How I Combat Brain Fog: Part 2
It makes it difficult for me to focus on things I need to do. It can also keep me from doing the things that I love.
Here are some additional tips for living with brain fog:
1. Schedule important tasks during wakeful hours
I am the most awake in the morning. I use my wakeful hours to do the things I need brainpower for. Some of these might include writing, driving, reading, or other important tasks.
This even includes scheduling appointments for doctors or therapists. If I am not able to think properly during an appointment with a doctor, it makes it very difficult to get the treatment I need.
2. Notes, notes, and more notes
When it comes to brain fog, my memory is affected a lot.
After my narcolepsy onset, it became difficult to remember the simplest things. In order to make sure I stay on track with life, I make a lot of to-do lists. I also keep Post-it notes around the house with various tasks on them. After I complete a task, I throw the Post-it note away. I also have a whiteboard that I use to take notes, remind me of important tasks coming up, and for a revolving to-do list where I can keep erasing each task as they get completed and add more tasks as space frees up.
I also started journaling once a month, covering my goals and tasks for each month. At the end of each month I start a new to-do list and bring old tasks that haven’t been completed to the new month’s list. This helps me to remember long-term goals and other miscellaneous goals and tasks I need to complete. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment to cross off tasks when I complete them, and it helps me see how far I’ve come in a span of time.
3. Get outside
I find the best way to wake my brain up is by taking a walk outside on a sunny day. Exposure to natural light can help wake my brain up.
4. Take a nap
In the case of lack of sleep or an especially busy week, napping may prove to be more useful in reducing brain fog symptoms.
5. Caffeine or other stimulants
I tend to limit my caffeine intake. However, on days where I really need a clear head (for example, when I drive) I will use caffeine to wake me up more.
I have to be careful because caffeine also messes with my sleep schedule. I tend to get worse sleep when I consume caffeine, and it makes me very anxious. All of these side effects worsen if I overuse caffeine or other stimulants.
6. Stay hydrated and feed yourself
Narcolepsy is a chronic illness, which means that it is something I will have to deal with the rest of my life. By eating nutritious meals and drinking enough water, I can give my stressed body just that small amount of relief.
This can work wonders in clearing up brain fog (although I have to be careful with what I eat... Some foods put me to sleep!).
Do you have your own tips for managing brain fog with narcolepsy? Share with us in the comments below!
Where are you in your narcolepsy diagnosis journey?