Brain “fog” — chronic forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating — is common for women transitioning through menopause. Studies show that some 60 percent of women in perimenopause and menopause report that they’re feeling forgetful or are experiencing “brain fog.” Let’s demystify these Meno brain blips and focus on the remedies, because rest assured, this too shall pass.
What’s Behind These Memory Lapses?
Scientists believe fluctuating estrogen levels to be the cause of “brain fog.” These hormone changes are known to cause symptoms such as: night sweats, vaginal dryness, depression, mood swings, and hot flashes. Because estrogen also contributes to language skills, attention, mood, and memory — the fluctuation of this hormone during menopause leads to cognitive decline. Brain fog may also be connected to sleep disruption as a result of hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, and depression -- again, due to changes in hormone levels.
So if you’re sick and tired of feeling foggy, follow these 4 tips to start clearing your mental clutter:
1) Don’t Sleep on Sleep
Prioritize getting a good night’s rest. That means set up a nightly routine with relaxation at its core. Try deep breathing, meditation, or maybe reading a relaxing book to put you in the mood for a good snooze. Also, say no to caffeine, large meals, and limiting alcohol before hitting the hay. And one more thing -- don’t forget to dress appropriately for the party by wearing light and airy clothing, or better yet -- your birthday suit.
2) Get Regular Exercise
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that strength training with added cardio may help with memory issues by triggering the growth of new nerve cells and blood vessels in the brain. Not to mention that increased muscle is an excellent antidote to menopause middle. Bottom line, move your body ladies!
3) Eat Better
Eat a well-balanced whole food diet. Get your fill of vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. Make it easier to reduce processed foods, sugar, cholesterol, and saturated fat by optimizing the meal in front of you so you don’t get too overwhelmed. If you’re not sure where to start, give the Mediterranean diet a shot, as it’s rich with omega-3 fatty acids and other unsaturated fats. And of course, an all-natural Bossa Bar is a perfect mini meal or snack when you don’t have the time or ingredients on hand to make something healthy.
4) Play Mind Games
Keep your brain busy. Pick up a new hobby, start a side business, play solitaire or a board game (preferably one with a memory element), or work on a puzzle. Simply put, keep that beautiful brain of yours engaged in things that bring you joy -- it's a two for one!
Now that you know the 4 brain fog mastery secrets, pat yourself on the back if you’re willing to try at least 2... and the only better time to start was yesterday! And of course, if you’re making serious lifestyle changes and aren’t seeing any improvement, don’t be afraid to check in with your doctor.
Last but not least, remember that The Pause is a journey so embrace every moment and #menolikeaboss!