For most of my life I have suffered from brain fog in silence, except I didn’t know that is what it was until last year. Brain fog feels like a headache without the pain. It typically arrives late in the afternoon and is mistakenly thought of as a hard days work or mental exhaustion from hard work.
When you have brain fog, your head feels heavy, you have severely reduced mental clarity and you have memory problems.
Brain fog won’t ruin your life, but from experience, it will limit your capability and take away some of the joy in your life. I spent quite a bit of time trying to find the cause and learned a lot along the way, including this: lots of people suffer from brain fog and don’t realize.
In the last few weeks, I have seen a significant reduction in brain fog for the first time in my life. It has allowed me to do more work and enjoy life a little bit more. With the removal of brain fog has also come the feeling of being less frustrated.
There are a few areas that can cause brain fog in your life. It could also be each of these areas is contributing to your brain fog.
Lack of sleep
I spent many years only sleeping seven hours per day because my belief was that me and Superman were related. Through being obsessed with overcoming brain fog, I experimented with having eight hours of sleep and nine hours of sleep.
It didn’t cure my brain fog, but I definitely felt better for it. My research suggests that looking at how you sleep is a good place to start. Upon learning about sleep, I realized that the temperature of your bed, the amount of external light, and the pillow and mattress you sleep on all make a difference.
My ten-year-old mattress was dipping in the middle and causing extra back pain. My pillow lacked support, causing some slight neck pain. Leaving my blinds open and having the street lights outside, light up my bedroom, also didn’t help either.
And the temperature in my bed was way too hot, causing me to toss and turn.
All of these areas helped me sleep better but didn’t eliminate my brain fog entirely.
For a prolonged period of time, I played around with different diets. What you eat can bring about immense brain fog and suck away your energy. I thought my diet was mostly healthy until I danced with caffeine and sugar.
There are so many foods that seem healthy which have sugar in them — even your Almond Milk. Eating sugar would cause my blood sugar to spike, which was nice in the short-term, but following the spike was a huge crash.
Caffeine also played its part. Drinking coffee, which helps me get into flow states, is good in small doses. What I quickly learned was that I was drinking too much coffee on days I would write and this was making me anxious, and then tired in the afternoon.
Then there were those delicious carbs. Loading up on carbs on certain days also made me dead tired.
Playing with my diet helped although it didn’t eliminate the brain fog.
A change in career
Some brain fog, I learned through research, can be caused by your career.
If you dislike your work or your boss then you can feel demotivated — leading to tiredness and even brain fog. At one point in this process, my career felt like it could have been the cause.
This may seem extreme, but I changed my career completely to see if it made a difference. I found that for the first month it did and the brain fog seemed to be reduced, and then things went back to the way they were afterwards.
Doing work you enjoy helps with your energy levels and motivation.
Doing a workout
Getting my heart rate up at the gym used to help with the brain fog when I was in high school. As part of my experimentation, I went to the gym daily and worked out as hard as I could.
Not only did this boost my energy levels but it also helped relieve the brain fog a little — enough to make it worth going in my eyes.
For me, it was my back that was causing a lot of the brain fog which I would never have guessed.
My doctor suggested I see an Osteopath and a Chiropractor to see if it made a difference. After a few sessions, I felt a slight difference and had one or two days where the brain fog had completely disappeared. This led to excessive experimentation on my part.
I purchased a stand-up desk that allowed me to alternate between sitting and standing and that helped.
I saw either an Osteo or Chiro once a week which helped loosen my neck and shoulders helping some more.
I also became more conscious of my posture and ensuring I wasn’t slouching.
Here is what made the biggest difference to my brain fog which I’d never have guessed:
Rolling my back with a firm back roller.
By taking regular breaks from my standup desk and rolling my back at least three times a day, I felt a level of mental clarity that I’ve never experienced before.
Life without brain fog!!!
Most of my life has been lived with my best friend called brain fog.
Experiencing life without brain fog has been tremendous and worth the years and years it has taken — plus the dollars — to experiment in each area of my life and slowly battle brain fog.
While the back rolling has made the biggest difference, I believe that adjusting each area of my life mentioned in this article, has led to the result.
Now I can work for longer and come home after a long day without feeling nearly as tired which my loved ones appreciate.
You don’t have to live with brain fog. Experiment in each of these areas in your own life and see what is possible.