Why Your Brain is Working Slower


Have you noticed your brain is a bit sluggish lately? It probably is, whether you know it or not, three major factors are probably affecting how your brain is operating. They are all fairly easy to fix so fear not!

Your Sleep is Kind of Crazy

We’re in the darkest part of our year. The lack of light because of  early sunset and clouds reduces the natural “happy hormones” in our brain. As a result, we can feel sluggish earlier than we should.

Further, that inactivity can result in more inactivity. So what can we do? Increase your light diet! Try to go places with lots of light in the early afternoon. Turn on more lights. Buy full spectrum lights and try to get outside more.

Your Sugar and Fat Diet

The National Institute of Health has compiled a number of studies that show that three weeks of saturated fats and sugar in rats reduce the ability to learn new tasks.

Further, higher grades, learning and test scores were associated with an increase in naturally occurring Omega-3s. Lastly, saturated fats are a key that open up the S1RT2 (Silent Information Regulator 2 Hormones) that keep depression low and energy high.

What’s the bottom line? Holiday eating with saturated fats and sugars makes our brains sluggish. A few quick changes will help: eat more nuts, drink a green smoothie with kale a few times a week and increase seafood intake.

Your Holiday Stress

When we’re overwhelmed, it’s more difficult to organize tasks. Our brains do best when we have one task. Researchers have found that “multitasking” is actually just quickly switching from one task to another. So, if you have a priority, focus on that priority. If you have holiday shopping, schedule it into your calendar.

Taking time to plan to achieve your goals will server you more than trying to do it all at once.

This time of year is tough. Our brains often feel tired because of  sleep and light changes. Our eating tends to be the opposite of what our brains need. We stress ourselves out by taking on too much and believing that we can multi-task. So this December, let’s take some time to optimize our brain and feel good!

Slow brain image available from Shutterstock
Why Your Brain is Working Slower

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC

Joseph Sanok

Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC teaches consultants how to become better consultants through his website Joe also helps counselors with growing private practices through his website He also loves sailing and playing with his two daughters.


APA Reference
Sanok, J. (2015). Why Your Brain is Working Slower. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2020, from


Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 30 Dec 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Dec 2015
Published on All rights reserved.