Sabrina Reyes-Peters

Brain Fog

You may have heard me talk about brain fog somewhat. It comes all in shapes and sizes. It's like, conversing with someone and forgetting how to finish your sentence, or screwing up the syntax of the sentence. It can also be, composing a sentence and then forgetting the second half. It can be simply forgetting what book you read last week, forgetting to pay an important bill you've paid habitually for years, or forgetting how to spell a common word.

Brain fog has different causes. Lack of sleep, dehydration, hypoglycemia, mental illness, allergy medicine side effects, mold, allergies (including food), gut issues, nutrient deficiency, chronic illnesses such as Lyme, ME/CFS, fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's, etc. Depending on the cause, is also how long it might last at any given time. If it's simple lack of sleep, and you are able to catch up on sleep, that might alleviate it. But if you have on-going health issues, it might never fully resolve itself, or it may reoccur.

I know a few of you whom I talk to online or otherwise also relate to the struggle of having brain fog. So, I thought I would share some things that have generally helped me this year in alleviate it. I know I probably don't need to say this, but I'm obviously not a medical professional, so this shouldn't be construed as medical advice.

  • Eat regularly. This is sometimes hard for folks who dwell inside their minds, the time I figure out that my brain isn't working because I need to eat, it's a little bit too late. So, try to eat before you're super hungry.

  • Pay attention to how caffeine treats you. Coffee, which I love, kick-starts my mental capacity and I'm off like a race car, until I'm dehydrated and shaking and can't think straight. After about a year off of caffeine altogether, I'm drinking a bit of green tea, which has a little caffeine, and also has l-theanine. L-theanine helps the brain relax, which is sometimes what your brain needs more to function than a stimulant.

  • Check your magnesium levels. Many folks are deficient in magnesium, which can lead to depression, anxiety, and brain fog. Taking l-threonate, also known as Magtein, the only magnesium that bypasses the blood brain barrier, has made quite a bit of difference as opposed to taking a standard magnesium complex. I could feel my brain come of a very dense fog after just a week of taking it.

  • Get oxygen. Your brain needs oxygen to work well. How are you breathing? I've been using the Wim Hoff method for morning breathwork, and was truly surprised at how much oxygen I'd been missing out on. If you don't like the Wim Hoff method, just try taking deep breaths and holding them 10 seconds.

  • Meditation. For me, this is just sitting with my eyes closed for 5-10 minutes, and focusing on a visual, or my breath. This isn't woo-woo stuff; some research suggests that meditation actually changes the brain.

  • Drink water. The brain, just like most parts in your body, is made of water. It can't operate when it's dehydrated.

  • Regular sleeping. Admittedly, this is the most difficult for me, and I am loathe to admit that I feel best when I go to sleep at 10pm or earlier. There are even studies that imply that it doesn't matter what time one goes to sleep if it's midnight or later; you'll wake up feeling shitty regardless of what time you wake up, because any sleep before midnight is worth more than sleep after midnight. This also correlates with some studies that say your body can only detox properly between if it's asleep between 11pm-3am.

What do you do to combat brain fog?