Problems concentrating, and brain fog in particular, is becoming increasingly prevalent amongst younger individuals with as many as 14% of students battling brain fog on a regular basis according to research conducted at UCLA. As children, we live fairly untroubled lives, blissfully unaware of the stressors that await us as soon as we enter college. For the majority of students, college is the gateway to the profession or sporting career they have always dreamed of. They realize that staying physically healthy is pertinent to their success, but many underestimate the importance of keeping their brains healthy as well.
Increased Stress Linked to Poor Concentration
Sudden moments of forgetfulness coupled with the niggling lack of focus that is commonly referred to as brain fog are often experienced by students. These and other concentration-related complaints are often attributed to the immense stress they experience according to research findings published in the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Services (EXCLI). Students are prone to a number of memory and concentration issues that present themselves in numerous ways. While some students may find it difficult to pay attention in class, others will have difficulty recalling what they have learned. In cases of extreme stress and anxiety, a student can experience disorganized speech and thoughts while academic performance can also take a severe knock.
Brain Fog Can Hinder Athletic Performance
As troublesome as stress and the subsequent lack of focus may be in the classroom, it can have equally dire consequences on the sports field according to the American College of Sports Medicine. An athlete that takes to the field while experiencing impaired concentration is not only likely to underperform but will also be increasingly at risk of getting injured. If a student displays any signs of cognitive impairment it is recommended that there is no engagement in any strenuous physical activity until professional medical advice is sought.
Ways to Combat Brain Fog
Most of the causes of brain fog can be prevented by following a healthy diet devoid of processed foods and filled with nutrient-dense fare such as omega-3 rich fatty fish, leafy greens, lean proteins, nuts, legumes, and berries. A student can also partake in regular exercise, aim to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a night and take regular breaks from studying to prevent brain fog from setting in. Practicing mindfulness throughout the day and partaking in regular meditation is also effective in helping someone regain their focus and concentration.
Take a Supplement to Complement Your Diet
Apart from following a balanced diet, the Harvard School of Public Health recommends that everyone over the age of 18 take a multivitamin supplement on a daily basis. There are a number of brain pills for students on the market that can effectually help bridge any shortfalls in the diet. Fish oils are filled with fatty acids that promote brain health while caffeine (in moderation) and Acetyl-L-Carnitine are both known to increase energy levels and help bust through the brain fog.
The last thing a student needs to deal with amidst a busy schedule is a bout of persistent brain fog. Thankfully, despite it being daunting, brain fog is generally easy to address, leaving the once muddle-minded student feeling more inspired and ready to face the many challenges of student life than ever before.