20 Daily Habits That Damage Your Brain

20 Daily Habits That Can Damage Your Brain

The brain is one of the essential organs that helps our body to function. It sends messages to other parts of the body to enhance the functioning of other body parts.

A damaged brain can cause many health issues and may affect your memory and your ability to think.

A lot of things we do daily can ruin our brain. These habits need to be avoid to ensure a healthy and effective brain.

In this article, I have covered 20 of these habits that can cause damage to your brain and things you should do to have a healthy brain.

Habits That Can Damage Your Brain

1. Overeating

Eating when you’re hungry is something we do every day. However, when you continue eating even after you have reached your limit, that's overeating.

Overeating is an unhealthy habit that can cause harm to your health. Eating more than you should cause the brain arteries to harden, leading to decreased mental capabilities.

If you're always hungry, maybe it's time to have a chat with your doctor.

2. Air Pollution

Living in polluted environs can be detrimental to your overall health. Although this is not entirely your fault or even a habit, inhaling polluted air lowers the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain. This prevents the brain from function properly

3. Sleeping With Your Head Covered

What comes to mind when you have your head covered – insufficient air? Yeah, that’s right! And that’s exactly what happens when you cover your head with either a blanket or a cloth.

You end up breathing in more carbon dioxide than breathing in oxygen. Not getting the amount of oxygen your brain needs can damages your brain cells. (1)

4. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Insufficient time of rest gets you into serious health problems. Tiredness, heart disease among others are just part of those problems. Your brain is another organ that suffers when you’re not getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation speeds the rate at which brain cells die as well as not being able to cleanse toxins.

5. Forgoing Breakfast

Forgetting or avoiding breakfast is another habit can damage your brain. Avoiding breakfast can be extremely detrimental to your brain and your health in general. It leads to low blood sugar.

The brain also depends on breakfast to supply nutrients for proper functioning. Depriving your brain the needed nutrients can reduce faculties. (2)

6. Chewing Gum

In 2012, a study found that chewing gum can impair short term memory for both item order and item identity. Although there have been some benefits of chewing gum like reducing stress among others, when it comes to matters of the brain, one must be careful with how often they chew gum.

Scientist at Cardiff University also found out that people who chew gum were less able to spot missing items.

7. Too Much Sugar

Consuming too much sugar will not only result in type 2 diabetes or dental cavities but can also damage your brain. Eating too much sugar interrupts the absorption of nutrients and protein and may even lead to malnutrition which affects the brain directly because of its disadvantage on brain development. (3)

8. Too Much Salt

Most of us know that excessive salt intake may lead to high blood pressure. However, what we do not know is its effect on the brain. High intake of salt leads to cognitive deficits and may also cause an increased risk of stroke.  Higher risk of stroke may also cause serious damage to your brain. (4)

9. Multitasking

Although it is assumed that multitasking is for smart individuals, people who are fond of this habit can be causing massive damage to their brain. (6)

A study from the University of London has found that people who multitask can temporarily drop IQ score by 15 percent. Meanwhile, another study suggests that multitaskers can be at risk of permanently damaging their brains.

10. Taking Too Much Alcohol

A study from the University of Oxford and College London which looked at the cognitive ability of more than 500 adults over 30 years found out that people who drank between 15 and 20 standard drinks per week were three times more likely to suffer from hippocampal atrophy – damage to the area of the brain involved in memory and spatial navigation.

11. Dehydration

Studies have also found that prolong dehydration can cause brain tissues to shrink which will limit your ability to perform executive functions such as planning and visuospatial processing.

Another research from the Harvard Medical School found that the cells in the brain tend to dry out and contract when deprived of fluid.

Now, you know the effect of not drinking enough water daily. If you're always busy at school or in the office that makes you forget about water, I recommend you get a water bottle by your side always. Looking for one? Check this.

12. Smoking

This isn’t new as most of you already know the negative effects that smoking has on your health. The American cancer society recently warns that smoking causes about 20% of death in the United States.

Studies have found that smoking can result in memory and attention deficits over time.

13. Sitting All Day

According to The Washington Post, moving muscles pump fresh blood and oxygen through the brain and which triggers the release of all sorts of brain and mood-enhancing chemicals. (7)

14. Working When Sick

Working or studying when you’re sick is a bad idea. Forcing your brain to function while recovering from an illness may cause damage to the brain because your body and brain are taxed with fighting off the disease. If this becomes a continues activity, it may cause long-term brain damage.

15. Drinking Too Much Coffee

Although coffee might be good for you, drinking too much can affect your brain. A recent study in Neuropsychopharmacology found that sipping too many cups of coffee can lead to an increase in the number of adenosine receptors (a chemical in the brain that makes you feel tired) in the long run.

16. Always In The Dark

Not getting enough sunlight will not only affect your beauty but may also have a huge impact on your brain’s ability to function. Sunlight contributes to your brain health.

A study by the National Institute of Health shows that getting enough sunlight helps your brain function effectively and efficiently. (8)

17. Lack Of Communication

Having conversations is like a workout for your brain. People who rarely communicate miss out on one of the best brain exercises.

Moreover, loneliness is another factor that may cause damage to your brain. A study by 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.

Another study conducted at the University of Michigan found out that 10 minutes of communication per day increases mental ability. This doesn't mean you should have friends visit you daily. Even a phone call to a relative or friend can also stimulate the brain. (9) (10)

18. Lack Of Brain Exercise

Your brain needs regular exercise. A study suggests that physical exercise has a beneficial effect on the synthesis of BNDF. Another study found out that the peak of brain productivity is reached at 16-25 years, after which it slowly declines.

However, regular brain exercise which includes, exercise that makes your brain busy like puzzles, can significantly improve your brain health. (11)

19. Cell Phones

A study on rats revealed a link between brain cancer and the use of cell phones. This doesn't mean you should throw out your smartphone. Instead, use a quality speaker or a headset for talking and avoid bringing your phones close to your skin. (12)

20. Eat Cold Foods

Excessive consumption of cold foods including ice cream may lead to a number of health issues including fatigue, weight gain, and tumors.

It is believed that cold food narrows the blood vessels which in turn causes a headache. (13)

Habits that are ruining your brain

Final thoughts

If you want to continue to have a healthy brain, then you should avoid these worst brain habits that could be ruining your brain.

Bad brain habits such as sleeping in the dark, eating too much and chewing gum among others may harm your brain.

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