Everyone knows the feeling—waking up feeling as though you’ve under slept, even if you’ve got the right amount of hours, or being hit with a sudden wave of lethargy during the day and struggling to focus, perform tasks or maintain physical activity, and take in new information. This feeling, casually known as “brain fog”, can arise from a confluence of factors. While brain fog isn’t a medical term, it’s a useful catch-all for symptoms that can affect a person’s ability to learn or focus.
There are different severity levels; brain fog symptoms can be mild, nonrecurring, chronic, and debilitating. While an episode of brain fog every now and then isn’t particularly unusual, persistent feelings of fatigue, confusion, and forgetfulness are and should be discussed with your doctor, as such symptoms can be indicative of a variety of underlying problems. Luckily, there are a few ways you can first try combating brain fog to improve cognitive functions on your own before consulting a medical professional.
Brain Fog Symptoms
So how do you know when it’s brain fog or just occasional sleep deprivation? Some of the most common symptoms of brain fog are:
- Frequently losing track of one’s train of thought; confusion
- Having difficulty pursuing a line of thought
- Needing more time than usual to complete simple tasks
- Forgetting words, or having issues with word recall
- Feeling foggy, low-energy and spacy
- Finding oneself easily distracted
The predominant symptoms of brain fog will vary from person-to-person, but the persistence of brain fog is annoying at best, and can seriously impair day-to-day life at worst.
Brain Fog Causes
There are many underlying causes that contribute to brain fog, the most common of which are depression, anxiety, high levels of inflammation, and hormone imbalance. Depression saps people’s energy and impairs executive dysfunction, while chronic anxiety can use up the bulk of a person’s mental and emotional resources, leaving little for the day’s tasks. More recently, brain fog has been a commonly reported symptom of Covid-19. In many cases, brain fog is borne from a lifestyle that promotes hormonal imbalances and is exacerbated by stress, leading to intermittent flare-ups; in situations where this is the case, there are simple changes a person can make that can help combat brain fog.
How to Treat Brain Fog: 5 Common Brain Fog Treatments
5. Take a Break from Electronics
A simple way to eliminate one of the stressors contributing to brain fog is to take breaks from electronics. Too much screen time can strain a person’s eyes, and excessive smartphone use is highly correlated to anxiety, stress, and even depression. Committing to a more balanced relationship with electronics can help alleviate brain fog for improved mental clarity.
4. Change Your Diet
Diet plays a significant part in feelings of wellness. Because the gut and the brain are inextricably linked via the vagus nerve, positive changes to one’s diet can mean positive changes to one’s mental clarity and health. To shift towards an anti-inflammatory diet, consuming enough vitamins and minerals is essential. Try adding more leafy greens (rich in folate), colorful vegetables such as bell peppers (a good source of Vitamin C), and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as fish and flaxseed. Green tea and moderate amounts of coffee are also known to improve feelings of sharpness and mental clarity.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep results in lethargy and difficulty sleeping. Not only is it vital to get the right number of hours (usually 6-8 for the average adult), but the timeframe in which those hours occur is nearly as important; sleep quality tends to diminish after midnight. If you have a sleep disorder, you can clean up your sleep hygiene by incorporating the following habits:
- Try to be in bed before midnight
- Avoid caffeine and large meals immediately before bed
- Don’t exercise vigorously right before bed
- Avoid excessive screen use before bedtime
2. Get Regular Exercise
Consistent exercise can help combat brain fog. Physical activity doesn’t just affect your muscles—aerobic exercise engages and grows the hippocampus, which happens to be particularly sensitive to neurological damage. The hippocampus is the center of verbal memory and learning, so stimulating it with exercise can lead to heightened mental clarity, attentiveness, and focus.
1. Try Kenetik’s Exogenous Ketones
Another quick and easy addition to your daily routine is an exogenous ketone beverage. By way of ketogenic dieting—which largely consists of cutting carbs and sugars from one’s diet—and intermittent fasting, people can induce a bodily state known as ketosis.
During ketosis, the liver turns fat into a robust energy source called endogenous (meaning “internally sourced”) ketones. Ketones are clean-burning fuel for your brain and body that allow your muscles and heart to do nearly 30% more with the same levels of oxygen than with carbohydrates alone. Luckily, it’s now possible to reap the benefits of ketones without relying on difficult diets. The exogenous ( “externally sourced”) ketones offered by Kenetik offer you the same benefits as endogenous ketones: improved brain function and robust energy—without reliance on added sugars or caffeine. Kenetik comes in a sparkling tropical flavor that’s hard not to love and is available in grab-and-go bottles that fit easily into a bag or purse.
Plus, you can help yourself to a glass in the morning, afternoon, or night. Because Kenetik’s energy is provided by ketones and not caffeine or sugar, a glass of Kenetik at night can easily supply the long-lasting focus, cognitive functions, and clarity you need to power through a late shift or study session without compromising your ability to fall asleep later.
Ketones have well-documented anti-inflammatory qualities; because inflammation and brain fog are highly correlated, adding ketones to your everyday diet may help improve brain health, reduce feelings of lethargy, and increase focus. But you don’t have to take our word for it—try Kenetik for yourself and feel the incredible difference ketones can make. It really is genius in a bottle.