3 MIN READ | GEORGIA SMITH

brain fog: where it comes from and how to get rid of it

At Zolt, we’re all about peak performance — mentally, physically, and emotionally. Brain fog, that spacey, disconnected feeling between your brain and body, is markedly the opposite of peak performance. And it’s a telltale sign that your body’s systems are out of balance.

Brain fog sometimes makes it hard to concentrate on even the most mundane tasks, and can have you feeling frustrated with yourself and short with others. You might be drinking more coffee during the day in an attempt to beat back the fog, then reaching for an extra cocktail or two in the evening believing alcohol is offering some respite. (Side note: hangovers further compound the feeling of brain fog.)

WHERE DOES BRAIN FOG COME FROM?

From dehydration to stress and anxiety, and poor sleep to diet, brain fog can set in for so many reasons. Let’s go through the two most common:

From dehydration to stress and anxiety, and poor sleep to bad diet, brain fog can set in for so many reasons.

STRESS

Certainly, we all experience stress — from deadlines at work, long to-do lists, and a range of modern human pressures — and it’s easy to dismiss because stress is so common. However, chronic stress, a prolonged period of feeling overwhelmed and under pressure, can be exhausting and debilitating for your brain and can have negative effects on your body’s performance.

Let’s take a closer look. Every time you’re stressed, your sympathetic nervous system goes into fight-or-flight mode, triggering adrenaline release and diverting resources and blood flow from key functional areas of your brain. And because modern stressors are not “real” like primitive ones (beasts chasing you, for instance), the stress cycle is often not completed — you don’t end up fighting or fleeing, and instead the panicked feeling lingers, along with compromised mental performance, even once the “threat” is gone. And this response cycle often repeats with deleterious effects.

Stress-busting

Complete the stress cycle by going for a run or doing some other form of vigorous exercise — your primitive brain will thank you for outrunning the beast and help you return to a state of homeostasis. And of course, reach for hemp — it’s an adaptogen. Better yet, reach for hemp with added adaptogens. Adaptogens help bust stress at the cellular level and will leave you feeling calmer and sharper.

Reach for hemp — it’s an adaptogen. Better yet, reach for hemp with added adaptogens. Adaptogens help bust stress at the cellular level and will leave you feeling calmer and sharper.

SLEEPLESSNESS

Poor sleep is one of the more obvious causes of brain fog — we’ve all experienced the direct correlation between sleep deprivation and poor mental performance. But the effects of chronic sleeplessness are even more pronounced over time. When you don’t get enough sleep (less than 7 or 8 hours), or sleep at irregular intervals, your circadian rhythm (internal clock) becomes disrupted, making it even more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep under even the very best sleep conditions. Once a pattern of sleeplessness is established, it’s hard to break — when that’s the case, building a bedtime ritual is crucial to restoring your circadian rhythm.

Bag better zzzzs

Start with perfecting your sleep hygiene: No screens an hour before bed (the blue light disrupts your body’s natural melatonin release), implement a nightly wind-down ritual, and establish a bedtime for yourself. And stick to it. To get your bedtime routine started right, we recommend Zolt Dreamy, which contains CBD, melatonin, and added adaptogens. It’s formulated not only for better sleep, but also for more restful and restorative sleep — you’ll feel sharper in the morning!

ALL-AROUND BRAIN BOOSTERS

  • Exercise: Vigorous exercise boosts endorphins and helps you focus long after your workout is complete.
  • Meditation: Mindfulness practices train your mind to be fully present, breaking the modern stress-inducing habit of worrying about the future (deadlines, to-dos, and all) and focusing on the here and now. Meditation can stop your fight-or-flight response in its tracks and help you reset to a healthy headspace.
  • Healthy fats and proteins: Don’t fall into the trap of avoiding fats or calorically dense protein sources — our brains need them in order to function properly.
  • Sleep hygiene: Avoid screens before bed. Establish and stick to a healthy sleep schedule. Definitely try Zolt Dreamy as part of your nighttime routine.
  • Zolt: Establish a CBD regimen. Zolt combines hemp with other superplants (like adaptogens and antioxidants) to help bring homeostasis to the brain and body. For the daytime, try Rise and Rise+, Boost+, and Dial-Up+ to get a nootropic edge.

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