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Brain Fog: Why You’re Dealing With It and How to Combat It

Written by Christine Rees

Photo by Mohammad Faruque (

Are you having trouble concentrating? Always tired? Forgetting things as quickly as you learn them? You may be dealing with brain fog. 

Brain fog’s other name is “mental fatigue”. This can be caused by a number of factors: 

  • Sleep Deprivation

  • Stress

  • Diet

  • Dehydration

  • Lack of Exercise

additionally, sad looking pup
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Furthermore, brain fog is not a medical condition. It’s a cognitive dysfunction related to:


This can hinder your ability to remember where you put your keys, what you had for dinner last night, academic materials, and any other daily tasks you normally wouldn’t forget. 

Lack of Concentration

Also, you’re probably getting distracted—a lot. A wandering mind that refuses to stand still can make getting anything done feel impossible.

Chronic Fatigue

Are you falling asleep during lectures? That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have chronic fatigue. This issue stems from exhausting tiredness that cannot be fixed by your daily intake of caffeine. Or even a good night’s sleep. 

Sluggish Thinking

When you are unmotivated, unproductive or simply feeling “off”, you’re less likely to get work done. Rather, you “hit a wall”. In fact, the entire day feels as though it’s blurring together.

Does this sound familiar? Each of the above can negatively affect your work, academics, and social life. 

brain fog, tired woman sleeping on train
Photo by Abbie Bernet on Unsplash

So, how can you combat brain fog?

There are a few tricks that you can try to relieve your brain of that horrible sluggishness, fatigue, and forgetfulness so you can ace those upcoming assignments.

1. A Good Night’s Rest

Start by bettering your sleep schedule. As a young person, you should be getting between 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. After long days of rigorous physical or mental activities, you need a rest. 

2. Manage Those Stress Levels

Admit when you’re stressed—bottling it up only makes things worseand talk to someone about it. Many of your classmates are probably facing the same issues. Additionally, saying “no” to tasks or things that are not absolutely necessary is okay, as long as it will lower your stress levels. 

3. Fuel Your Body Right

Above all, eat healthily and drink LOTS of water. Foods such as walnuts, pecans, avocados, salmon, coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil contain brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids that our brains NEED to process information and build brain cells … to make us smarter.

4. Exercise

Stretch out your muscles after hours of studying to relieve that stress and get the blood flowing. Likewise, physical activity can release endorphins, which can trigger positive feelings that end up reducing stress levels. Even a ten-minute walk can make a difference!

Finally, don’t let brain fog get you down. Help your body fight it so you can concentrate on studying, working, and crushing those projects. 


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*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.