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Dealing with Brain Fog in Early Sobriety

Dealing with Brain Fog in Early Sobriety

Patients in our PHP treatment center going through the early stages of addiction recovery often complain that they do not feel like themselves.  They may struggle to remember things or feel like their thinking has gotten fuzzy. These are both normal responses in recovery and could be a sign of brain fog.

What is Brain Fog?

Brain fog is a common withdrawal symptom that includes the inability to think clearly and impaired cognitive abilities. It is the most common for people in the early stages of alcohol addiction treatment who are still going through withdrawal. Like other withdrawal symptoms, brain fog will start to go away with time and patients should see improvements the longer they are in recovery.

Brain fog symptoms in recovery include:

  • Poor concentration
  • Memory problems
  • Racing thoughts
  • Inability to focus for long periods of time
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Feeling disoriented
  • Repetitive thinking
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Trouble learning new things
  • General feeling of fuzziness

How to Get Rid of Brain Fog in Early Recovery

Dealing with brain fog in early sobriety is frustrating, but there are some things you can do to try and minimize the effects of brain fog and help it go away faster.


One of the best ways to clear brain fog in recovery is to get better sleep. Insomnia is another common withdrawal symptom, but lack of sleep can impair cognition even further and make brain fog worse. Focus on creating a healthy sleep routine in recovery and sticking to it. When you are getting quality sleep, you will likely see a decrease in brain fog in recovery.


If you are struggling with racing thoughts, trouble concentrating, or disorganized thinking, meditation may be a big help. Meditation can improve focus as well as overall cognitive abilities. If you are struggling to sit still, start slowly with breathing exercises or yoga and work your way up to longer meditation sessions.


Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle post-addiction, but it can also be good to help with brain fog. Exercise has been proven to decrease fatigue, improve memory, boost mood, reduce stress, improve thinking skills and lead to better sleep.1 All of these benefits can help decrease brain fog in recovery.

Healthy Diet

Another important part of dealing with brain fog in recovery is changing your diet. A healthy diet is not only good for your physical health but can also boost mood and improve brain function.2 You should also focus on drinking a lot of water to avoid dehydration that can make brain fog in recovery worse.

At our Pompano substance abuse treatment center, we understand that recovery comes with many hurdles. We want to help people not only overcome these challenges, but also thrive in their post-treatment lives.

If you or a loved one has a substance abuse problem, but has yet to get help, call us today at 888-280-4763.



  1. Harvard Health Publishing-Regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory, thinking skills
  2. Harvard Health Publishing-  Nutritional psychiatry: Your brain on food
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.