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How to Overcome Mental Fatigue and Brain Fog

How to Overcome Mental Fatigue and Brain Fog

How to Overcome Mental Fatigue and Brain Fog 1920 1280 Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Who hasn’t woken up tired, maybe after a long night, maybe a challenging day before or a lot going on in our lives. We have all had brief moments of wishing we could get more rest or sleep just a little bit longer. When we finally arise, and wake up, we might do a morning routine, for some it’s a deep breath and a prayer, for others it’s coffee and shower, perhaps the morning routine follows the use of the bathroom, then coffee, maybe a stretch, maybe a workup. Everyone does something different. And for the most part it all seems to work.

Mental Fatigue and Brain Fog

The Importance of Health

But what if, following the wakeup, the shower and coffee and other routines we still feel we could use more sleep even though we got 8-9 hours (if we are lucky). Why then do we feel fatigued and a little out of it? Our fatigue could turn into a low mood, might have a narrative of negativity, or even result in a little anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed.

Let’s look at biology first: Plain and simple you might need more oxygen, especially if you snore. That could range from SLEEP APNEA (get evaluated) to a poor sleep position and/or a bad mattress, even our physical health such as weight, blood sugar, hypertension and even thyroid and hormone levels play out roles in our overall metabolism. Once all this is addressed, we can move onto the next level of what might be contributing to our state of being…

“If you believe your food and nutrient levels are adequate and you still feel fatigued, then get them tested with a blood sample. It might only be one or two that are low, or your body may not be absorbing what you are taking.”

But remember, before we go into fundamentals of health, we should always address these macro-health issues.

Now, I have used the flashlight analogy before. We have all had the experience where we need a flashlight. When we do find it, only to turn it on and discover it won’t work. Batteries are old and dead. We hope we have some good ones in our battery storage place and once replaced the light goes on. Perfect!

The mind and the brain are very similar, low fuel, low illumination. The mind is an outcome of the brain’s energy, low energy, low light.

Mental Fatigue and Brain Fog

Gut Brain Connection and Nutrients

There is a well-known cycle of each cell called the KREB CYCLE, the final product of this cycle is ATP (adenine triphosphate). This is the backbone of energy and health of our body. This is also every biology student’s nightmare as this well-known system is very complex and 3 dimensional. However, it too has some basic components needed. Imagine a factory conveyor belt. Each individual on the conveyor belt line contributes something to the product and at the end we have a completed product. But all workers must show up, no worker equals no product and/or a lower amount of energy is produced.

The workers of the KREB CYCLE come in the form of essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and lipids. A perfect balance amount maximizes production. We are what we eat. Yes, genetics plays a role and for a while genetics can compensate for a poor dietary intake. But this will only last so long. The body begins to wake up with the right food fuel source. Too much to discuss here but remember the GUT-BRAIN pathway.

What to do? If you believe your food and nutrient levels are adequate and you still feel fatigued, then get them tested with a blood sample. It might only be one or two that are low, or your body may not be absorbing what you are taking. First is to correct if there is no change then check.

Mental Fatigue and Brain Fog

Make Sure to Move

When I mention movement, the typical response is “I work out.” Further exploration typically is “I lift and do some cardio,” there might be running, and or walking included. When I ask about stretching, “oh yeah sometimes,” or “I do a little.”

What I want to underscore is that stretching is a fundamental part of working out. Stretching moves the blood throughout the muscle, activates the nerves as they reside in the muscle, and helps carry nutrients and oxygen to every cell in the body. Twenty minutes of stretching helps to balance out. Even ten minutes is adequate.

How to stretch: It’s all about expanding. Move until you feel a limit, hold and push gently against the resistance and expand. Make it a smooth stretch and deep breath while you are stretching out that last little part, then hold while continuing to breathe. Analogy, melt the butter let the heat melt it, too fast, you burn the butter. Strech, expand and take your time.

Arms out, twist and bend, either sitting or standing move arms toward toes, ideally touch the toes or the ground while remaining erect. Exercise flex, touch toes, raise leg, cat stretch to mobilize spine.

Move: Walk 10-20 minutes daily. Remember your blood vessels are in and around your muscle groups, stretching and movement of muscle increases circulation and therefore spreads oxygen and nutrients to your body, resulting in enhanced wellbeing.

“What I want to underscore is that Stretching is a fundamental part of working out. Stretching moves the blood throughout the muscle, stretching activates the nerves as they reside in the muscle, stretching helps to carry nutrients and oxygen to every cell in the body.”

Same concept with abdomen: The intent is movement, strength is good; however, at a base line level that is not the goal for this practice, movement and fluidity are the concepts to embrace.

There can be many causes for brain fog and fatigue; however, we start here at the fundamentals, if there are other factors to address these concepts will help in overcoming or managing what the body is dealing with.
I hope this message is concise, precise, and workable for you.

Thanks, be well.

Love Always

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Gary Ruelas, D.O., Ph.D.

Dr. Ruelas holds doctoral degrees and is licensed to practice in both medicine and psychology. He approaches his patients by gathering and analyzing data differently from other physician’s moving away from a disease model to a holistic functional model. Read Bio

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