enough: a proper sleep pattern is critical for supporting a healthy body and brain. Eight hours a night is just a baseline; you need to get both light and deep sleep during a cycle to feel properly rested.
If you have trouble sleeping, improving your bedtime routine can help. To practice good sleep hygiene:
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day
- Put away all screen devices at least 30-60 minutes before bed
- Develop an evening routine that prepares you for sleep
- Keep your room as dark and quiet as possible
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and large meals before bed
If you live on a busy street or have loud neighbors, consider using earplugs or a white noise machine to improve your sleeping environment. If you or your partner suffers from a sleeping disorder that causes disturbances in the night, consult with a sleep specialist to find a solution.
How to Get Rid of Brain Fog with CBD
There are dozens of research studies surrounding cannabidiol and its beneficial effects. To understand how CBD helps with brain fog, you have to understand what it is, where it comes from, and what it does.
CBD comes from the Cannabis sativa plant, which produces compounds known as cannabinoids. Your body has its own endocannabinoid system (ECS), as well as its own endocannabinoids. These are used by the body to balance bodily functions like temperature, appetite, sleep patterns, and more.
Phytocannabinoids from plants are compatible with the human ECS, and can boost the efficacy and longevity of our natural endocannabinoids. CBD and other cannabinoids have also been shown to offer health benefits of their own.
As mentioned above, many inflammatory conditions contribute to brain fog. CBD reduces inflammation, giving your brain more bandwidth to form cohesive thoughts, solve problems, and manage your emotions. CBD and its sister cannabinoids can also alter brain activity, encouraging neuroregeneration during sleep.
Perhaps the most notable benefit of CBD is its calming, relaxing effect. Stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep only deepen the haze of brain fog, making it difficult to break free. CBD can be taken in the morning to reduce anxiety throughout the day, or in the evening to help you wind down and decompress.
Best CBD Products for Brain Fog
Before buying any CBD product, you should make sure you’re buying from a reputable vendor.
Information on the ingredients, potency, and dosage should be readily available, and the packaging should be sealed and secure. The vendor should also be able to prove that their CBD was sourced from legal, industrial hemp, and that the THC content is below the trace limit.
Yummy CBD provides a QR code on the package of every CBD product we sell, showing the third-party lab report for that batch. Every oil and gummy is made using full-spectrum CBD, ensuring the most well-rounded experience.
Yummy CBD Oil Tinctures
Yummy CBD oil tinctures are made using MCT coconut oil and natural flavors. Each 30 mL bottle comes with a measured dropper making it easy to adjust your dose. Our oils come in two types, for daytime and nighttime use.
- Orange Zest Organic CBD Oil contains 33mg of CBD per mL
- Mellow Mint Sleep CBD Oil contains 67mg of CBD plus 1mg of Melatonin per mL
Yummy CBD Gummies
Yummy CBD gummies also come in day and night varieties, and can be taken on a discreet, as-needed basis. Each pouch contains a mix of 30 gummies, naturally flavored to taste like watermelon, green apple, pineapple, and grape.
- Fruity Delight Original Gummies contain 24mg of CBD per gummy
- Fruitful Dreams Sleep Gummies contain 24mg of CBD plus 1mg of Melatonin per gummy