5 Bad Habits That Are Harming Your Brain

human brain

5 Bad Habits That Are Harming Your Brain

There might be things that you do on a day-to-day basis that can harm your brain. They may be the kinds of foods that you eat, the activities that you choose to do on your days off, or the routines that you think are normal, safe, and harmless. For good brain health, you should closely examine your lifestyle habits, and assess if they are actually not negatively affecting your cognitive abilities and brain functions.

The following are examples of common bad habits that you should strive to eliminate from your usual everyday routine for a sharp and quick brain:

  1. Drinking too much soda

Are you aware of how much sugar there is in sodas? A regular-size, 12-ounce Coke can contains about 39 grams of sugar. That is over the recommended daily sugar requirement by health professionals, which is about 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women.

So, if you drink even just one can of soda per day, you are already going over your sugar allowance for the day. And, if you do it daily, the excess sugar accumulates in your body and makes you prone to different kinds of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and hypertension.

Too much sugar intake can also harm your brain. In order to function right, your brain needs to be fed the right amount of sugar everyday. However, subjecting it constantly to excessive sugar levels can lead to poor cognition, sugar addiction, dementia, depression, impaired memory, and increased tension.

  1. Sitting all day

couch potatoDo you have a desk job and just sit on your chair for almost the entirety of your shift? Many studies have found that sitting for too long has negative effects on a person’s health. If you sit too much, you become prone to high blood pressure, high body fat, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol levels. These conditions can lead to more severe problems that include heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.

Moreover, prolonged periods of sitting have negative effects on the brain too, as one study found. According to data gathered, sedentary behavior can lead to the thinning of the brain’s medial temporal lobe, which can cause cognitive decline and dementia. And, what’s worse is that, even if high intensity physical activities are done to try to fix the problem, the damage that has already been created cannot be reversed anymore.

  1. Not socializing

Do you love spending time on your own? Having alone time is crucial to building mental strength, relaxing your mind and body, and improving creativity, empathy, and productivity. However, if done too much, it can harm not only your relationships but your brain as well.

A study conducted by the University of Michigan found that men and women, both young and old, who found the time to interact with their family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors gave more impressive results on cognitive tests in comparison to those that did not speak, talk, or socialize.

For the benefit of your brain, you should make an effort to reach out to your family members and circle of friends to keep up with what’s happening with their lives and share updates about your life too. You should try to take part in your office’s Christmas party or happy hour, or look into joining a sports or volunteering club in your community to engage in face-to-face conversations and have human contact.

  1. Not getting enough sleep

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night for some reason you are not aware of? A lot of people find themselves spending hours and hours in bed waiting for sleep to come, only to glance at the clock and see that it is already morning and they have to go to work or school again in a just a few hours. If this happens frequently, your brain will suffer and leave you incapable of performing at your best.

Lack of sleep can affect your mood, make you get irritated or annoyed easily, and weaken your focus and memory. Furthermore, it makes you more likely to develop high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

To enjoy enough sleep every night, you must avoid habits that make sleeping difficult, such as drinking coffee at night or late in the afternoon, long naps during the day, eating too much for dinner, having different bedtimes and wake up times every day, and sleeping on a dirty bed. You should also try to improve your sleeping area by having blackout curtains to cover the windows, maintaining a cool but comfortable temperature in the room, and taking a warm shower or bath before jumping into bed.

  1. Heavy drinking

brain and alcoholDo you love to go drinking after work to relax and unwind? If you like to frequent bars and pubs, you should try to minimize your visits there starting now because many studies have proven that excessive alcohol consumption is detrimental to the brain.

When you get drunk, you suffer from blurred vision, impaired memory, difficulty walking, slurred speech, and delayed reaction times. Over time, as you continue the habit of getting drunk and experience more blackout episodes and memory lapses, you become prone to brain deficits that can lead to serious brain damage. Furthermore, drinking too much alcohol is hazardous to your liver, and can cause liver dysfunction that can lead to liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, and others.

To avoid ruining your brain and other vital organs, you should follow the dietary guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, regarding alcohol consumption. According to them, as long as a man drinks 2 drinks or less per day or a woman drinks at most 1 drink per day, their risk of disorders and diseases brought about by alcohol is low. However, if a man drinks over 4 drinks a day or more than 14 a week or a woman drinks more than 3 drinks a day or over 7 a week, they are categorized as high-risk and are advised to cut down their intake as soon as possible.