Ever feel like you can’t carry a conversation with an adult for more than one minute? Forget where your keys are every day? Stare off into space and lose track of time? Call your kids (or your husband) by the wrong name? If this sounds familiar, you might have “mommy brain.”
It all starts with pregnancy brain, a very real phenomenon where your brain cell volume shrinks, your short-term memory fails, and you have problems concentrating. It continues on after your baby is born, likely as a result of lack of sleep. Half of new moms feel extremely sleepy 18 weeks after giving birth. And even worse, mommy brain can become permanent, especially if you’re a working mom.
You’ve worked out to get that pre-baby body back, now how do you get your pre-baby brain back? Here are some simple science-backed methods to relax and rewire your brain back to its former functioning self.
Timers are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to fix mommy brain. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android phone, you can create and label timers or alarms to go off to help you stay on track, everything from when to take your medications to a one hour warning before you have to pick the kids up from soccer practice. Timers on your microwave or oven can work too! Hearing the timer go off will help snap you out of “zombie mommy” mode and make sure your head is ready for the next commitment.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a natural supplement made from the hemp plant that balances your endocannabinoid system. Your endocannabinoid system, or ECS, regulates all the other neurotransmitters in your system, from serotonin to dopamine to GABA. That means if your ECS is not balanced, the rest of your brain chemicals aren’t, and you feel tired, in pain, and out of it. CBD is a powerful way to promote sleep, reduce stress, relieve pain, and fix mommy brain. CBD products come in many shapes and flavors, from CBD oil tinctures that are dropped under the tongue, to capsules that contain CBD and other natural supplements, to CBD creams and lotions. Check out mommy complex for CBD products you can rely on for quality, purity and safety.
I know. You’re already exhausted, you don’t have a babysitter, and there’s no way you’re changing into your workout clothes, getting in the car and driving to the gym for an hour-long sweat session. The good thing is that even 10 minutes of exercising at home can help get your blood pumping, wake you up, kill stress, and help you focus. Do a couple sets of jumping jacks, crunches, squats and arm presses each day whenever you have your slump (morning, lunchtime, or afternoon). Don’t even have 10 minutes to spare? Sneak in a set during your lunch break, or do a downward dog yoga pose between diaper changes. It all adds up.
This sounds like a scary chemical, but it’s actually something our body needs to create serotonin, a neurotransmitter released between brain cells that regulates sleeping, eating, sex drive, and mood. When we don’t have enough serotonin signaling, our brain chemistry is off, and we don’t sleep right and can feel depressed or anxious. Antidepressants target the serotonin system, which is why Prozac and other medications make us feel better. Taking a 5-HTP supplement may help refresh your brain’s levels of serotonin and help you focus and feel in the present moment.
Omega-3 fatty acids are a building block of our brain, reduce inflammation, and are key to healthy cholesterol levels. Omega-3s are found in high levels in fatty fish like salmon, olive oil, avocados, and walnuts, or in fish oil or krill oil supplement form. Scientists found that our body absorbs omega-3s from whole salmon better than in fish oil pill form. Be sure to grab a salmon poke bowl or bake some fish twice a week to boost brain health and fight mommy brain.
Getting your 7-9 hours a night of sleep each night is the quickest way to beat fatigue and mommy brain. The biggest complaint moms have isn’t having enough hours in the day to hit that range, but is actually around cutting out time killers—reducing things like scrolling through Instagram or binging on Netflix can give you back that precious time. Getting a good night’s sleep once you find the hours is easy when you incorporate essential oils like lavender into your sleep routine. I use the aromatherapy power of Calm Balm, a CBD cream with essential oils from lavender and eucalyptus, to relax and reduce pain that might keep me up at night.
Meditation helps brain fog, whether it comes from sleep deprivation, stress, chronic pain, or non-stop mommy duties. If you can’t find the time to get more sleep, meditation is your best friend. 5 minutes of meditation a day is equal to an extra hour of sleep. Meditation can take many forms, whether it’s sitting in silence, meditation while walking, or chanting affirmations in English or another language, like Hindi. Experiment and finds what works best for you. There’s no wrong way to meditate, the key is just making it a regular practice.
About Dr. Michele Ross
Dr. Michele Ross is a neuroscientist with fibromyalgia committed to helping patients release emotional and physical pain with cannabis, kratom, and mushrooms.
Dr. Michele Ross has been active in cannabis research and product development for over a decade. She holds a PhD in Neuroscience and an MBA, and has sat on the advisory board of companies in the tech, cannabis, mushrooms, and wellness industries. Currently she sits on the Advisory Board and serves as Wellness Director for mommy complex, the industry’s first CBD for moms, by moms.
Prior to entering the cannabis industry, she worked developing celebrity nutraceutical brands. Dr. Ross is the author of four books including Vitamin Weed: A 4-Step Plan to Prevent and Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency.
Dr. Ross is active in drug policy reform and has worked to legalized both cannabis and psilocybin mushrooms around the world. She is also the founder of Infused Health, an online platform matching clients with health coaches providing plant-assisted therapy (PAT). Dr. Ross is the creator of several courses on cannabis, including the first certification on Cannabis and Motherhood.
Fun fact: Dr. Ross was the first scientist to star on reality television, starring on CBS’s Big Brother.
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