What’s The Difference Between Brain Fog & Being Tired? Here’s How To Tell If Your Confusion Is A Sign Of Something More Serious

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Brain fog can be a frustrating experience where mental clarity and focus go out the proverbial window. Brain fog can run along a spectrum of mild mental fatigue, to serious problems concentrating and can interfere with your ability to complete daily tasks. For anyone who’s ever gone to work after a night of less than stellar sleep, this may be a familiar feeling. But what if you’re still unable to concentrate after repaying your sleep debt?

“There’s no question that being overtired makes it temporarily harder to concentrate,” Mary Shomon, Thyroid Fresh advisory board member, tells Bustle. “Brain fog, however, is different in that it often doesn’t improve with a good night’s sleep.”

“Brain fog isn’t a single diagnosis, but more the resulting condition from a variety of causes,” Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, a Harvard- and Yale-trained ER doctor and author of Mom Hacks, tells Bustle via email. “While sleep deprivation can make it worse, we often see it in systemic conditions that cause the underlying problem … the key solution is to target and treat the primary condition.”

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