Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which an individual has difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. Insomnia affects daytime functioning and is often associated with anxiety and depression. Many things can cause insomnia, but often it is a symptom of a medical or psychological disorder. Diet and lifestyle choices and medications and substances such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol are the major triggers of insomnia. A recent study of people with sleep disorders showed that it can cause many health problems, including increased irritability, difficulties concentrating, and cognitive deficits. In addition, people with the condition were unable to focus on anything. These health problems can cause many problems in a person’s life. There are many ways to treat insomnia, including behavioral therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and medications. Talking to your doctor is the best way to determine which treatment is best for you.
General Health Problems
Because many other chronic medical conditions can also be at the root of attention difficulties, we’ve included a list of those illnesses below—chronic physical disorders which can cause your mind to drift and become easily fatigued. Remember that this doesn’t always happen, but it’s good to know if you notice any symptoms coming on gradually.
8. Restless Leg Syndrome
Restless leg syndrome starts from a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors. People with restless leg syndrome have a build-up of the neurotransmitter called dopamine. It is thought that an imbalance of dopamine contributes to this neurological problem. Restless leg syndrome is a disorder that creates unpleasant sensations and urges to move the legs. Restless leg syndrome often interferes with a person’s ability to sleep, leading to extreme fatigue the following day. RLS people often find it hard to fall asleep, do their daily tasks, concentrate on anything, and lack focus due to persistent unpleasant sensations, as RLS symptoms are unable to ignore and become more dominant over time.
9. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome, or CFS, is a medical condition defined by a set of symptoms beforehand, including extreme tiredness and difficulty recovering from activity, muscle pain, joint pain that feels worse than normal after exercise, or being overwhelmed by mental activities. Experts haven’t yet uncovered the causes of CFS, which is idiopathic. Chronic fatigue syndrome and dysfunctional focus seem to be closely related. According to research, chronic fatigue syndrome, especially in adolescents, is associated with impaired memory and concentration.
Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries. They occur when there is an impact on the head that affects the brain. In the early stages of a concussion, a person loses mental awareness. In addition to lack of focus, concussions in the brain can cause complications like headaches, migraines, and lightheadedness.
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28. Obsession with Multitasking
The art of multitasking is essential, but practicing it excessively can damage your productivity. When juggling multiple tasks, it is easy to lose focus, and you lose focus and attention on important things. Constantly switching your attention from one thing to another also drains your brain and delays your ability to process information.
29. Wasting Time
The brain functions best when it is organized and prioritized. Thus, if you neglect all your deadlines and watch endless episodes of your favorite Netflix shows, you lose focus because you are wasting time. You need a lot of time to train your brain to focus on the essentials and work orderly. But how can you decide which issues are really essential? That’s for you to decide. Spending all your time procrastinating or doing useless activities will easily lead to your brain wandering away from the point of focus.
When you can’t focus, it might be due to not eating enough and at the correct time. Just as your body needs fuel, your brain does too. If you are skipping meals, following a harsh diet, or not maintaining a healthy diet, this can be detrimental to your brain’s ability to concentrate.
31. Carbohydrate Overload
Sugar is the primary fuel for the brain to keep the neurons going, but too much of anything can be bad. Memory and cognitive functions are affected by excessive sugar levels in the body. Neuroinflammation caused by too much sugar disrupts regular cognitive functions such as focus and concentration.
Be mindful about how many devices you are using simultaneously. Having multiple devices on you can be a major distraction and make you feel exhausted and overwhelmed by the amount of information. So when there are too many things demanding your attention simultaneously, you feel exhausted or overwhelmed, right? Just one thing at a time. Your attention should be focused on one thing at a time without jumping around in every direction possible.
33. Wrong Work Environment
If you cannot focus on your work, you are probably not in the right working zone. Every worker has their own preferences, and one work environment isn’t right for all. The work environment may be too noisy, too hot, too cold, too busy, or too silent for your taste. In cases where your work environment is incompatible with you and it prevents you from fulfilling your responsibilities, it’s high time to take responsibility and adjust it so that it works for you. Wear earplugs at work when the environment is too loud!
34. Nature-Deficit Disorder
Today we are way too busy to put additional effort into our mental well-being. You probably spend most of your days busy with work, staying indoors, or spending all your time on the couch. Not spending time outdoors can greatly impair your concentration and focus. According to studies, interacting with nature for hours can boost memory and concentration by up to 20%.
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Try Helpful Apps
There are many useful applications to help you improve your focus and concentration when studying, doing math, or working on any other tasks. Try the following valuable apps:
- Cold Turkey
Focus and concentration can be improved through meditation, a proven technique that dates back thousands of years. Meditation has the greatest benefit of reducing stress, which enhances the brain’s function. Meditation activates the phase known as ‘Alpha Brain Waves,’ which helps you focus better and increase your attention span.
Practice Active Listening
Active listening enhances concentration and focus. You may want to try making your own Spotify playlist consisting of soothing listening tracks that can help you improve focus, or you may want to try Spotify’s focus category, which has many tracks you can listen to.
Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is an essential part of a healthy body and sleep disorders are both linked to emotional and physical problems. Brain cells are created, functions are restored, and the materials necessary to perform operations are replenished during sleep. An adult should sleep between 7-9 hours per night to function properly.
Drink Small Amounts of Coffee
Caffeine, a natural substance found in coffee, boosts cognitive abilities. The study found that taking small doses of caffeine or caffeinated beverages can improve your focus.
You can improve your focus by exercising moderately for 30 minutes to an hour, especially cardio. You can focus and concentrate better when you exercise because endorphins are chemicals that ease our stress.
The Bottom Line
It is understandable. It can be hard to stay focused in today’s fast-paced world and the forever “on” society in which we live. The sooner you begin identifying the source of your lack of focus—whether it’s medical impairment or mental disorder—the sooner you’ll start taking baby steps towards treatment and recovery! While there is no magic pill to boost your focus in an instant, there are many direct strategies, along with more indirect methods, to increase your concentration span.