Approximately 66% of women in perimenopause and menopause suffer from brain fog. While fuzzy thinking and forgetfulness are not long-term struggles, you do not want to deal with those symptoms while going through the other symptoms of menopause.
Brain fog generally presents itself as trouble paying attention, issues with memory recollection, cognitive function, or verbal memory. The problem typically affects short-term memory like a daily to-do list and organizational details. Long-term memories like significant life events or childhood events are not usually affected.
Training your brain to concentrate and focus cannot completely ward off any unwanted brain fog, but by exercising your brain, you can help keep your mind sharp. There are a few preventative measures you can take to take control of your mind during menopause.
Increasing Cognitive Function While Aging
Stick to A Bedtime Routine
A good night’s sleep can help prevent brain fog and fuzziness. Creating a consistent bedtime routine and allowing your brain and body to relax before falling asleep can help your brain rest. Disrupted sleep can affect your brain and make it hard to focus and retain new information. Sleeping in a dark, quiet, distraction-free room that is comfortable and temperature-regulated encourages a deeper sleep. Using relaxing music, meditation, or a warm bath before bed can set the mood.
The brain is made up of mostly water. This means that even the slightest hint of dehydration can result in shrinking brain tissue. When brain tissue shrinks, temporary cognitive function is decreased.
Estrogen is important for retaining fluid, so when estrogen levels are lowered, dehydration is common. Drinking the suggested 8-glass-a-day is a great way to start increasing your water intake.
Food for Thought
A well-balanced diet helps fuel the brain and the body. Eating foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, edamame, and walnuts are beneficial to brain activity during menopause. Increasing your omega-3 intake can enhance learning and memory. Folic acid in leafy greens like spinach is crucial for brain functionality.
The Mediterranean Diet has been associated with increased cognitive function and brain activity.
Keep your Brain Active
Doing things to keep your brain sharp like a daily crossword puzzle or reading a book are healthy ways to stimulate your brain. Learning something new, practicing a hobby, or playing an instrument are great ways to boost your brain function and improve your memory. Card games and everyday activities that force your brain to make connections and
Avoid playing video games and spending lengthy time looking at screens, as that can cause fatigue and decreased cognitive function.
Among women in menopause, stress can be a common experience. Women report feeling like they’re under pressure, emotionally, mentally, and physically. The demands of everyday life can suddenly feel overwhelming due to cognitive impairment and the lack of natural libido with their partner.
Stress creates higher-than-usual levels of cortisol in the brain. The hormone estrogen helps regulate and maintain these levels, however as you go through menopause, estrogen levels begin to drop. This means you may be unable to properly regulate cortisol levels, causing you to feel more stressed.
Meditation, yoga, sleep, and talk therapy can help reduce stress during menopause.
Brain fog is normal for women who are aging, and while these are natural ways to increase your cognitive function, there are supplements available to help boost your brain. Treatments like the PearlPak have been proven to increase brain function and decrease fogginess due to menopause.