Brain fog sucks. There’s so much to do, but the brain dog doesn’t let you get it done. So, how can you clear up brain dog?
Try running; as exercise has been shown to boost cognitive ability. Try enhancing nightly sleep; as sleep is essential for memory and, when well rested, it makes focusing significantly easier. Have a cup of coffee; and ride the caffeine wave.’ But, most of the time, sleep nor exercise nor coffee seem like enough.
Many experiment with Adderral and Ritalin. However, no research yields proof that these so called “smart drugs” actually make anyones brain work “better.” (Spoiler alert: Adderal and Ritalin are not smart drugs).
But there’s one substance that actually does improve attention, memory, learning, and other cognitive abilities: modafinil.
How modafinil affects your brain
Battleday & Brem reviewed 24 studies that assessed how modafinil affected healthy non-sleep deprived human brains. When the subject was challenged with complex tests, the authors found consistent improvement. Especially in the areas of attention, focus, learning, and memory.
This is in important finding as rarely do we in a day use only one cognitive ability. Rather, we plan, predict and problem solve–using many cognitive abilities.
Exactly how modafinil improves brain performance is still unknown. Though, there is one idea. By directly altering the concentration of a group of chemicals in the brain – called ‘catecholamines’ – modafinil up-regulates activity in attention and executive control networks in the brain. These changes are then hypothesized to allow individuals to perform better on cognitive tasks: particularly those requiring good focus and problem solving.
So can you take modafinil?
When it comes to safety, Brem & Battleday said that the studies they reviewed didn’t note serious side effects.