When people think of perimenopause, irregular periods and hot flashes often come to mind. However, some women may notice another symptom: brain fog.
You read a letter and suddenly realize that your thoughts are gone and you need to start again. Or you can draw a space when trying to remember someone’s name or when you stand in a room wondering what you got there.
The good news is that these little cognitive mistakes are probably not something to worry about in the long term.
Sleep disturbances and stress can be part of the brain fog
Those times when you’re less focused and a little forgetful are probably not just due to hormonal changes. The quality of sleep, which may be related to night sweats during perimenopause, could definitely help. Increased stress sometimes associated with this stage of life can also make you feel confused and distracted. These factors can affect concentration and memory.
Not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling in a bad mood and sluggish. This may be why you can’t remember what her name is: you weren’t paying close enough attention when she told you her name in the first place.
Stress can have a similar effect by taking your mind off the task because you are busy and worrying about something else.
What can you do to make you feel less foggy?
If this sounds like you, there are a few things you can do to lift the fog and get your brain going again.
- Slower. Exercise yourself to recognize when you are distracted and take a moment to breathe and focus on the task at hand. If you’ve just absorbed new information, try to find a quiet moment to give your brain a chance to process what you’ve learned.
- Manage your stress. Using mindful meditation or other stress relief strategies can also help you relax and be present. This can help you absorb new information and retrieve it more easily.
- Get regular exercise. Physical activity not only benefits your body but also your mind. One study found that just three days a week of moderately intense exercise appeared to increase the size of the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory and learning.
- Improve your sleeping habits. If your sleep quality is poor, work on strategies that can help you find more rest at night. Improve your sleep hygiene by making changes such as: For example, keep electronic devices away just before bed and create a regular sleep schedule. Ask your doctor if home strategies are not enough.
- Use memory tricks. Have you ever used little tricks to remember things when studying for a test in school? The same mental cheaters can help you now too. For example, create a mnemonic or rhyme to get information. Or try visual or verbal cues. Repeating information or instructions to yourself or another person is another way you can help your brain store information more effectively.
Know when to seek help
Most small memory leaks are nothing to worry about. If changes due to perimenopause – including irregular periods, difficulty sleeping from night sweats, or brain fog – are bothering you, speak to your doctor about possible solutions.
It is also important that you call your doctor, though
- Changes in memory occur suddenly or are accompanied by hallucinations, paranoia, or delusions
- Memory gaps can put your security at risk; B. interfering with driving or forgetting to cook food on the stove.