Brain fog is a classic complaint from the women I coach with symptoms such as low mental clarity, confusion, poor memory and concentration. So, what is brain fog, what causes it and what can you do about it?
Brain fog is caused by an issue in the area of the brain that influence our emotions, memory and cognitive function, called the limbic system. The hypothalamus within the limbic system, is the most affected with brain fog, which plays a key role in your levels of fatigue and wakefulness, your circadian rhythms (that regulate your waking and sleep cycles), gut function and emotional balance.
Causes of Brain Fog
Brain fog can be caused from a variety of factors but most commonly from inflammation and oxidative stress.
Inflammation from Food
Certain foods have an inflammatory response in our body, which in turn emulates into brain fogginess. The most common inflammatory triggers are lectins, plant proteins that can trigger an immune response and over time lead to auto immune diseases.
Foods such as wheat, spelt, rye and oats can be culprits due to the gluten factor, as we the casein in dairy, various amines, tannins, oxalates, food additives, yeast and salicylates.
Sleep and Brain Fog
Poor quality sleep or sleep apnea can also cause brain fog. Sleep apnea is when you have a lack of oxygen at night, due to irregular breathing or holding your breathe. This increases your level of oxidative stress and results in brain fog when you wake up.
Sleep deprivation increasing inflammation in the hypothalamus and body by the loss of glutathione (even for one night) so you can imagine the level of brain fog in someone who hasn’t slept well in years!
Stress and Brain Fog
Inflammation increases your stress response, which consequently causes stress and anxiety. It does this by activates a stress pathway that causes you to generally be more stressed, anxious and depressed.
So, how do we get rid of Brain Fog?
Here are my Top 3 Strategies to Get Rid of Brain Fog and Increase Your Mental Clarity by 200%
1) Get enough natural Vitamin D
Our sun is a great source of Vitamin D, which has the effect of lowering inflammation, preventing autoimmune disease and allergies and increasing our immunity.
The UVB rays from the sun increase your bodies internal antioxidant defence.
What to Do: 10-15 minutes of sun or infra red sauna.
2) Prioritise Sleep
Your circadian rhythm is connected with your sleep and awake cycles which is correlated to your levels of inflammation if your sleep cycle becomes disrupted.
Disrupting your circadian rhythm will not only give you brain fog but also effect your cognitive functioning and memory. Too much light in the night, or not enough light in the day, along with being woken up at night lead to high levels of inflammation, which can also lead to potential heart disease and cancer.
The feeling of being “wired and tired”, so fatigued during the afternoon and wired at night, is a symptom of disrupted circadian rhythms.
What to Do: Having a sound bedtime routine, by winding down before bed, minimising electronics and blue screens, not stimulating the brain, as well as ensuring the room you sleep in has block out blinds, or a face mask to minimise any light that may be disrupting the quality of your sleep and a consistent time to wake up along with will all be contributing factors.
3) Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Our vagus nerve is part of the parasympathetic nervous system, referred to as the rest-and-digest system and essential for good brain function. Having low vagus nerve activation or tone is common with people who have brain fog and Adrenal Fatigue.
Vagus nerve activation is important as it assists our moods and emotions, controls our levels of relaxation and anxiety. But my favourite function of the vagus nerve is it’s influence on getting into the mental state of “flow” which we cover in the Positive Emotions pillar of my Fatigue to Flourish Adrenal Fatigue Coaching Program. These are the moments in your life when we are completely immersed in the activity you’re engaging in, with energised focus and enjoyment.
So how can we stimulate our vagus nerve?
What to Do: Activities such as yoga and meditation, focusing on breath as well as increasing our engagement, connection and positive relationships with others, along with increasing our happiness levels all stimulate vagus nerve activation which in turn, decrease fatigue, anxiety, chronic inflammation and weight gain.
Your next steps?
- Attend my Adrenal Fatigue Stress Masterclass – where I’ll guide you through the step-by-step process of unlocking your hidden mental triggers to gain more energy, clarity, vitality and happiness.
- Grab a copy of my Stress & Adrenal Fatigue Guide, which shows you the EXACT steps we cover in the Masterclass, where you can start to identify and start to re-wire your brain from a place of automated stress using a neuroscience approach for INSTANT relief.
- Book your pre-interview to my Fatigue to Flourish Adrenal Fatigue Wellness Coaching Program, where you’ll take the stress out of creating the strategies, habits and action steps you need to your long term recovery, the consistency in healthy, nourishing meals that will support the healing process of your gut and adrenals and re-wire how you deal with the unconscious mental triggers keeping your adrenals stressed and holding you back from true recovery.
About the Author
Anna’s mission is to connect, support and empower people who are stressed, overwhelmed and fatigued to start taking control.”
Anna does this through her Fatigue to Flourish Wellness Coaching program, workshops and online challenges by working together with you to create your powerful vision, in her four key pillars: unlocking your hidden mental triggers to stress, increasing your energy naturally, wholefood nutrition – energy eating like a BOSS and positive emotions – optimising your emotions for deeper engagement, connection and life satisfaction.
Anna’s Fatigue to Flourish Wellness Coaching Program look at your current approach and develop strategies, habits and behaviour change for instant relief from fatigue, overwhelm and frustration whilst regaining energy, vitality and your zest for life.
For more info please visit fatiguetoflourish.com.au