Menopause Brain Fog: How To Address It

Denise Austin
by Denise Austin | 

While menopause symptoms are mostly associated with hot flashes and weight gain - especially in the midsection - another symptom is menopause brain fog. Usually described as problems with concentration, memory and focus, the Mayo Clinic reports that studies have shown cognitive complaints from women going through menopause.

The good news is, we don't have to live with menopause brain fog! Not only does menopause brain fog appear to be a temporary symptom of going through menopause, showing improvement after menopause transition is complete, but there are some things you can do to help minimize menopause brain fog right now.

One link to menopause brain fog is quality of sleep, or more specifically, lack of quality sleep. As sleep disruptions are a common symptom of menopause, try the following to help insure you get better rest, and therefore help to quell menopause brain fog.

Sleep Hygiene. Having a dark, temperature-friendly room can do wonders for your sleep. Turning down the thermostat, pulling down the blinds, and arranging your bed in a way that promotes sleep will better help you fall and stay asleep. A cooling mattress topper and pillow can also help to regulate body temperature at night, possibly helping to minimize the effects of hot flashes.

Exercise. A regular workout plan will help your body naturally feel more tired, and may help to promote better rest. I recommend avoiding strenuous exercise before bedtime (a gentle stretching routine is a wonderful way to wind down before bed, however), and instead getting in your cardio and strength training earlier in the day. The extra benefits of working out include helping to control menopause-related weight gain, building muscle mass and protecting your bones, so it's a must for a healthy way of life after 50! If you need help getting started on an exercise plan, this three-minute video can help!

Bedtime Routine. Similarly, try to avoid alcohol and heavy foods close to bedtime. Both can disrupt your sleep patterns. Instead, enjoy a cup of room temperature caffeine-free tea, take a bath or shower, and make sure you don't take electronics to bed. Try reading a new book or writing three good things that happened to you that day in your journal - a better way to wind down before sleep.

And when I have trouble sleeping, or falling back to sleep, I remind myself it's OK - I can take a quick nap if I need to later in the day. As always, talk with your physician - she can help you navigate menopause brain fog and offer other solutions tailored to your specific needs. 

Let's live FIT, HAPPY and HEALTHY - together!