5 Bad Habits That Damage Your Brain
5 Bad Habits That Damage Your Brain
Do your habits affect the functioning of the master organ of your body? Does your behaviour influence the cerebral activities? The human brain is referred to as the “crowning achievement of evolution” by scientists. It is a unique organ with 100 billion cells controlling the entire body system. Your habitual actions have an impact on your brain, either in a good or a bad way. Most people are not aware of the undesirable consequences of their bad habits. If you want to increase your brain power, let go of the five negative habits that curtails your progress, right now.
Are you someone who sleeps by covering your head? If yes, you will think it over after learning the following fact. Research proves that sleeping beneath the covers can damage your brain. Some studies show that 23% of individuals who bury their heads, say, under a sheet or a pillow during a nap have higher risk of developing dementia or even Alzheimer’s disease, which are chronic ailments. These conditions mostly arise due to lack of oxygen supply to your brain. So it is advisable to not cover your head while sleeping. Additionally, covering your head blocks the air passage, where you end up rebreathing the air you exhale which is predominantly CO2 compared to the level of O2. So, uncover your head to breathe in fresh air during sleep.
At some point of your life, you might have wondered, ‘Do I really need to sleep?’ Sleep is thought of as a resting time for your body and mind, whereas in reality, it is the most active period. Chronic lack of sleep may also result in individuals having an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders. Sleep is one mechanism that helps enhance your memory. So, continuous lack of sleep affects your storage capacity, making it difficult to memorise everything. During slumber, the brain functions to eliminate the toxins and by- products that accumulate throughout the day. Lack of sleep significantly increases the buildup of ‘waste’ substances and may damage your brain very badly. There is a solution! 7-8 hours of quality uninterrupted sleep every day, is all you need to restore the activities of the brain. If you are not a sound sleeper, practice a few evening routines that help you to doze off peacefully.
The third habit that damages your brain is dehydration. Two thirds of the human body contains water which is necessary for all bodily functions. Hence, dehydration may lead to various health issues like migraine, constipation, or even kidney stones, and also affects your mood and brain functions. Anxiety, fatigue and getting easily irked are the symptoms of dehydration. When dehydrated, what happens to your brain? 3/4 of the human brain is made of water, and a lack of water shrinks the brain in volume, which causes a headache. A study conducted in 2013 shows that a mild or temporary dehydration affects your brain adversely and can have a toll on your temperament for the day. Therefore unable to put in maximum effort, the graph of your work and performance may show a steep drop. If you envisage a steady recovery, all you have to do is rehydrate yourself! Drinking water, especially cold water, within 20 minutes reverse the negative effects and restore your brain to its full capacity.
How stressed are you? There are two types of stress: acute stress and chronic stress. Acute stress occurs as a result of an immediate threat, basically a fight or flight situation. Whereas, chronic stress is dangerous, because it lasts for a long period of time. Cortisol released remains in your body the entire day and may result in weight gain, upset your digestive system, create hormonal imbalance, and in extreme cases, diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer. Stress also affects your adrenal glands, leaving you exhausted. Even a healthy brain is also affected, leading to memory loss, brain fog, anxiety and sometimes it even alters the DNA structure. So it is of optimum importance to manage your stress every day.
The final point is lack of mental stimulation and exercise. If you lead a dynamic and energetic life, chances are more that your brain will also be lively. Your age is not a limiting factor for your mental health. An active memory is the result of an active brain. So make sure that you are constantly motivating and educating yourself to engage in new things. Few tips to keep your brain active are, to read more and widen your imagination, avoid self-isolation and stay socially active by conversing with people as it stimulates your brain, try learning new courses be it online or in-person. Constantly challenge and push yourself to try more. You will rediscover a new persona, who is all set to live a vibrant and exotic life.
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