Too Little Sleep
Sleep deprivation can have a huge effect on how your brain functions throughout the day.
One study, for example, limited the sleep of test subjects to 4.5 hours a night and the result was that these people experienced significantly more stress, anger, sadness, and mental exhaustion.
Not exactly the best things for a well-running brain. Lack of focus and forgetting things like your face mask, car keys or phone can also be an effect of prolonged sleep deprivation.
It’s important to take time out do do nothing or relax or do whatever helps you unwind.
Whether it’s reading, walking, cooking, watching Come Dine With Me or exercising, make sure you have a sure fire way to switch off from work, the news and your responsibilities.
Too much busyness is unhealthy, in so many ways. Try to mindfully switch off from being busy in your brain and your body.
Too Little Stimulation
Much like your body needs exercise to stay in shape, your brain needs to be exercised as well. If you don’t use it, you lose it.
Research suggests that the more you think, learn, and engage in mentally stimulating activities, the better your cognitive abilities get.
Mentally stimulating activities also decreases the risk of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Too Much Sugar and Food
High-sugar diets can result in dental issues, diabetes, acne, weight gain and some evidence even suggests it promotes the growth of cancer .
Sugar can also cripple the function of your brain and research has also found that a high sugar diet can negatively affect your memory and ability to learn new things.
Overeating, especially unhealthy foods, is another factor that can negatively affect your brain and body. Studies show that an obese person’s brain ages faster compared to that of a person who is more lean.
Too Much Doomscrolling
Spending extended time periods on social media, checking the news and generally being in a vortex of reading the news is not good for your mood or your brain health.
This type of activity can upsets your cortisol levels and keep you awake at night. Try to get off devices at least an hour before you start your wind down routine before bed.
Too Much Alcohol
Moderation is the key here. Too much alcohol can damage your gut health, liver, and impair the function of your brain.
Researchers have found that heavy or chronic drinkers have a smaller brain, diminished memory, an inability to think abstractly and reduced ability to focus.
If you think you have a problem with alcohol, please contact your GP.
Too Much Stress
Too much of this and if reaches extreme levels, stress can cause significant harm to your health, weaken your immune system, cause insomnia, depression, and even increase the risk of heart disease.
Chronic stress can damage or kill off brain cells, this is because stress causes a surplus of the neurotransmitter called glutamate, which creates free radicals in the brain.
These free radicals can cause damage to healthy brain cells. Make sure you have stress busting skills you can turn to when you need to.
Keep well, Dr Clara Russell