lady sat tired at desk

Leave a Reply

Top 5 tips for managing period brain fog

You know that feeling when you’re sat at your desk at work and you just can’t concentrate. It’s that time of the month and your head feels mushy with brain fog and you don’t feel like you’re getting anything done. Well, rest assured, it’s a perfectly normal side effect of our hormones, and according to our research, over 60% of women and people that period are feeling it, reporting that their daily lives are impacted due to periods affecting concentration and sleep patterns.

Our survey also found a quarter (25.3%) of us struggle with our sleep during our period. Many of us find sleeping difficult and are restless or repeatedly wake up and struggle to get comfortable. This doesn’t help with brain fog either.

This inability to concentrate affects every part of our lives, including work. Here’s some cheery stats for you – the average person spends around3,515 days at work throughout their lifetime. The average woman and person that periods will have around 3,500 menstrual days. This means that a large proportion of our working lives could be affected by episodes of brain fog caused by our menstrual cycle. 

For many years periods and menstruation wasn’t talked about. Just like menopause, there has been a stigma attached to it. Thankfully we are now talking more about menopause thanks to the intervention of household names such as Davina McCall and Lorraine Kelly who are raising awareness and sharing their struggles. But it doesn’t feel like we are there yet with periods. We really need to start the conversation because individuals who period are struggling daily in the workplace and going unsupported.

Here’s some science for you.

The reason for this brain fog could be to do with hormones or anaemia. In the days leading up to your period your oestrogen and progesterone levels fall, this change in your hormones can affect your neurotransmitters, and how alert you feel. Heavy periods can cause anaemia and low levels of iron. This affects the amount of oxygen carried around the body. If less oxygen is getting to the brain, you may feel more sluggish.

Female hormones

Daily tasks become more difficult during our periods due to this hormonal imbalance. So here are are Wear ‘Em Out’s top tips on dealing with brain fog and concentration during your period:

  1. Go easy on yourself: We can find ourselves getting frustrated if our energy levels feel depleted, or we struggle with motivation when it comes to certain tasks during a period, but we need to take time to prioritise self-care and stop giving ourselves such a hard time.
  2. Stay nourished: In the week before a period, the individual’s body needs around 200 extra calories. Good carbs should be paired with protein and healthy fats to stop blood sugar spikes. But don’t deprive your body of treats. Water is also important for improving concentration by increasing blood flow. 
  3. Sleep well: Easier said than done but getting a good night’s sleep can make a world of difference. Take a hot bath before bed to help unwind, use lavender sprays to create a relaxing sleeping an environment and opt for foods with high levels of magnesium such as cocoa to help with PMS symptoms to help you fall asleep easier, and to have a restful night.
  4. Get active: Exercise release endorphins which not only make us feel better, but it also reduces the perception of pain, which can help improve period symptoms. Try to stay active – but also listen to your body and rest if it’s telling you to. Sometimes a curl up on the sofa with a cup of tea is just what is needed.
  5. Use comfortable period protection: Getting comfortable is easier said than done but using the right period protection can help. Switch to reusable products (we recommend our reusable period pads), by switching to more friendly period pads you’ll be avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and toxins (reportedly found in most disposable period products)which can lead to discomfort. Our pads are also kinder and softer to your skin, and better for the planet. 
Reusable period pads

If you’ve found a way to support your brain fog during times of hormonal shift, let us know in the comments, caring is sharing

Speak soon, Lauren x

Leave a Reply