Brain fog: How to keep a clear head and think more sharply


 Man holding his head looking unwell

Have you ever had a day where, after waking up, your thoughts seem muddled, and focusing on even the simplest of tasks can seem like an uphill battle? 

If so, you may have been experiencing a phenomenon known as “brain fog”, and you’re not alone. In fact, while it is difficult to accurately measure the prevalence of brain fog, CNBC reveals that around 600 million people globally suffer from cognitive disfunction, a clinical description of the issue. 

There are many reasons you may have brain fog, but thankfully, there are some things you can do to clear your head and think more clearly.

Brain fog can leave you feeling forgetful and sluggish

While brain fog may seem like a lone issue, the term is actually used to colloquially describe a range of cognitive symptoms characterised by confusion, forgetfulness, and a lack of mental clarity. 

It’s like a mental haze that clouds your ability to think clearly and concentrate effectively. You may grapple with simple tasks and experience difficulty recalling information.

Moreover, brain fog can manifest alongside other more physical symptoms, such as headaches, low energy levels, irritability, and mood swings, all further straining your daily functioning. 

As for its causes, identifying the root of brain fog can be complex, as it can often stem from a range of different factors. 

For instance, dehydration can often result in brain fog. In fact, the BBC states that losing just 2% of the water in your body – which is only classed as mild dehydration – can impair your cognitive performance, attentiveness, and short-term memory. 

Similarly, an unbalanced diet can be another culprit. Healthline reveals that nutrient deficiencies, notably from vitamin D and B12, can hamper brain function, often resulting in issues with memory, thinking skills, and common judgement. 

For women, menopause can also be a reason for brain fog. Indeed, research from the Menopause Charity states that two of the main female hormones – oestrogen and testosterone – play an important role in cognition and memory, so when levels start declining, this can lead to a range of cognitive symptoms. 

Even certain diseases can have lasting effects on your mental clarity. Long Covid, for example, can cause memory issues and fatigue, while the post-viral condition known as “chronic fatigue syndrome” can be characterised by thinking and concentration problems. 

There are some ways you can fight back against brain fog

If you’re experiencing brain fog, this can be of great detriment to your productivity and might make focusing on daily tasks a difficulty.

The good news is, there are several ways you can keep a clear head – read on to find out how. 

Get a balanced diet, or supplement with vitamins

Since certain nutrient deficiencies can result in brain fog, a helpful first step to improve your mental clarity could be to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet. 

Foods that are high in antioxidants, such as blueberries, oranges, and nuts, can help reduce oxidative stress in your body, having a positive effect on your brain. 

Moreover, foods with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, have been associated with lower rates of cognitive decline. 

If you feel you aren’t getting enough essential nutrients each day, you could reinforce your diet with supplements that encourage cognitive function, namely: 

  • Fish oil
  • Ginseng extract 
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A

Furthermore, it’s vital to ensure that you stay hydrated – Mayo Clinic reveals that the adequate fluid intake each day for men is 3.7 litres, or 2.7 litres for women. 

Exercise regularly

Exercise can also help you clear your head and stave off the effects of brain fog. A study on the National Library of Medicine reveals that regular physical activities can promote the expression of proteins in the brain that enhance cognitive function and reduce instances of depression and anxiety. 

As for the best form of exercise to deal with brain fog, even simply walking for at least 10 minutes each day, or practising yoga from time to time, can reduce your stress levels, feelings of anxiety, and help you deal with insomnia. 

Get out in the garden

According to Benenden Hospital, spending time in the garden can result in a drop in cortisol levels, the stress hormone that can often cause brain fog. 

Even undertaking simple tasks in your garden, such as digging, pulling roots, and tending your beloved plants, can improve your concentration and help your brain stay focused.

Better yet, you could even supplement your diet with healthy fruit and vegetables you’ve grown yourself!

Stay away from caffeine and alcohol 

While you may enjoy a cup or two of coffee when you first wake up, it’s important to remember that it’s best to consume caffeine in moderation, especially if you’re experiencing brain fog. 

Indeed, excessive caffeine consumption can cause headaches, insomnia, and a rapid heart rate, especially if you have a sensitivity. The British Heart Foundation recommends only consuming between four to five cups of tea or coffee a day at most. 

Similarly, alcohol is both a stimulant and a depressant, and drinking too much can impair your cognitive function. As such, it may be wise to avoid your favourite tipple altogether if your mind is feeling hazy. 

Get in touch

Even though we can’t assist you with dealing with brain fog, we could help you make better financial decisions.

To find out more, please contact us by email at or call 0115 933 8433.

Please note

This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.