Have you been in a situation where you suddenly stop whatever you’re doing because you got confused and you don’t know why? You forgot what you were saying, so you don’t know what to say next. You knew you were going to do something, but you forgot what it was when you stood up.
You try to remember it, but it’s like you are in the middle of nowhere—a foggy nowhere.
That’s what you call brain fog.
As a student, you are thinking about a lot of things, so you are prone to mental stress, which could lead to brain fog. Today, we are going to talk about why you experience it and how you can prevent it so you don’t miss deadlines, can be attentive in class, and have a wonderful student life overall.
What Is Brain Fog?
Brain fog isn’t a disease or a mental health condition. But it could be a symptom of another issue, so it’s not something to be ignored. You will be confused about things that you understand on normal days and your brain will slow down in processing information, which will have a negative impact on your performance at school.
So what are the symptoms of brain fog, and what does brain fog feel like?
According to Dr. Emily Huang of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, when a person has brain fog, it can be difficult for them to remember things and they won’t be able to concentrate because their brain is not functioning properly. If they force their brain to think and focus, it could lead to mental fatigue.
For students, some brain fog symptoms include the inability to recall events that happened just recently, to focus in class, to think of a good answer to a certain question, and to remember what you have studied, among others.
The good thing is that it’s not permanent. But before we talk about the treatment, let’s talk about the causes of brain fog so you can prevent it while you still can.
What Causes Brain Fog
Brain fog occurs when the brain is not in a good condition, so it can be caused by situations and activities that have a negative impact on the brain. There can be only one cause, but there can also be more than one.
1. Lack of Sleep
Medical professionals keep saying that everyone should sleep properly (7 to 17 hours a day depending on your age) because sleep is important for our body to regain energy and for our brain to continue functioning normally. If you sleep only 4 hours a day because you have a lot of things to do, don’t be surprised if you experience brain fog.
Especially mental stress. Usually, students have 5+ subjects that they need to study, which could lead to mental exhaustion. The different subjects they deal with at school also could confuse them because they have to learn them all at the same time. So take a break and allow your brain to breathe.
Also, take one step at a time. It’s tempting to set aside your school tasks for entertainment, but procrastinating is going to stress you out!
3. Hormonal Changes
Hormones are important for our body to function properly because they send messages and signals to our tissues and organs about what must be done. If your hormones are unbalanced, they will not be able to transmit the signals on time or clearly, or they might send the wrong signals, so it will cause bad effects on your body.
On the other hand, if your hormones change many times more than usual, your body will not be able to keep up with those changes. Your brain, in particular, will have issues that could lead to brain fog.
4. Nutrient Deficiencies
If you don’t eat the whole day today, it will be hard to focus and think properly the next day. It’s because you didn’t give your brain the nutrients it needs to operate. People eat food not just to satisfy their cravings or hunger but also to ensure that their body has enough energy to survive the day.
Food is a source of nutrients that then provide our body with energy.
5. Medical Conditions
The side effects of some medications are connected to the brain. Among those medications are chemotherapy (which could cause chemo brain), hypertension medications (hypertension could lead to memory loss and cognitive issues), and antidepressants (headache, sleep problems, and dizziness are side effects).
Brain Fog Treatment
How to clear brain fog, you ask?
Different causes require different treatments. Once you have determined the cause of your brain fog, that’s when you will know what to do. In some cases, you can treat it by yourself. But in cases that involve serious illnesses and medical conditions, you need to ask your doctor for some advice.
If it is caused by a lack of sleep, make sure that you sleep at least 8 hours a day. You have a lot of requirements to submit and many lessons to learn, but you should set boundaries and separate school and life because your grades can’t pay your medical bills! Take care of yourself!
If it is because of stress, don’t overthink, overwork, overstudy, or overdo because the pressure won’t help. Also, don’t procrastinate! When you procrastinate, you are putting stress on yourself, especially your brain, because how procrastination works is that you are dealing with a month’s worth of lessons in a few hours!
If it is caused by hormonal changes, you can manage the effects by exercising, eating properly, or taking medicines and supplements that can keep hormones balanced. You can’t stop hormonal changes from happening, but you can reduce their impact on you if you pay attention to them and adjust.
If you have nutrient deficiencies, eat the food that can provide you with sufficient amounts of the nutrients and vitamins you need. Some vitamins for brain fog are Vitamin D (which you can get from the sun), B vitamins, and Vitamin E.
Lastly, if you are taking medication and you must do it as per your doctor’s advice, ask them how you can reduce its impact on your brain. Sometimes, rest is all that you need. But other times, you may need to eat certain types of food or take another type of medication.