When it comes to our health, we do not always think about taking care of our brains the way we take care of our bodies. We tend to focus on other parts of the body and overlook the brain which is responsible for all bodily functions. If you are concerned with the well being of your brain and the quality of your thinking either now or in the future you need to learn to take care of your brain. Take a look at some of these daily habits that damage your brain.
Consuming Excess Sugar
Taking sugar in excess amounts for a long period of time messes with the body’s ability to absorb proteins and nutrients. This might consequently lead to malnutrition which deters brain development. This happens because the body lacks enough nutrients in the bloodstream and therefore is unable to deliver sufficient nutrients to the brain, which then deters its growth and development. Eating excess sugar can damage your memory and ability to think. So sticking to alternatives like anti-oxidant rich sweets like dark chocolate and ripe fruits would be much better choice.
Insufficient sleep is a huge problem for many busy professionals. Depriving oneself of sleep can result in several issues such as extreme daytime drowsiness, depression and impaired memory. Recent studies reveal that not getting enough sleep can actually decrease the size of your brain. The hippocampus is the part of the brain that suffers when you do not get enough sleep. Even a single night of inadequate sleep can interfere with the brain’s ability to recall new information. The brain cleanses itself of toxins only during the sleep cycle. Lack of sleep can also cause the death of brain cells which slows down your thinking, impairs your memory, concentration, judgement and decision making and hinders learning.
Loud Music with Earphones/Headphones
Playing loud music with earphones or headphones is one of the bad habits that damage brain. People naturally tend to raise the volume as it makes the music sound more fun and immersive. If you constantly listen to music at a very high volume with your earphones/headphones you should stop doing it because it can damage your hearing. But it is not just your ears that are affected. Hearing loss in older people is connected to brain problems such as loss of brain tissue and Alzheimer’s. You should aim to take regular breaks throughout the day to give your ears enough time to relax.
Many people choose to skip breakfast probably because they are on diet or to save time, but it is a habit that damage brain. The body needs enough nutrients after a good nights sleep and so skipping breakfast denies the brain of these essential nutrients. People who frequently skipped breakfast increased their chances of having a stoke and high blood pressure. Also studies have shown that children who took breakfast on a regular basis perform much better in school than those who do not. Skipping breakfast lowers blood glucose levels which adversely affect the brain’s functioning.
Over indulging in food makes us gain weight and is a habit that damage brain. It hardens the brain arteries hence harming our mental capabilities. Studies have shown that a prolonged high calorie diet can in fact increase a persons risk of developing memory loss or Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) later in life.
Covering your head when sleeping
Sleeping with your head under the cover comes under one of the habits that damage brain. Oxygen is essential for normal brain functioning. The less air you inhale, the poorer your brain functions. Covering your head when sleeping result in an elevated intake of carbon dioxide which means you are increasing the risk of damaging your brain cells.
You have probably heard that multitasking has a negative effect on your productivity. It turns out that doing this also scrambles your brain and makes you less effective. This is because our brain is not wired to multitask well. When people think they are multitasking, they are actually switching from one activity to the other real quick. The habit of multitasking also increases the stress hormone Cortisol as well as the fight or flight hormone Adrenaline which can overstimulate your brain and can cause mental fog or scrambled thinking.
Inadequate Water Intake
The body is made up of approximately 70% of water, so it is vital to every bodily function including brain function. When your brain is functioning on a full reserve of water, you will be able to think faster, be more focused and experience greater clarity and creativity. Water is also essential for delivering nutrients to the brain and for eliminating toxins. When the brain is fully hydrated, the exchange of nutrients and toxins will be more efficient, thus ensuring better concentration and mental alertness.
Smoking is one of the most harmful habits that damage brain. It not only causes lung diseases or even heart disease, but it also has a lot of negative effects on your brain. Smoking damages cell membranes and neural viability in certain areas of the brain that manage balance, coordination and both fine and gross motor skills. Not only that, but it also thins the cortex where processes such as languages, memory and perception occur. It can also lead to problems like dementia, Alzheimer’s and maybe death.
Alcohol begins affecting a person’s brain the moment it enters the bloodstream. For someone who drinks excessively, the liver cannot filter the alcohol fast enough, and this triggers immediate changes in the brain, often known as getting drunk. Alcohol causes chemical imbalances when consumed for longer periods of time and larger quantities. Brain volume also decreases due to chronic alcohol intake.
Exercise affects the brain immensely. It increases your heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain. It also helps in the bodily release of a number of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a conducive environment for the growth of brain cells. Exercising is also known to decrease stress levels in the body and also increases mobility, making you more flexible.