Brain Fog and Its Common Causes
Brain fog is a symptom of hypothyroidism. What some patients don’t realize is that these lapses of concentration can continue even after diagnosis and treatment. This is one symptom that responds best to ongoing stress management.
Tips to Reduce Brain Fog Episodes
There are several lifestyle changes you can make to improve your concentration and brain function. Developing these habits will counter brain fog over time.
According to Brain World Magazine, some of these steps include:
1. Get plenty of rest. Lack of sleep will disrupt the consolidation of memory.
2. Reduce auditory and visual distractions. The brain can only accommodate one dominant sensory entry at a time.
3. Hydrate your body-brain system. A 2% decrease in hydration can lead to a 20% loss in energy.
4. Try to eliminate stress or any form of emotional trauma.
5. Do not attempt to memorize information while in pain, under medication, or under the influence of recreational drugs or alcohol.
6. Distribute any practice across time rather than attempting to learn everything at once (distributed vs. “cramming” learning into a single session).
7. Minimize multitasking. We cannot perform two similar tasks simultaneously, unless one has reached “automaticity” (accomplished without conscious mental processing).
8. Rehearse information by visualizing with the mind’s eye (the visuospatial sketch pad) for visual information, and rote rehearsal (repetition) for random verbal information (the phonological loop).
9. Avoid encoding and retrieval interference.
10. Add a social aspect to the learning experience.
11. Use associations to prime the recall of specific information.
12. Pay attention to what is important (otherwise it will be discarded from working memory within 18-30 seconds); “download” that information in some way to preserve it (note-taking, audio recording, oral repetition or mind-maps).
13. Repeat important information within 10-22 minutes, again within 48 hours, and again at the end of a seven-day period.
14. Take short breaks or naps, during which the brain can reflect and connect.
15. Study or read before bed.
This list is a good start, but it can always be added to. Keep it somewhere that allows you to see it several times a day. That way you can practice preventative steps until they become habits.
Follow this long enough and you’ll improve concentration naturally.
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