health Sep 29, 2021Nootropics 101
healthJul 1, 2021
A Neurosurgeon’s tips to prevent brain fog
Brain fog is a familiar feeling for many of us — but what exactly is it? People experience brain fog in different ways, and for a number of reasons. In simple terms, brain fog is what you feel when you’re thinking is fuzzy, confused, or feels sluggish and slow. It’s the haze you feel when you’re home sick with the flu and can’t quite follow the plot of an unfamiliar movie, or when jet-lag causes you to zone out and miss your stop on the train. In essence, brain fog is a catchall for temporary cognitive impairment that affects concentration, speech, memory organization, and more.
“Brain fog is what you feel when you're thinking is fuzzy, confused, or feels sluggish and slow."
A small number of the population experience brain fog as a symptom of Chiari malformation — a structural problem that’s treatable by a neurosurgeon. For most of us, the effect is triggered by something like an illness, stresses of daily life, or a reaction to an antihistamine. When that’s the case, the best course of action is usually to wait for it to pass. But what if you’re experiencing brain fog with no clear cause?
Many patients who have recovered from COVID-19 are experiencing brain fog as an ongoing symptom resulting from the disease. The exact impact of COVID-19 on the brain is still being studied, but it’s clear that for some, persistent brain fog is one of the most debilitating aspects of their recovery.
Tips for clearing away brain fog
The good news is that our brains are highly adaptable, and with the right tools, it’s possible to diminish the effects of brain fog. Adopting an active lifestyle and a healthier diet can help you feel your best — and give you the clarity you need:
Don’t worry if you need to start slow with this one — even elevating your heart rate for a few minutes at a time, a few times a day, will help set you on a better path. Everybody is different, but if you want to improve your brain health, work towards getting 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, five days per week.
Change your diet:
A Mediterranean-style diet is not only healthier for your body: a healthy diet including olive oil, fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans, and whole grains is proven to improve your thinking, memory, and overall brain health.
Limit processed foods and alcohol:
You know that feeling you have New Year’s Day, after a month of celebrating? Us too. It’s no surprise then that the more you can limit your intake of processed and fast foods, sugars, alcohol, and other substances, the happier — and clearer — your brain will feel.
Improve your sleep:
A good night’s rest is key to letting our brains rest, reset, and repair. If you have trouble winding down for the night, try establishing a bedtime routine to help your brain recognize when it’s time to rest.