Some days, it feels like a cloud hangs over you. Crunching numbers feels like a herculean task. Writing a coherent formal email takes a mountain of effort. And even simple actions, like recalling names and remembering what to pick up at the grocery store for dinner, require your full attention.
First off: it’s not just you. Everyone experiences the occasional bout of brain fog. But it gets worrisome when it starts happening regularly. A chronic lack of focus can affect your work performance, chances at self-promotion, and even your home life.
There are myriad reasons for “fuzzy thinking,” some of which this article will detail. But there are also simple solutions – small life changes you can make, and supplements to take that can help you regain clarity.
If you’re having trouble concentrating these days, explore this list of common reasons and straightforward solutions.
Common Reasons for Lack of Concentration
The first step in treating brain fog is recognizing the sources. Everyone is different, so the underpinning causes of your lack of mental acuity will look different. For some, there might be one item on this list you can pinpoint as the source of your troubles. Others may find that some – or all – of these reasons are at play.
Here are some typical reasons for a sustained lack of concentration:
- Sleep Deprivation: This is perhaps the most common source of brain fog. Your brain requires dedicated rest to function optimally; if you routinely lack the requisite sleep your body needs, you will notice a downturn in concentration.
- Stress: Stress has a way of grabbing and sustaining our attention. And, at a certain point, your brain goes into “turtle shell” mode, shielding you from your stressors by blocking out stimuli. As BBC notes, stress can also affect your memory.
- Distractions: Distractions come in a few forms, but they are equally disruptive. Physical distractions like clutter can inhibit focus, as can emotional distractions.
- A Suboptimal Diet: Finally, diet may play a role in your lack of focus. While your brain needs glucose to function, too much glucose (i.e., refined sugars) can cause long- and short-term cognitive difficulties.
Now that you know the reasons, let’s look at some solutions.
Simple Solutions to Regain Focus
The good news is that help is out there – if you know where to look. Simple life changes, like getting your eight hours a night, and natural supplements, like lion’s mane tea, can significantly improve your focus. Let’s take a closer look:
- Prioritizing Deep, Consistent Sleep: Enough sleep is not enough. Experts suggest that to maintain peak cognitive function, you need consistent, deep sleep. That means going to bed at the same time each night, waking up at the same time each morning, and avoiding substances (like alcohol and fatty foods before bed) that can disrupt the quality of your sleep.
- Tackling Brain Fog with Natural Nootropics: Nootropics are a class of substances that can help with brain health and cognitive function. Natural nootropics like lion’s mane mushrooms have been shown to potentially boost concentration, sharpen focus and even improve memory. Stir a scoop of lion’s mane powder into hot water for a brain-boosting start to the day.
- Eating for Brain Health: Consider limiting your sugar intake, replacing those daily calories with brain-healthy Omega-3 fats, natural fructose sources like berries, and whole grains.
Use this article to target the source of your mental fogginess, and then take charge with the simple solutions above. If all goes according to plan, it should feel like a big grey cloud breaking in the sky – revealing a bright, clarifying ray of sunshine.