The season of exam stress is here with parents and kids busy preparing to overcome brain fog and staying alert. Everyone goes through the feeling of getting a little fuzzy and nervous. But if your child suffers from a frequently fogging brain, you need to step in. Read on to understand when to do so and how you can help your child.
What is Brain fog?
Those suffering from brain fog have trouble concentrating, and they often get a little detached. They forget things like where a book is kept, or where their pens are. Worse, they may forget the answers to questions they have learnt well, causing more problems during exams. Attention span is short and the lack of concentration can make the kids even more nervous.
Brain fog is simply a foggy brain with lack of clarity, poor memory, confusion and poor concentration power.
What causes this, especially during exam times?
Wrong food : Kids are so tense that they eat very little or they overeat. The brain needs all three macro-nutrient groups: proteins for neurotransmitter production, complex carbohydrates for steady glucose levels and healthy fats- to function under stress. Skipping meals or eating less during exams can leave them with a foggy brain. So can eating a large meal.
Solution: Staying away from processed food can help. Both artificial sweeteners and monosodium glutamate are known neuro toxins that can cause brain fog and other brain related problems like headaches, mood swings, dizziness, anxiety and depression.lack of sleep of a child.
Electrolyte imbalance: Brain neurons or cell actions depends on electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Low potassium levels in the blood can cause confusion.
Solution: Parent should maintain an optimum salt and sugar level in the kid by giving them foods that are rich in both. Bananas, kiwi, prunes, sweet potato are an excellent source of potassium. Also, a child must take enough fluids like water, fresh lime juice and coconut water.
Lack of sleep: Sleep is critical to the way the brain works. Students need at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
Stress: Children today are stressed out because they are trying too hard to remember lessons before their exams, wanting to beat peers and emerge the best. They believe that their entire life is determined by their performance.
What are the Symptoms? What should you look out for?
- Feeling lazy and sleepy
- Getting forgetful or memory loss
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Severe food cravings
- Inability to concentrate
Tripti Gupta’s tips to eat right
- Consume foods at small frequent intervals, long gaps cause a dip in energy supply.
- Avoid packaged foods with excess sugar for eg fruit juice and colas
- Avoid foods with excess salt such as chips and fries, even baked versions
- Instead opt for natural sources such as fresh fruits, dry fruits, chaas, lime juice etc
- Consume balanced meals comprising of complex carbs, proteins and essential fats.
- Virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, deep sea fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, almonds and soyabean are highly beneficial for healthy brain function during exams.
- Avoid large meals, as the oxygen supply to the brain gets diverted to digestion leaving you feeling lazy and sleepy
- Drink lots of water especially if you are seated for long hours in air conditioned rooms.
- Take small breaks every 2-3 hrs as prolonged period of forced concentration may also fog the brain and memory power.
- Do not follow any crash diets, healthy wholesome small meals are recommended to keep the brain active.
Life lessons a parent can teach to help the kids clear their minds during exams
- Give balanced meals to your child including plenty of bright colored fruits, nuts, fresh vegetables and grains.
- Insist on short outdoor activities like going for a walk, cycling, swimming, or any ball game.
- Allow them to read a book or talk to a friend to relax.
- At least 6 hours of sleep without interruption.
- Stop them from eating packaged, ready-to-eat food and fries
- Teach them to think positive
- Teach them to treat these exams, and any future exams, as stepping stones. It is a road to the next step, and not a destination in itself.
Wishing all the students Good luck for the exams! Do well, pace yourself and keep calm. Stay focused…Stay iPink
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