….That You Must Stop Immediately
The human brain is a truly complex and mysterious organ that never ceases to amaze us. The typical brain accounts for 2% of your body weight, but it uses 20% of its total energy and oxygen intake. Brain health depends on numerous factors including your lifestyle. Even your habits play a role, but sometimes we’re not even aware that some habits have a negative impact on brain functioning. This article outlines nine brain damaging habits you repeat on a daily basis.
- You eat too much sugar
We tend to eat way too much sugar than we’re supposed to, it is a well-known fact. High intake of sugar leads to weight gain, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and it is bad news for your brain as well. The Alzheimer’s and Dementia published a study which found that participants who consumed more sweetened drinks had weaker memory and reduced overall brain volume compared to people who didn’t drink those sugar-laden beverages. A separate research from the Stroke discovered that excessive consumption of sugary beverages increases the risk of stroke and dementia. Instead of sweetened drinks and munching on candies, opt for healthier alternatives.
- You don’t drink enough water
Water is essential for our overall health and wellbeing, but we don’t drink enough during the day. The brain is 73% water, meaning you need to stay hydrated to support brain health and functioning. Evidence shows that it takes only 2% dehydration to affect your attention, memory, and other cognitive skills. Most of us drink water only when we feel thirsty, but by that time your body is already somewhat dehydrated. Strive to drink about eight glasses of water a day, set up reminders or download an app, so you don’t forget.,
- You cover your head while sleeping
Sleeping with head covered reduces oxygen intake at night which can lead to brain injuries and memory loss. Although you don’t experience lightheadedness because you’re asleep, your brain does. For example, only five minutes without oxygen can cause brain damage or cerebral hypoxia. If you cover your head, so the light doesn’t wake you up in the morning, you should consider getting an eye mask.
Smoking is a bad habit with harmful effects on your body and brain. A growing body of evidence confirms that smoking has a negative impact on learning and retaining information. The journal Age and Ageing published results of the study which discovered that smoking, basically, rots your brain by damaging memory, reasoning, and learning. Although many people are aware smoking is unhealthy, they believe quitting is impossible. Of course, it’s not the easiest thing in the world, but with strong willpower, support, and proper guidance you can do it. The best way to stop with unhealthy habit is to slowly replace it with healthy behavior.
Overeating is yet another common habit that endangers our entire health. Besides weight gain, higher risk of joint pain (due to excess weight) and heart disease, overeating can also affect your brain health. High caloric intake over time may enhance the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment or memory loss later in life. One reason we eat way too much is due to adherence to the unhealthy diet. Processed and junk foods make you feel full, but before you know it you’re hungry again. Instead, eat a well-balanced diet abundant in different nutrients and fiber which acts as an appetite suppressant and keeps you full for longer.
- You don’t talk much
Yes, believe it or not, this is true! Some people talk a lot, while others don’t. They say silence is golden, but it’s not that good for brain health. According to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO), people who don’t talk much are at risk of suffering brain damage. Why? The cells become dormant, thus making the brain shrink. On the other hand, engaging in conversations, particularly intellectual, strengthens the brain and improves its functionality. One study found that during conversation our brains sync up, which could explain how we retain information. One of the easiest ways to improve memory and other cognitive skills is to talk more and engage in intellectual conversations.
- You don’t get enough sleep
How much sleep do you usually get? Sleep deprivation is considered a public health concern with serious implications for your health. For example, lack of good night’s rest can cause parts of the brain’s synapses to be “eaten” by other brain cells. Moreover, sleep deprivation increases plaques in the brain, thus raising the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. A study from the Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment found that sleep deprivation impairs attention, working memory, long-term memory, and decision-making. Establish a regular sleep pattern and make sure you get at least seven hours a sleep at night.
- You love sedentary lifestyle too much
Sure, it’s easy to sit on a sofa all day and binge-watch TV or Netflix, but it’s not good for your waist size or overall health. Plus, preferring sedentary lifestyle instead of being active is bad for the brain as well. One research showed that physical inactivity remodels your brain and changes the shape of neurons while a separate study found that sedentary lifestyle impairs self-reparative processes in your brain. It is important to mention that lack of physical activity is linked to poor cognitive performance, too.
- Working while ill
Do you belong to the group of people who take some rest when they’re ill, or you force your brain to work or study anyway? If your answer is the latter, you have to ditch this brain-damaging habit. Pushing through illness can decrease your efficacy, and it will take longer for you to recover. When you’re not feeling well, take some time to recover.
Brain health is influenced by multiple factors including lifestyle. Some habits that we think are entirely harmless can jeopardize our health and brain’s functioning at the same time. This article featured nine of those habits and altering them into a healthier behavior can do wonders for your cognitive performance.
Ella James is a passionate blogger as well as a nutrition, beauty and skin care enthusiast since 4 years. She is has contributed subjective articles to various social media platforms. Ella currently lives and works in Miami, Florida. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn