5 Potential Reasons You Have Brain Fog, Plus What to Do About It

5 Potential Reasons You Have Brain Fog, Plus What to Do About It
5 Potential Reasons You Have Brain Fog, Plus What to Do About It

Your thinking is sluggish and fuzzy, and you can’t focus or concentrate: You’re experiencing the undesirable hallmark effects of brain fog.

But don’t fret. There are several potential reasons why you’re feeling this way, and the good news is that you can naturally and gently support your brain and help clarify your thoughts.

To start, let’s discuss a few of the factors that could be contributing to your brain fog. Then, we’ll get to practical and natural ways to support clear thinking and help care for your brain.*

5 Potential Reasons You Have Brain Fog

Before we get to the potential reasons for brain fog, it’s important to define what brain fog is and isn’t.

First of all, brain fog is not a medical diagnosis. It’s simply a way to describe the feeling of slow, sluggish thinking or a lack of clarity, focus, and concentration.

While brain fog isn’t a condition or diagnosis in itself, it is real and can be a symptom of a different underlying issue. That said, here are a few (of many) reasons you might be feeling fuzzy.

1) Hormonal Changes

Woman who has suffered with brain fog

The human body is a complex organism, and each of its systems affects the others. Hormonal changes in your body, particularly those you experience as a woman transitioning into menopause, can cause you to feel the fog.1

2) Medical Conditions

Various medical conditions can also contribute to unclear thinking. If you worry your condition might be causing you to feel fuzzy or are concerned about your fogginess, talk with your doctor.

3) Medications and Treatments

While medical conditions can be a reason for brain fog in and of themselves, so too can the medications and treatments used to address them.

4) Too Little Sleep

It’s not breaking news that a lack of sleep can affect your cognitive function, but it’s a helpful reminder. Even occasional lack of sleep due to stress and the demands of everyday life can bring on brain fog.2

5) Stress

You’ve probably experienced first-hand the consequences of stress. It can affect your life and health in various ways. One potential byproduct of stress is brain fog.3

Additionally, stress can be a main factor in other potential causes of brain fog. For example, stress can contribute to a lack of sleep, which, in turn, contributes to fuzzy thinking.

Man holding head because of brain fog

While the above is certainly not an exhaustive list of the potential reasons for brain fog, hopefully it gives you an idea of some of the possibilities.

Now we’d like to dive straight into what you can do about it. Clearer thinking might be closer than you imagine.

What to Do About Brain Fog

See Your Doctor

If you think your brain fog might be more than a passing problem, it’s important to see your doctor. Since brain fog can be a symptom of various conditions, your doctor or naturopathic physician can help you sort things out and get to the bottom of it.

Get Enough Sleep

Woman getting enough sleep to avoid brain fog

While it seems basic, getting enough sleep is so important that we want to mention it right off the bat. Although most people know that they should prioritize a good night of rest, it typically just doesn’t happen.

We’re here to encourage you to make it happen.

To get the sleep you need, you might simply need to structure your day and your schedule so that you get in bed on time. Or you might need to adjust other habits so that your body is able to fall asleep and stay asleep.

For example, it may help to cut down on caffeine or alcohol consumption, turn lights down at nighttime, and stay away from screens a couple of hours before bed.

You can wind down with a relaxing cup of Gaia Herbs Sleep & Relax Herbal Tea.* This USDA Certified Organic herbal tea is made with a calming blend of Passionflower, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile to promote a sense of calm and help prepare your body for a good night's rest.*

We also recommend turning to other Gaia herbal supplements for sleep support.* You can find them here.

Manage Stress

Managing stress may not only help you sleep more soundly; it can also help clear your mind in general. Of course, we know that reducing stress in your life is much easier said than done.

While you won’t be able to remove all tension, worry, and trouble, take steps to help your body and mind handle the stress that inevitably comes your way.

For example, turn off your phone for a certain period of time each day, stay active, enjoy an afternoon in Nature, and intentionally spend time with loved ones.

You can also turn to plant-based stress-support herbal supplements to naturally help your body and mind stay healthy and feeling balanced.*

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a simple way to reduce brain fog. Practice being in the moment, recognizing how your brain is feeling, and taking deep breaths to refocus. If you’re up for it, consider starting a meditation practice.

Kelly Bilodeau, executive editor of Harvard Women's Health Watch, notes, “Using mindful meditation or other stress-reduction strategies can also help you to relax and be more present. This can help you absorb new information and recall it more easily.”3

Maintain Healthy Habits

Two people on a hike to maintain healthy habits to avoid brain fog

As we mentioned, your whole body is connected. Maintaining healthy habits such as eating well and exercising has a positive impact on your brain health and the fog you might be experiencing.

In fact, as far as exercise and brain health is concerned, research has found just three days of moderate-intensity exercise per week can help promote a healthy, thriving brain.3

Take Brain-Nourishing Supplements*

Another brain-healthy habit to add to your wellness routine: taking brain-nourishing supplements.*

Herbs and mushrooms can help you keep your brain fit.* Here, we’ll touch on three (of many) herbs that have been shown to support brain health.*

Some brain-nourishing herbs are ones that you may have heard of and even use regularly! Consuming herbs from the mint family, for example, can help support focus and cognitive function.* Think Spearmint and Peppermint, and you’re on the right track.

Other herbs, such as Bacopa (Bacopa monnieri) and Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica), are lesser-known but also great for brain health.* Research suggests Bacopa has the potential to promote healthy cognition, particularly to help maintain attention speed.*4

Meanwhile, Gotu Kola is highly regarded in Ayurvedic medicine as one of the most spiritual herbs and is traditionally used to support mental focus.*

We could go on about more herbs to help support brain health, as well as mushrooms like Lion’s Mane (read more here), but for now, we’ll simply get straight to how to easily use brain-nourishing herbs in your day-to-day life.*

Gotu Kola

  Gaia Herbs Gotu Kola Leaf for brain fog

Gaia Herbs Gotu Kola Leaf is a USDA Certified Organic liquid extract perfect for busy professionals, college students, and anyone feeling overtaxed and distracted.*

All you have to do is drop the appropriate number of drops into a small glass of water and drink three to four times daily between meals.

Bacopa

  Gaia Herbs Bacopa for brain fog

To get a daily serving of brain-healthy Bacopa, turn to Gaia Herbs Bacopa Liquid Phyto-Caps. This full spectrum, single-herb, concentrated extract is designed to support your brain during all stages of life.*

We’re proud to grow and cultivate the finest-quality Bacopa in our own Gaia Herbs Greenhouse in North Carolina and are one of the only US sources for this Ayurvedic herb.

At Gaia Herbs, we are firm believers that the quality of an herbal supplement can only be as good as the quality of the herbs that go into it. That’s why many of the herbs in our products are grown on our Certified Organic farm, where we can cultivate them according to our rigorous standards utilizing regenerative agriculture practices.

For plants used in our supplements that we cannot grow on our own farm due to climate reasons or cultivate in the quantity that we need, our network of organic and sustainable communities allows us to source herbs from where they grow best.

To learn more about the source of the herbs used in this and all Gaia products, visit meetyourherbs.com, the world’s first herb traceability platform. There you will discover the origin of your herbs; learn how they were grown, harvested, and extracted; and see validation of your product’s level of purity and potency.

Mental Clarity

  Gaia Herbs Mental Clarity Mushrooms & Herbs

Gaia Herbs Mental Clarity Mushrooms & Herbs is made with a blend of mushrooms (Lion's Mane, Cordyceps, and Reishi) and herbs (Gotu Kola, Holy Basil, and Rosemary) traditionally for supporting memory and cognitive function.*

This formula provides daily support to help maintain mental alertness, making it a great choice for anyone feeling distracted to help sustain focus.*

Lion's Mane Mushroom

  Gaia Herbs Lion’s Mane Mushroom

With Organic Lion’s Mane fruiting body extracts, Gaia Herbs Lion’s Mane Mushroom helps promote overall brain and neurological health.* Each capsule contains 2,500 mg of organically grown and sustainably sourced dried Lion’s Mane mushroom.

Turn to this formula to support your mental performance, cognition, and focus, as well as nervous system.* Simply take one capsule per day to add the power of this nootropic mushroom to your wellness routine.*

Bye-Bye, Brain Fog

Man saying bye bye to brain fog

The fuzzy, forgetful feeling of brain fog can hinder your daily life. But you aren’t powerless!

Consult with your doctor to make sure that your brain fog isn’t a symptom of an underlying condition. If it’s not, stay sharp by following the recommendations we listed in this article.

Get enough sleep, manage stress, practice mindfulness, and reinforce healthy habits such as eating well and exercising. Also, call on the power of plants by taking brain-nourishing herbal supplements, like Gaia Herbs Gotu Kola Leaf, Bacopa, and Mental Clarity Mushrooms & Herbs.*

With the right care, you can support your brain and naturally help pave the way for clear thinking. Bye-bye, brain fog.

REFERENCES:

1. Emily G. Jacobs et al. “Impact of Sex and Menopausal Status on Episodic Memory Circuitry in Early Midlife,” The Journal of Neuroscience 36, no. 39 (September 28, 2016): 10163-73, https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0951-16.2016.

2. “Let Sleep Burn Away Brain Fog,” Harvard Health Publishing, March 2014, https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/let-sleep-burn-away-brain-fog.

3. Kelly Bilodeau, “Sleep, Stress, or Hormones? Brain Fog During Perimenopause,” Harvard Health Publishing, April 9, 2021, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/sleep-stress-or-hormones-brain-fog-during-perimenopause-202104092429.

4. Chuenjid Kongkeaw et al. “Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials on Cognitive Effects of Bacopa Monnieri Extract,” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 151, no. 1 (2014): 528-35, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24252493.