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What Impacts Focus?

If we turn back the clocks decades ago, we did not know the terms “Attention Deficit Disorder (“ADD”) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”).  I am certain most of you over 50 year olds out there, similar to me, remember kids in our schools that couldn’t seem to sit down and constantly had to move.  Additionally, those kids did not perform well in their studies.  Fast forward to current times, and you will be hard pressed to find someone you don’t know (including perhaps yourself) that is taking Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse or Concerta for ADD or ADHD.  

All of us would like to have a better level of focus.  Having a higher level of focus allows us to complete tasks more efficiently and quickly.  However, when does “focus” or the lack thereof, constitute a medical diagnosis of ADD or ADHD?  I see many medical patients well into their middle age years that tell me that focus difficulties have been present since they were children and well before treatments were available.

There are many factors that can adversely affect our focus and limit our ability to concentrate, which are all associated with memory impairment:

  • Sleep hygiene.
  • Poor diet.
  • Dehydration.
  • Physical inactivity.
  • Hunger.
  • Sedating antihistamines.
  • Painkillers
  • Other neurochemically impacting medications
  • Depression and anxiety

Does poor weight control impact the ability to focus?  Poor sleep patterns are seen with higher frequency in people with poor weight control.  Other than medications and neurochemical imbalances, poor sleep may be one of the most important contributing components to focusing abilities.

By no means am I suggesting that obesity is the major cause of attention deficit.  However, there is no doubt that shedding the weight can only help with improving focus.

And here is Ariana Grand singing her hit, “Focus”:

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