It’s no secret that healthy lifestyle factors such as physical exercise and nutrition are important for maintaining a clear mind and sharp thinking skills.
What many people don’t know is that there are other things they can do to improve their cognitive function, including sauna sessions.
While everyday brain fog can be cleared with a little bit of physical activity, some root causes may be a little bit more of a ‘high-tech’ health problem.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the underlying causes of brain fog and how infrared saunas could potentially eliminate or reduce brain fog.
Sauna sessions and brain fog
The use of infrared saunas has been shown to provide several brain and mental health benefits,
including lowering the risk of dementia, mental illness, and major depression.
While sauna use may not be the initial and preferred treatment from your doctor, sauna sessions or sauna therapy could be a solution away from clinical medicine or socioeconomic factors.
This is because infrared sauna therapy has been shown to positively impact the parasympathetic nervous system and improve emotional stress.
While sauna use as a means of improving brain fog is a relatively new concept, the research conducted thus far is very promising.
What is brain fog and what are the symptoms?
Brain fog is a condition that affects many people and can severely limit cognitive performance. It can be difficult to describe because it affects people differently, but for some, brain fog causes heaviness in the head and a lack of focus.
It may make it difficult to think clearly, and remember things, and can also lead to feelings of confusion, disorientation and fatigue.
For these reasons, it is closely tied to a person’s overall mental health.
Often accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, dizziness, nausea, light-headedness and vertigo for some people, brain fog can make even the simplest tasks seem impossible with an increase in forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, and problems with vocabulary.
There are many possible causes of brain fog, including but not limited to:
- Lack of sleep or sleep disturbances
- Poor diet
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Frequent sauna sessions may be able to assist with the improvement of brain fog by allowing adequate blood supply and circulation, as well as helping to activate heat shock proteins, promote sleep and support ongoing physical activity.
How infrared saunas help improve brain fog
Sauna use has been shown to increase blood flow and circulation as well as allow for the removal of pollutants from the brain.
This improved circulation can help to provide more oxygen to the brain, which can help to clear the cobwebs and improve cognitive performance.
They have also been shown to improve mood and cognitive function in those suffering from depression as shown in a recent study looking at whole body hyperthermia protocols.
Detoxification of heavy metals improves brain function
Toxicity can impede cognitive function in several ways.
First, exposure to toxins can cause damage to the brain cells themselves and inhibit new brain cell growth.
Second, toxins can inhibit the ability of brain cells to communicate with one another, which can lead to a decrease in cognitive performance and an overall decline in mental health. Mercury, for example, is a toxic metal that can be found in many different products, including seafood.
In a study with over 10,000 pregnant women, researchers discovered that seafood accounted for less than half the mercury taken in through the diet, representing around 20% of blood mercury.
Symptoms of mercury poisoning can vary depending on the amount of mercury someone has been exposed to, but can include memory loss, irritability, and depression.
Saunas sessions have been shown to be effective in removing mercury from the body, whereas in one study, people who used a sauna for four weeks had a significant decrease in mercury levels in their blood.
Sweat-induced through sauna sessions versus sweat induced though exercise, has shown that higher levels of toxins were found in the latter – as reported by researcher Dr Joy Hussain. The benefits of saunas for brain health go beyond just the removal of toxins, however, more studies are needed in the field of detoxification.
Sauna treatment for neurodegenerative diseases
Neurodegenerative diseases are a class of progressive neurological disorders that cause the death of neurons in the brain.
This can lead to a decline in cognitive performance and an overall decline in mental health. The most common neurodegenerative disease is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and fatal brain disorder that gradually destroys memory and cognitive skills.
There is no known cure for developing Alzheimer's disease, and while there are treatments available that can delay the progression of the disease.
Dementia is a general term used to describe a decline in mental ability that interferes with daily life. While there are many different causes of dementia, Alzheimer’s is the most common cause, accounting for 60-80% of all cases. One study found that regular sauna use is associated with a reduced risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The study, which was conducted in Finland, looked at 2,315 men aged 42-60 over a period of 20 years. The men who used saunas four to seven times per week were 66 percent less likely to develop dementia and 65 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than the men who did not use saunas.
It’s too early to state if sauna use can provide dementia protection, but the benefits of sauna use in this study are undeniable.
Another study found that sauna use was associated with improved cognitive function in men aged 55-74. The study, which was conducted in Japan, looked at 1,621 men over a period of 20 years. The men who used saunas two to three times per week were 22 percent less likely to experience cognitive decline than the men who did not use saunas.
Sauna therapy has also been shown to improve mood and relieve symptoms of depression as found in the Global Sauna Survey which found that regular sauna use was associated with a reduced risk of depression.
Infrared sauna and brain fog, a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome
Sauna sessions offer a range of mental health benefits, and can therefore provide support for multiple chronic diseases, such as dementia risk, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and heart disease as well as disease from other lifestyle factors such as stress and poor sleep, all from increasing the body temperature.
Chronic Fatigue is a condition that results in extreme tiredness and lack of energy, and sufferers may fall into the category of experiencing brain fog.
While the exact mechanisms are not yet understood, it is thought that saunas may help to improvebrain fog by increasing blood flow and circulation, removing pollutants from the brain, and increasing levels of HSPs.
Infrared sauna has also been shown to lower night-time sleep disturbances, possibly lower the risk of dementia and combat chronic fatigue syndrome, all of which could be a contributing factor to brain fog.
Sauna sessions as a means of improving brain fog is a relatively new concept, but the research that has been conducted thus far is very promising.