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Brain Fog – What Is It And How Can You Deal With It?

Given the state of the world right now, it’s safe to say we’re all feeling a little overwhelmed. Having to deal with work from home, parent duties, and everything in between can become a tad bit too much to handle.

And, according to neuroscientist Dr. Jessica Caldwell, this can lead to some fuzzy brain moments. With issues such as brain fog, you might think it’s a problem to deal with later in life. However, Dr. Caldwell states that people of all ages can and do develop brain fog.

Pexels | Young people are just as susceptible to brain fog

What Is Brain Fog?

Although brain fog doesn’t technically stand as a diagnosis, people use it to describe a state of mind where they’re not feeling as sharp as they used to, are feeling absent-minded, or having difficulty focusing. People might also experience feeling sluggish or more forgetful than usual.

What Causes Brain Fog?

Chief director at the University of Texas Center for BrainHealth, Dr. Sandra Bond Chapman, states that there are multiple reasons behind your mind’s fogginess. First and foremost, brain fog is common in infections that reduce oxygen flow to the brain. Underlying medical conditions and medications can also be the culprit.

Pexels | Infections in the upper respiratory system can cause mental impairment, and that includes the novel virus as well

Apart from that, here are the most likely causes of brain fog:

1. Stress – When you’re stressed, your brain releases a cascade of hormones and neurochemicals that help mobilize you. In layman’s terms, this is called fight-or-flight mode. But, these substances tend to exhaust your brain if they stick around for a long time. If you’re a habitual stressor, this might be the reason behind your inability to focus or remember things.

2. Lack of Sleep – When you sleep, the body goes into a “rinse cycle”, according to a study in the journal Science. This is also when your brain consolidates information received throughout the day to either discard or convert into long-term memory. It goes without saying that sleep is extremely vital to your wellbeing, and a lack of it can cause brain fog.

3. Menopause – Some symptoms of menopause are quite easy to catch on, while others can be much more difficult to spot. The hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls your memory and speech, is flooded with estrogen receptors. When menopause hits and estrogen dips, this part of the brain, which has always relied on estrogen, struggles to adjust – leading to brain fog.

Pexels | Once you’ve caught the problem, it’s time to remedy it

Bottom Line

Brain fog can mess up your days in more ways than one, so, at this point, your target should be learning how to combat it. When you pinpoint the cause behind your brain fog, it’s time to work on changing bad habits. Try to control your stress, fix your bedtime routine, exercise, try not to multitask or overthink.

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