Did you know that some of the things you could be doing daily have a damaging effect on your brain? You might be surprised to learn that certain habits and lifestyle choices ruin your cognitive performance.

Top 10 Things That Have a Damaging Effect on the Brain

1. Not getting enough sleep

This habit is familiar to anyone and is becoming a global problem. According to studies, more and more people experience sleep disturbances.

A severe lack of sleep creates the risk that different parts of the brain move into a phase of slow-wave sleep while being in a state of wakefulness. As a result, a person can’t concentrate and their fine motor skills deteriorate. Regular sleep deprivation leads to brain cell death.

2. Skipping breakfast

Skipping the morning meal affects your performance and energy during the day. It seems obvious, but the point here is not so much the consumption of energy necessary for the body, but the fact that when you skip your breakfast, this lowers the level of sugar in your blood. This in turn reduces and hinders the flow of nutrients to your brain.

3. Sugar

The preceding point explains why it is necessary to maintain an adequate level of blood sugar. However, it doesn’t mean that you should eat sweets to have a good brain performance.

In fact, excessive amounts of sugar cause problems with digesting proteins and nutrients. It leads to the same result as the low level of blood sugar: your brain does not receive enough nutrients.

4. Stress

Severe emotional stress weakens the connections between neurons and thus complicates the understanding of cause-effect relationships and sequence of events. Stress leads to poor memory, anxiety, and the feeling that everything goes wrong.

5. Tranquillizers and sleeping pills

The use of sleeping pills and popular tranquilizers such as Xanax can impair your memory and possibly lead to amnesia, dementia, and obsessive suicidal thoughts.

6. Smoking

Speaking about the negative effects of smoking on the body, the image of black lungs and damaged teeth probably comes to your mind. At the same time, it is not said much about the damaging effect on cigarettes on the brain: nicotine narrows its blood vessels. Besides the problems associated with a lack of nutrients in the brain, this greatly increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

7. A lack of sunlight

A lack of sufficient sunlight directly affects your cognitive abilities. First, ultraviolet light produced by sunlight regulates your blood circulation, that is, the flow of oxygen and nutrients. Second, sunlight helps produce serotonin – the neurotransmitter that affects your mood.

8. Not enough water

Too low water consumption has a damaging effect on the brain since it causes a decrease in brain volume. This considerably reduces its efficiency and leads to almost zero ability to memorize information. It is recommended to drink an average of 1,5-2 liters of water per day.

9. Too much information

Year after year, the amount of information we digest increases enormously. This would seem quite useful for training your brain and keeping it in shape. However, the brain responds to such an information overload with resistance. It happens because when there is too much information, at a certain point, it is no longer absorbed, which causes memory lapses.

10. Multitasking

Here is another unfortunate consequence of the digital world we live in: people need to simultaneously process multiple streams of information. As a result, none of it is absorbed properly, and our brains get used to this way of working.

We perceive all the information at a superficial level. At the same time, we find it more and more difficult to stay focused on doing only one thing without frequent changes in activity.

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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This Post Has 23 Comments

  1. Avatar
    dan

    Surprised alcohol didn’t make your list since it is known to damage the brain and make it harder to think.

  2. Avatar
    TJ

    Alcohol is a no-brainer.

  3. Avatar
    Skizz

    hahahahahaha get it? NO-BRAINER?! TJ YOUR A GENIOUS!

  4. Avatar
    Lucas

    Does it mean that I can still have 4 liters of beer per day??

  5. Avatar
    miss k

    TJ Alcohol is a no-brainer.

    ….and smoking is? haha

  6. Avatar
    Anna

    there are many other things that damage the brain, for example, alcohol or drugs, everyone knows that..
    I didn’t mean to mention them all in this list (especially the most known ones) so I put only some brain damaging things & habits

  7. Avatar
    Josh

    Guess I’m in big trouble

    1. Avatar
      G

      Not enough sleep, lots of sugar, every day stress => my brain is damaged forever!! 🙁

    2. Avatar
      Controversial Carol

      Hahaha me too!

  8. Avatar
    Andrew

    “Watching MTV” didn’t make the list?

    1. Avatar
      Anna

      oh yeah, you are so right! I think it would be “watching TV” in general

  9. Avatar
    Carol

    The big ones I speak to mompreneurs about is: not enough sleep, too much information, and multitasking. That is often their norm.

  10. Avatar
    jay

    lol seriously? “mompreneur”
    if that makes into the dictionary that a sign.

  11. Avatar
    Vickky Angstrom

    How could you forget ALCOHOL? This is arguably the biggest brain damager of all — across the western world it certainly is.

  12. Avatar
    Datrebor

    They keep trying to make Nicotine in cigarettes as the bad guy, while its not really good, they forget all the added chemicals companies put in the tobacco some is what makes them so additive. Here is a positive with nicotine. They did confirm that nicotine plays a role in the buildup of plaque in blood vessels, but in the process they learned something quite surprising: Nicotine actually promotes new blood vessel growth.
    It also helps to heal wounds and restore blood flow to a limb deprived of blood.

  13. Avatar
    Justin Thyme

    Two other things that were left out that damage your brain is the constant wailing and screaming of infants and small children; as well as having your skull repeatedly smashed onto a concrete sidewalk by an angry young black man.

  14. Avatar
    Conor

    Promoting new blood vessel growth is actually kinda bad…. It’s a negative variable in any kind of cancer treatment. See:angiogenesis.

  15. Avatar
    Wess

    Very true. Thanks for posting this.

  16. Avatar
    maverick

    8, 9 & 10

  17. Avatar
    Wally

    You forgot rap music. It can’t be a coincidence that you rarely see a smart rapper 🙂

  18. Avatar
    Deane Alban

    There are many, many things that damage the brain and no one list could them all but this is a great place to start. Very cool graphic.

  19. Avatar
    Mind Alive Inc

    Smoking: It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.

  20. Avatar
    Lisa

    I’ve found a ketogenic diet to be the best for improving brain clarity. Takes a couple of days of fogginess, but then its better than ever.

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