Brain fog and concentration

Stephen

Ecommerce SEO / SEM
BuSo Pro
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
220
Likes
117
Points
1
Hi All,

I'm looking for a little advice...
Since becoming a father my sleep has been destroyed fairly regularly by our daughter who is coming up to 1 year old. I'm not complaining and fully expect this as a new father. However, as I'm sure some of you will recognise, trying to do technical work when you are fatigued and stressed can be a real struggle.

For me, I have found that a morning routine has helped and a few other things like meditation but right now my concentration and focus are really suffering and that creates a vicious cycle when it comes to getting actual shit done.

I'm starting to think whether some form of supplement stack might help me in the short-term until my daughter is a bit better at nights.

Came across this https://www.amazon.co.uk/New-BrainZyme®-Original-Concentration-Motivation/dp/B075RDVDZ7


Not really sure about this or any other supplements, but I'd be keen to hear from people here whether there is anything I can take on an occasional basis to help me when things are very tough.

Obviously, we are trying to solve the sleep problem as that is the root cause, it, however, a little out of our control. So I'm looking for something that will help me be more focused and able to concentrate when tired.

Thanks
 
Joined
Dec 17, 2015
Messages
189
Likes
118
Points
1
I take it your avatar photo is not you then!

My kids are now 8 and 6 but I remember those days you're going through. It can be very tough. Sometimes I felt I was a walking zombie with zero focus. From experience, I'd say take the dog for a walk in the morning to get that fresh air boost, then settle down to some work, as I found the afternoon was when I got the tiredest. Not sure about supplements but the healthier your diet is the most energy you will have. Meditation is also a bonus.

Good luck, the kids are worth it, even if sometimes it doesn't seem like it!

ps. if you get a big lull in concentration go for a quick walk or something to snap you out of it.
 

Andrewkar

...
BuSo Pro
Joined
Nov 6, 2014
Messages
392
Likes
209
Points
1
Well, I can say only this for what it's worth: change the place where you sleep. Talk to wife and both of you setup a new space for your sleep. That might help, depends on how your girl is behaving at night. Still, this is the best solution I can think of. Supplements? Legal? Won't work to be honest, just my view... Supps illegal? No comments :wink:

My friend had a similar problem, then they decided to put the head of family in a different room :smile: It worked out for them really well. The important fact here to keep in mind is that he is the only provider for the family, so wife could take a sleepless nights while he was able to have some time for rest.
 

eliquid

Digital Strategist
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
874
Likes
1,862
Points
3
Diet, exercise, and sleep will be a big part of this with or without supplements.

I know, I know.. that's what everyone says. But I would focus on those areas first to make sure you are getting out of them all you can first. If you can only hit 80% on each, so be it and then look for supplements. But make sure you are doing what you can in each first.

After that, I would suggest you read the labels on any brain/focus/concentration supplements.

I own 50% of a focus/energy/concentration/mental clarity supplement company. I am not here to tout my product ( most of you probably have never heard of it or know it ), but a lot of supplements pushed on Amazon are filler and junk.

We just reformulated our product in the last 60 days and have our v2 out. We were one of the first supplements made for this specific need about 10 years ago.

Of note, supplements can only do so much. You will still need to weed out distractions around you ( email and social media, phone, kids, coworkers, etc ).

If you want, take a look at [removed, seen you were in the UK]. Hit me up and I will see about sending you a free bottle when I get back from traveling in about a week. If you need it faster, you can just place a regular order and pay for it on the site.

Actually, I just noticed you are maybe in the UK. Sorry, we don't ship there atm. We did, but ran into some issues with customs so we stopped for a while. Sorry man.

.
 

TGZ

Joined
Oct 18, 2018
Messages
18
Likes
8
Points
0
That supplements won't do that much, strong coffee will probably be more beneficial. I'm big on productivity so hear me out here. Especially with internet marketing - you are spending a lot of time on the most distracting place ever (internet). There are two major things to do:

a) You need to reduce your distractions, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater (literally). For me, this involves not using the internet on my smartphone ever. The push notification kill my productivity. If you find yourself scrolling through social media or Reddit, etc. stop. The baby is a distraction of course, but if you think about it there may be a ton of other distractions in your life that are easier to solve.

b) Do things to enhance your focus, I meditate for a short period first thing every morning, and go to the gym 5-6x/week with no headphones. Recently, I have been going for a walk every night to clear my head.

I would also recommend you check out the book Deep Work (Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World) by Cal Newport.
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,356
Likes
1,058
Points
4
I'm constantly sleep deprived because of chronic pain.

I can tell you that the only thing that works is napping. You can't cheat your way out of sleep deprivation.

Make it a habit to get a nap midday or afternoon. I recommend at least 1 hour, but a powernap (30 mins), can also give you a little bit of extra energy.
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
Moderator
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
4,694
Likes
9,050
Points
9
I spent a couple years playing with every type of piracetam and modafinil and adrafinil and all that. I wouldn't recommend getting into nootropics. I feel like they ultimately contributed to another episode of a pretty serious pre-existing mental health thing I have going on (derealization). That's partially for the reasons mentioned above I think, where we ignore the root cause and deal with the symptoms.

Can you and the lady trade nights? One night one of you sleeps with ear plugs and the other deals with the baby.

Part of this is going to be nutrition and exercise management, and the other will be time and energy management in the sense like making sure you knock out the highly cognitive demanding stuff first while you're freshest, then pick at emails and easy writing and things like that later.
 

Calamari

BuSo Pro
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
848
Likes
1,003
Points
3
My kids are both teenagers now but I lost plenty of sleep when they were little. Skip the drugs and focus on food, especially if you drink or eat a lot of sugar. No legal drugs will help you and the illegal stuff isn't worth the price of addiction.
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2015
Messages
35
Likes
29
Points
0
Naturally - sweat/workout/cardio + limited sugars and carbs

Shortcut - Adderall
 

animalstyle

BuSo Pro
Joined
Mar 28, 2015
Messages
929
Likes
836
Points
3
A yoga practice can do amazing things. It ticks the boxes for both body and mind. Give it 3 months minimum before judging.
 

Stephen

Ecommerce SEO / SEM
BuSo Pro
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Messages
220
Likes
117
Points
1
Thanks all.

My wife and I are both working and she works crazy hours also, so there is not more domestic adjustments we can make at the moment the Jnr is teething which makes matters worse!

My diet is ok, I think there is probably a little nutritional shortage in a few areas but not bad on average.

I was hoping to find something that just helps me cut the fog a little without getting too involved in anything "special".

Thanks for the tips and ideas so far!
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,356
Likes
1,058
Points
4
I finally ordered som Modafinil, hope it makes it through customs.

If it works, I'll find a GP who will prescribe it.

Will report back.
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
Moderator
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
4,694
Likes
9,050
Points
9
Do you find that your brain fog is worse on high atmospheric pressure days, like when it's going to rain? I'm noticing that pattern lately.
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,356
Likes
1,058
Points
4
Do you find that your brain fog is worse on high atmospheric pressure days, like when it's going to rain? I'm noticing that pattern lately.

Yes, but not only that, pain symptoms are also worse.

I haven't made the connection with high athmosphere days, I only noticed when the weather was chanigng.
 

ToffeeLa

BuSo Pro
Joined
Jul 5, 2019
Messages
169
Likes
145
Points
1
This type of effect is commonly attributed to certain weather changes by those in the Alps. For example, people living in Föhntäler (valleys affected by a strong warm wind which can raise the temperature dramatically) will reference irritability, lethargy and bad moods to the period just before a Föhn wind. It is thought, but not proven, to be the changes in air pressure which cause this.
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,356
Likes
1,058
Points
4
Got my Modafinil in the mail today.

I ordered from a UK website, but the company on the label was based in Singapore and the product was shipped from India.

It got here, just when I had forgotten about it. I'm going to try one pop in the company with some friends, so if it turns out to be meth or something, then I have some backup.
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
Moderator
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
4,694
Likes
9,050
Points
9
@bernard, I think almost all Modafinil comes out of India at this point. When I was messing with nootropics, I was able to get Adrafinil (turns into Modafinil in the body) locally within the nation. But even with it being legal, it didn't last long. I dunno if it's the payment processors coming down on people selling "research chemicals" or what. I ultimately settled on pramiracetam as my go to with choline. It cleared up the "fog" better than anything else did without too much "racing" symptoms like you may get with Modafinil to a degree.

Yeah, take half a dose first for safety and comfort, amongst friends. You never know how you'll react or if the dosage is stable in the way they say it is.

The one thing about any of that stuff is that it enhances focus and concentration but you have to set yourself up to focus on the right thing. You can get an insane amount of work done in 8 hours, or end up going down the Wikipedia rabbit hole or organizing the files on your desktop or doing chores or playing video games. You have to constrain your environment and set yourself up for success or you can reaaaally focus on the wrong things.
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,356
Likes
1,058
Points
4
I might wait to after covid lockdowns to try it. All cafes and coworking spaces are closed and I don't think sitting at home alone with it, is a good idea.

I will look into those you mentioned though, seems Choline is OTC.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
485
Likes
310
Points
2
The one thing about any of that stuff is that it enhances focus and concentration but you have to set yourself up to focus on the right thing. You can get an insane amount of work done in 8 hours, or end up going down the Wikipedia rabbit hole or organizing the files on your desktop or doing chores or playing video games. You have to constrain your environment and set yourself up for success or you can reaaaally focus on the wrong things.
I have depersonalization and derealization and, IMO, one of the reasons is that working online is very, very un-real, where "real" is a social construct. You're actually cut off from other people and are making things which are all in your imagination. The human aspects of life, such as being involved in a tribe, community, or family, is absent and what you have instead is a monitor, keyboard, ideas to look at or watch or hear, and ideas to communicate.

It's atomitized (each Internet user is on his or her own device) and individualized (each user's perception of society is really his or her own surfing patterns and the individualized news feeds he or she receives).

Of course with technology like this, you'd feel estranged from other people and groups of people. It's fucking weird! The damnest thing about this is that you need to submit yourself to shit like this for a month or two at least to even get anywhere in IM. You really need to delve head first and all in.

In a way, to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to atrophy your social life, political life, and relationships. Thats why most self-help business books and the self-help business culture recommend you to cut off friends who aren't helping you with your business goals (which is bad IMO since it prevents you from being connected with society at large and you're left connected to a fringe section of society). That's also why "they" recommend you cut off your Facebook for productivity reasons, which also makes you lose contact with old, old friends.

I've been on vacation since the 7th and will be until the 4th. It took me a few days to feel human again, instead of some weird cog in a machine, who only interacts with other cogs in a machine in ways that the machine defines. That's not human at all! Once you've learned about algorithms enough, where you perceive everything as an algorithm, even society and culture, as if it takes inputs and produces outputs in a reliable and consistent manner, you know it's time to go on vacation!
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,356
Likes
1,058
Points
4
Yeah, I am always extremely energised after business meetings.

I try to solve this isolation by working in cowork spaces and ideally I'd like to share an office with other marketers.

I often fantasise of working as a carpenter or something like that. Some form of physical labor with tangible results in the real world. I'm not cut out for that though. Perhaps some other form of craftswork, but the day in day out, mindless menial work is not for me.

I do miss belonging to the work tribe, it's an underrated aspect of modern life. The feeling of shared success and corporate parties and work friends and all that.

It's why I have been searching for an incubator style setting, but without the focus on tech based scalability. An incubator for small biz and freelancers. I've applied a few places.

Ideally that would lead to meeting a couple of other people and sharing an office, hiring a few interns and the like.
 

Ryuzaki

お前はもう死んでいる
Moderator
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
4,694
Likes
9,050
Points
9
I have depersonalization and derealization and, IMO, one of the reasons is that working online is very, very un-real, where "real" is a social construct.
Me too. It's horrendous. And I've wondered if working AND playing in a virtual reality for most of my waking hours isn't contributing to the dissociation (doing psychedelics in college and having a horrible upbringing didn't help either and is the actual basis of the problem). I've actually been doing EMDR therapy for about 8 months and it's helping a ton. I don't even notice DPDR any more after 15 years of it. Now the most obvious symptom is the cognitive fog, which is a huge relief as much as it can suck too.
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,356
Likes
1,058
Points
4
It's very interesting that you complain about depersonalisation, I have that too sometimes, but it used to be real bad when I was on opioids (for pain). I legit had episodes lying awake and I couldn't feel myself at all. It was like I didn't exist except physically. It was absolutely horrifying and it made me quit the pills instantly once I figured out they were to blame.

I've since learned a few lessons on what gives you depersonalisation and what doesn't.

My main triggers for depersonalisation:
  • Associating with people who are users and/or narcissists
This is the absolute worst. If you spend a lot of time online and don't get to talk to people irl during the day a lot, then you're very suspectible to emotional vampires and narcissists, who can have too much influence over you, because you begin to lose grip on "reality".
  • Watching the news or listening to political podcasts
As Morrissey sings "Stop watching the news, cause the news contrive to frighten you".

At this point, and with the risk of seeming like a loon, I nnow fully consider the news to be a complete demotivation tool, nothing else. I really feel that is true. I see no point at all in news on the TV, except for people gaslighting you 24/7, by ignoring obvious reality, by ignoring topics that people talk about, while playing up topics no one cares about. Stop watching the news!
  • Playing games that require an emotional or cognitive investment and take up time
People like to meme about 40 tabs of porn and "my god what have I done" time wasting meme, but I feel the same way with games, that draw me in and 2 hours later and I snap out of it and think "am I using my precious time on this earth getting a false sense of accomplishment?". And I don't even play a lot of games.
  • Not lifting or doing strenous exercise on a fixed schedule
I don't know how people make it through a week without exhausting their body and therefore getting out of my mind and into my body. Lifting and work, those you can depend on.

These are all oddly specific and not seemingly related, but I've strongly found them to be important in not suffering from depersonalisation.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
485
Likes
310
Points
2
It's very interesting that you complain about depersonalisation, I have that too sometimes, but it used to be real bad when I was on opioids (for pain). I legit had episodes lying awake and I couldn't feel myself at all. It was like I didn't exist except physically. It was absolutely horrifying and it made me quit the pills instantly once I figured out they were to blame.

I've since learned a few lessons on what gives you depersonalisation and what doesn't.

My main triggers for depersonalisation:
  • Associating with people who are users and/or narcissists
This is the absolute worst. If you spend a lot of time online and don't get to talk to people irl during the day a lot, then you're very suspectible to emotional vampires and narcissists, who can have too much influence over you, because you begin to lose grip on "reality".
  • Watching the news or listening to political podcasts
As Morrissey sings "Stop watching the news, cause the news contrive to frighten you".

At this point, and with the risk of seeming like a loon, I nnow fully consider the news to be a complete demotivation tool, nothing else. I really feel that is true. I see no point at all in news on the TV, except for people gaslighting you 24/7, by ignoring obvious reality, by ignoring topics that people talk about, while playing up topics no one cares about. Stop watching the news!
  • Playing games that require an emotional or cognitive investment and take up time
People like to meme about 40 tabs of porn and "my god what have I done" time wasting meme, but I feel the same way with games, that draw me in and 2 hours later and I snap out of it and think "am I using my precious time on this earth getting a false sense of accomplishment?". And I don't even play a lot of games.

  • Not lifting or doing strenous exercise on a fixed schedule

I don't know how people make it through a week without exhausting their body and therefore getting out of my mind and into my body. Lifting and work, those you can depend on.

These are all oddly specific and not seemingly related, but I've strongly found them to be important in not suffering from depersonalisation.
I get triggered from situations where I'm not in control. Basically, if I'm not in control of the situation and don't have a plan of what to do, I get triggered. It's unhealthy and abnormal. If someone else is in control and I haven't built trust with that person or don't know that person or do not trust that person, I get triggered. If that person betrayed me in the past, I definitely get triggered. It's usually with other men. I usually don't get triggered when a woman is in control.

No wonder why I live alone and have an office all by myself and only engage with people when it's on my terms. I'm scared shitless of getting betrayed or double-crossed. It's not realistic at all since the people I surround myself with are all very caring, without any self-interested motive behind it.

Man, I think this has to do with Office Candidate School for the Army last year. There, the officers fucking betrayed us by giving us a false schedule and then harassed us day in and day out, just because their training schedule said so. It didn't matter how hard we tried, I found out later, we were to be harassed because it was what the training schedule had written.

This was in the National Guard and it took place over a year. Towards half way through the program, I realized I didn't need a second job and that I already served my country once, so I just threw my equipment into the dumpster and told them I'm not showing up. The sergeant who ran the program called me a bitch but his boss had to send me an email with the paperwork to quit, since they knew I wouldn't show up and it'll be embarrassing for them to have an unaccounted for soldier at the next drill.

Funny thing is, by doing that, I ended up making $1,000 since my bonus wasn't going to be paid if I did graduate. By quitting, I qualified for my bonus. haha. Also, I don't have a second job now, that's underpaid and asks for wayyy too much :smile:

Freedom! Freedom from a second job and freedom to do whatever I want with my time, hair, and whatever! Hurray! Well intended, that I wanted to go back to the Army as an officer but, nah, some idiot can do that. Not me.
 

bernard

BuSo Pro
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
Messages
1,356
Likes
1,058
Points
4
I know a few people who got really messed up from serving in the army. They didn't even see combat, just the abusive nature of some platoons.
 

MrSanti

Mind Sharpener
Joined
Jul 5, 2018
Messages
104
Likes
77
Points
0
Daam I thought that most of you guys had this stuff sorted out. Just had an idea of making an online platform with psychologists specifically trained to help with this stuff, looks like tons of people could benefit from it.

First of all taking drugs without the supervision of a professional I think that It's something a bit stupid and dangerous, even more if you get the thing from fucking India. Are you guys crazy?

Remember that you are taking and mixing drugs, even though it may seem like something harmless, you guys are hitting your nervous system and liver, and who knows what else in the long run.
Modafinil It's basically a kind of amphetamine. Plus if you get used to it, you might literally need it every time you want to concentrate. Good look avoiding going mental. No joke, look at the relationship between people in psychiatric hospitals and drugs consumption.

Personally I would completely avoid taking any chemicals to concentrate or remove stress. On the long run it will generate more and bigger problems that the ones that you are trying to solve. You have to fix the source of the problem, remove the hand from the fire instead of putting a bandage on it.

Using psychology there is a way of training your brain for better concentration with some exercise. Yes, you can train your brain like you train your muscles in the gym. I get that some people think that this exercises are a bit stupid, but they work better than what you think.

I rode that some of you use meditation, and that helps a lot. But you have to use it the right way. They are a ton of different usages for this exercise, and tons of different applications.

The right one for concentrating, is the most traditional meditation exercise. Where you try to empty your mind and concentrate. It's very simple:

1. Some people like to close their eyes, I personally like to do it with my eyes open. I concentrate on an object or a specific point in my eye view, it can be anything.

2. Then try to empty your mind, but don't force it. You might start thinking about 100 things, It's fine, just let it be, while you concentrate on that specific point.

3. At some time, your mind will start going empty and you will just be present looking at that point and doing nothing else.

That's it. Sounds really stupid but let me explain. You are basically training your focus and concentration, avoiding mental distractions and concentrating on a simple task. Basically learning to remove your mental fog while doing something.

At first you will probably get a ton of thoughts, and maybe even some feelings of discomfort. It's important that you don't try to avoid those, just let it come up, it will go away on It's own.

Then, with some practice, you will be able to just concentrate on that point without mental fog or anything else, you will be improving your focus. It might take time and a lot of sessions though, It's normal.

It's important to start small, like in the gym, if you've never done it before. First put a timer for like 10-15 min, and don't do more sessions for the day. Then, the next day, add 2-3 min, and keep going like that. Everyone is different and it will take different amounts of time, but after a while, maybe weeks, maybe months. You will be able to do the exercise for 30 min, one hour, two hours, three hours and as long as you want. It's literally like going to the gym, but training your brain concentration.

After all of this you will increase the amount of time that you can work without any mental distraction or mental fog at all. Keep in mind that you will be able to use your brain with more focus and concentration, but you have to keep doing it to be in shape. If you stop, you will slowly lose it, like if you stop going to the gym, you lose those muscles.

And as muscle mass, you might find a limit. It's normal that if you work for like 4-8 hours straight, your mental stamina will go down and will be harder to concentrate. The only thing you can do is rest. Like you can't workout at the gym for the entire day.

You might find patterns of stamina, and levels will go up and down, like your muscle shape. It's completely normal, we usually are more awake in the morning, that's why I try to take important decisions before mid-day. It happened to me that I liked some design at night, but then in the morning I though that it was a bit stupid. Or when I play chess, in the morning I win waaay more games, than at night.