Brain fog can feel like being underwater. You're swimming around, but your thoughts are stuck in murky water. The mental cloudiness can be caused by many factors including lack of sleep, stress and poor diet. Brain fog has been on the rise since Covid-19 hit in 2020 and has been linked to suffers of long covid.
Brain fog can be caused by high stress, poor sleep quality, diet, hormone levels or long Covid
Clear brain fog by getting more sleep and reducing your screen time
Get the right nutrients and vitamins in your body
Spend time in nature and move your body to keep your brain clear
1. Get enough sleep
One of the best ways to clear brain fog is getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause lower productivity, lack of focus and low mood. Without enough rest, your brain can’t function efficiently and lowers your mental horsepower. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night is the sweet spot for most people, but the the optimal time varies from person to person.
If you're feeling foggy-headed, upping your sleep game is the best place to start. Instead of bingeing on Netflix or scrolling Instagram before bedtime, try reading a book or listening to a podcast instead. Get to bed at a reasonable hour, and keep your room dark and cool.
2. Cut down screen time, especially before bed
Screen time can be a major contributor to brain fog, especially at night. It primes the brain for distraction, shortens our attention span and disrupts our sleep. The blue light emitted from our tiny screens suppresses our bodies release of the hormone melatonin, which makes it harder for us to fall asleep.
Avoid using your phone 1-2 hours before bedtime to limit the effects of brain fog. Try reducing your screen time during the day by setting time limits on your apps to cut down doom scrolling.
3. Spend time in outdoors in nature
If you're feeling foggy, spending time in nature may help clear the haze. Studies show that spending time outside can reduce stress and anxiety, which can contribute to brain fog. Spending just 1 hour hour in nature can reduce cortisol levels, boost mood and help you sleep better at night.
4. Move your body
Exercise is good for your brain. It makes you happier, soothes anxiety and stress and helps you to think more clearly. So even if you're not a gym goer by nature, try adding some physical activity into your daily routine.
Try mixing up how you move your body. Aim to hit 10,000 steps a day, work up a sweat or move slower through yoga or pilates. A little mindfulness can go a long way toward clearing brain fog in the form of distraction-free time spent focusing on how your body feels.
5. Make sure you're getting your nutrients
This one is simple but important. When you're feeling foggy, you need to make sure you're getting plenty of nutrients in your diet. In fact, nutrition plays such a huge role in brain health that it's often called "brain food."
There are many different vitamins and minerals that are crucial for keeping your brain clear and sharp. These include:
Vitamin D (eggs, mushrooms, red meat)
B Vitamins (seafood, dairy, leafy greens)
Omega 3’s (such as salmon, mackerel, nuts and seeds)
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Make sure you rest your mind and body
Life is busy, but it’s important you remember to take time to rest so your mind and body can function as best it can. Take the space to unwind, do some meditation, or go off-grid for a few days to clear your brain fog and see through the haze.
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