6 Habits That Can Damage Your Brain Health

Just like collagen starts depleting following your teen years, cognitive decline ensues as well once you cross your twenties. The American Heart Association mentions that 1 in 5 Americans develop brain-related health concerns in their life.

To keep your central processing unit working efficiently, you don’t only need nuts and brain games. Along with the measures you need to take for sharpening your mental abilities, there are also some habits that you must avoid. Wondering what these are? Here are 8 habits that can silently damage your brain:

1 – Not Getting Enough Sleep

Your brain needs about 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Without it, you feel groggy and distracted. Apart from the immediate effect that you notice when you’ve not slept enough, there are also long-term implications. Sleep deprivation causes memory problems. A Frontiers in Human Neuroscience report concluded that older adults who slept well had better memory.

2 – Consuming An Excessively Sugary Or Salty Diet

Both sugar and salt in excess are harmful for your brain health. When you consume too many sugary foods and beverages, nutrient absorption is hindered. This leads to malnourishment of the body which hampers the development of the brain. Salt is another vice as it causes high blood pressure and hypertension shares a strong link with stroke.

3 – Sleeping With Your Head Covered

When you sleep with your head covered or by keeping a pillow on it, your brain health is negatively impacted. This is because your brain requires oxygen for working properly. And when you cover it, you inhale air which is not rich on oxygen but in carbon dioxide. This can cause damage your brain cells even though you may feel comfortable for a while.

4 – Stressing Too Much

A little bit of stress is not harmful. Acute stress can actually be healthy, but when stress gets chronic it can cause a host of health problems. Too much stress releases a hormone called cortisol which can cause mental drainage. It can alter the structure and function of your brain as per researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

5 – Dehydrating Yourself

Not drinking an ample amount of water can also take a serious toll on your physical and mental health. Dehydration can cause your brain to shrink which can lead to migraines. Lack of water can lead to anxiety and irritability too. It can also cause fatigue. This is why you must drink water, however, make sure you don’t overhydrate either.

6 – Smoking Nicotine

Apart from cancer, your brain is also negatively impacted when you smoke. Smoking nicotine can shrink your brain overtime and prolonged shrinkage can lead to neurological diseases. Though the instant effect of smoking is relaxation, it eventually causes tension and anxiety. Furthermore, compared to non-smokers, smokers have higher odds of developing depression.

7 – Not Being Active

Lack of physical and mental activity can also have a negative impact on the health of your brain. Keep your social circle alive because lack of communication can have an adverse influence on your health. To make your brain more efficient, you need to use it. What’s more, research links exercise with better mental health.