Common Causes of Brain Fog: How to Deal with Brain and Mental Fatigue
As the body ages, one's memory can slowly start to fade and momentary lapses of confused thinking can become more common. This is a natural process but in some cases brain fog and fatigue can be accelerated by certain situations or conditions. Understanding the common causes of brain fatigue is essential for maintaining good health practices that will keep the brain clear-thinking and healthy for as long as possible.
What Is Brain Fog?
Brain fog, also commonly known as brain fatigue, can be a mild to severe episode of mental confusion that can strike without warning. When this occurs, it is common to experience a lack of focus, poor memory recall and reduced mental acuity.
If the underlying causes of the brain fog are not addressed, then the condition can continue to occur to the point that it can negatively affect one's professional and personal life.
Common Causes of Brain Fog
Brain fog and fatigue can be caused by a range of factors. In all cases, getting to the heart of what causes the brain fog is the key to overcoming this debilitating condition. Common causes of brain fatigue include:
Lack of Sleep– The brain needs sleep in order to recuperate. So, when sleep is regularly interrupted or when one suffers from a sleep disorder, they are more likely to experience brain fog in the morning upon waking. For some, a simple cup of coffee is enough to clear away the fog, but for those who suffer from serious sleep deprivation, the fog can stay for quite some time.
Neurological Disorders– Certain neurological disorders have brain fog as side effects of the condition. These include fibromyalgia, lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis.
Stress– Stress is very powerful and it can negatively affect the body in a number of ways, including causing brain fatigue. While this is common during times of severe stress, such as when a loved one passes, normal everyday stress should not cause it. If one starts experiencing brain fog from normal everyday stress, this may be an underlying sign of another problem.
Menopause– When women go through menopause, they sometimes experience brain fog due to fluctuating hormones. As the hormones become regulated, the symptoms of brain fog tend to disappear.
Diabetes– Since glucose is the primary source of energy for the brain, fluctuating glucose levels in the blood can cause some short-term brain fatigue symptoms. For this reason, those with diabetes are at high risk for brain fog.
Nutritional Deficiencies– Strong brain function relies on proper levels of magnesium, vitamin B12, and amino acids in the body. When these nutrients are deficient or the body is dehydrated, brain fog can occur.
Side Effects of Medications
Certain medications, such as those for high blood pressure, pain management and allergy relief, can cause mental confusion as a side effect. This can occur with any type of medication, both prescribed and over-the-counter.
Brain Fatigue Preventive Measures
Brain fatigue is often a controllable condition, if one is able to determine the underlying cause of it. Some activities that may help reduce the episodes of brain fatigue include:
– Eight hours of uninterrupted sleep has been shown to provide the best rejuvenating benefits. Try to increase the quality of your sleep to help reduce brain fatigue during the day.
Quit Smoking and/or Alcohol
– Smoking and alcohol dramatically increase the number of free radicals being produced in the body, and this can play a role in mental confusion and poor brain health. Limiting intake of both will allow your body's antioxidants to start the healing process immediately.
Eat a Healthier Diet
– A diet with plenty of fresh whole foods rich in Omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids, magnesium and complex B vitamins will help reduce the episodes of brain fatigue.
– Stress can literally be a killer, so practicing ways to reduce stress in your daily life can be quite helpful. Whether through exercise, meditation or another calming practice, reducing stress will help alleviate brain fog and help you to live a healthier life.
Increase Antioxidant Intake
– Eating a healthy diet naturally increases one's antioxidants, but even this is not always enough to combat the high levels of free radicals in the body. In order to maintain optimum mental clarity, some people supplement their diet with Spirulina.