Clearing the Cloud: Understanding Brain Fog During Perimenopause

Clearing the Cloud: Understanding Brain Fog During Perimenopause

If you’re over 40 and female, chances are you’re using post-it notes to get through each day. Whether it's remembering to pick up some milk, feed the dog or pick up the kids, some things just slip on by like the thought was never there at all. 

Along with the well-known symptoms like hot flashes and irregular periods, you might be experiencing something a bit less talked about but just as real—brain fog. That fuzzy feeling where concentration and memory seem a bit off? The very important task that's suddenly disappeared....the name of a close friend you've known for years is on the tip of your tongue....running through each pet/child/husband name until the one you want pops up. Yep, that’s brain fog.

Let’s look into what’s causing it and how you can clear the clouds.

Hormonal Fluctuations:

Let’s talk hormones. During perimenopause, your oestrogen and progesterone levels are on a bit of a rollercoaster ride. Oestrogen, in particular, plays a big role in how your brain works, affecting everything from memory to focus. When these hormone levels dip and dive, it can leave you feeling mentally foggy.

Sleep Disruptions:

Sleep, glorious sleep! As we say here at Eir, a glorious day ahead comes with great sleep hygiene. But…if you’re like many other women, you’re dealing with insomnia or disrupted sleep patterns during perimenopause. Those 3am wake-ups that have you staring at the ceiling for hours recalling every little thing you said the day before…. Quality sleep is essential for clear thinking and memory. When your sleep is off, your cognitive functions can take a hit, making that brain fog even thicker.

Stress and Cortisol:

Let’s face it, life can be stressful, the mental load is real and perimenopause can add another layer. Hormonal changes can affect your body’s stress response, leading to higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. High cortisol levels can mess with your brain, adding to that foggy feeling.

Vascular Changes:

Did you know oestrogen also helps keep your blood vessels in tip-top shape? As oestrogen levels drop, it can affect blood flow to the brain. Less blood flow can mean more brain fog. It’s all connected.

But what can you do? Here are a few friendly tips to help lift the fog:

Embrace a Calm Mind:

Stress management is key. Try mindfulness practices, yoga, or meditation to keep cortisol levels in check.

Move Your Body:

Regular exercise boosts blood flow to your brain and helps balance hormones. Get out for a walk with friends, grab some weights or download some yoga.

Prioritise Sleep:

Create a peaceful bedtime routine to improve sleep quality. Stop the doomscrolling before bedtime and enjoy some screen-free wind-down time. Read a book, write in a journal or simply think of three things that gave you joy that day.


Think about what you are eating, particularly at night. Drop the chocolate (full of sugar and caffeine) and fatty foods. Always aim to not go to bed with a full stomach and if you can give yourself two hours at least between dinner and bedtime.


Ginko Biloba is a great ingredient to help promote blood flow to the brain. It is known to improve cognition and memory. You can find in Show Up.

Seek Support:

If it all gets too much, don’t hesitate to talk to your healthcare provider about what you’re experiencing. They can offer personalised advice and discuss options like hormone therapy if needed.

With a little self-care and support, you can clear the brain fog and shine brightly through perimenopause and beyond.



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