“10 Bad Habits That Destroy Your Brain Daily” Your brain. As far as your body goes, that gooey mass between your ears is the unrivaled organ in chief—100-billion cells that collectively control basically everything your body does. But did you know that the vast majority of us are engaged in daily habits that are actually hobbling your brain’s ability to do its thing? Even worse, that many of these habits can have long-term and even catastrophic consequences?
Sadly, it’s true. But the good news is that many—if not all—of these habits can be swiftly corrected. So read on to discover the lifestyle missteps you can avoid and, in so doing, keep your mind in tip-top form
1.You’re sitting too much
Sitting too much is linked to changes in a section of the brain that is critical for memory, according to a study published in PLoS One. Staying sedentary for large chunks of time was linked to thinning of the medial temporal lobe, an area of the brain that helps with memory, critical thinking, and information processing, the researchers found. They also discovered that physical activity, even at high levels, wasn’t enough to offset the harmful effects of sitting for extended periods. Bottom line? You need to move more, more often to stop damaging your brain.
2. Poor Sleep
Sleep is critical to our well being and especially important for the health of our brain. While we sleep, our brain repairs itself. Lack of quality sleep inhibits this process, leaving the brain susceptible to damage over time. Americans are now sleeping less than ever. According to a poll conducted by the CDC, more than a third of people report sleeping less than 7 hours per night. Most people need between 7 and 8.5 hours of sleep per day for optimum overall health. Many of us can relate to having reduced cognitive function due to a poor night’s sleep. Unfortunately, the effects of poor sleep extend beyond poor focus and a short temper. Recent studies have shown that poor sleep also causes degeneration and loss of brain cells.
That said, it is far too easy to shortchange ourselves much needed sleep in the interest of increased productivity. Ironically, better sleep could improve productivity and reduce time needed to complete tasks.
3. You Blast Your Headphones
With your earbuds at full volume, you can permanently damage your hearing in only 30 minutes. But it’s not just your ears: Hearing loss in older adults is linked to brain problems, such as Alzheimer’s and loss of brain tissue. This may be because your brain has to work so hard to understand what’s being said around you that it can’t store what you’ve heard into memory. So turn it down — no louder than 60% of your device’s maximum volume — and try not to listen for more than a couple of hours at a tim
4. Googling Everything.
If you’re older than say, 35, you can probably remember a time when you had at least a dozen phone numbers committed to memory. You may also recall certain mental tricks you may have employed to help you do so, such as associating certain number sequences with the location of their keys on the dial pad, or “clustering” the numbers into groups to help you retain them. Guess what? That’s called using your brain.
In today’s connected world, we’re storing information basically everywhere else. They say google is your friend so instead of using your brains, you google everything. This habit damage your brain.
5. You prefer the couch to the gym
Sitting is a risk factor for dementia. But even if stand every hour or so, you still need to add exercise if you want to protect your brain. In a 2018 study in the journal Neurology, for example, researchers tested women’s fitness by studying their performance on stationary bikes. Women with “high cardiovascular fitness” had a dementia risk that was 88 percent lower than a “moderately fit” group of women. In addition, the study found that dementia symptoms began 11 years later in the “high fitness” group over the “medium fitness” group.
Being lonely doesn’t necessarily mean not having many friends. Sometimes even people who have many friends can be lonely. As with many things in life, here too, it’s the quality that matters. This being said, however, being alone can promote the feeling of loneliness, which causes stress and inflammatory processes in the brain. A study at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago conducted with the participation of over 100 people, all aged 80+, revealed that those who had the least social contacts were suffering from the most severe cognitive deterioration
7. You Can’t Ignore Sugar Cravings
Thinking those frosted office donuts can crush your 2 p.m. slump? According to a study in the journal Neuroscience, a Western diet (one that’s high in sugar and fat) can cause cognitive decline. While belly-busting desserts may impair your memory and thinking skills, choosing antioxidant-rich sweets like raspberries and dark chocolate is a better choice for both your brain and waistline.
8. Covering the Head While Sleeping
When you cover your head while sleeping, it not only lowers your intake of Oxygen, and that in itself is dangerous as the Oxygen is vital for the brain to function. So, if you feel like covering your head in order to prevent sounds or lighting, make sure to wear earplugs or cover your eyes with a sleeping band, and allow for your lungs to expand and breath, and thus the brain to continue functioning at its optimality
9. You Stay in the Dark Too Much
If you don’t get enough natural light, you may get depressed, and that can slow your brain. Research also shows that sunlight helps keep your brain working well.
Researchers at Stanford University have found that people who are regularly bombarded with multiple streams of digital information have more pronounced problems recalling information and paying attention when compared to people who complete one task at a time.
Research from University of London has demonstrated that that multitasking can temporarily drop IQ scores by 15 percent, while another UK study found that high multitaskers run the risk of permanently damaging their brains. Researchers discovered that multitaskers had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex, a region responsible for empathy, as well as cognitive and emotional control.
Of course, your brain’s health depends on a variety of factors. And while you can’t control your genetical predisposition, you do have control over other things that can help you stay healthy. We want to encourage you to take care of your brain’s health and understand how important it is for your well-being. Your brain really is the most precious friend you have – treat it that way: a happy brain means a happy you.