Habits are beneficial for many reasons. For starters, it can help you achieve your goals while enabling you to be the person you desire. Likewise, it can keep you productive throughout the day. Good habits can also improve your health and increase your longevity. Despite these benefits, building bad habits can have adverse effects. People develop bad habits for various reasons. While some adopt them due to the company they keep, others find that they develop theirs due to triggering behaviors. Irrespective of your reasons, certain habits can shorten your lifespan, including the following.
1. Bad sleeping practices
Sleep is essential for many reasons. During sleep, your immune system gets the needed rest to fight off diseases. Likewise, it reduces your body’s production of ghrelin while promoting leptin production. This, in turn, prevents you from gaining weight. Sleep can also prevent heart attacks, improve mood, and increase productivity. However, bad sleeping practices can be harmful to your health. For instance, sleep deprivation can increase your risk of developing stroke, heart failure, diabetes, etc. Likewise, oversleeping is associated with headaches, heart disease, obesity, and increased death risks. Therefore, finding the right balance to get the most out of your sleep is essential.
If you experience sleep deprivation often, you’ll find it helpful to go to bed 15 minutes earlier than your usual bedtime. You also want to avoid eating heavy meals or taking caffeine before bedtime, as these can prevent you from falling asleep earlier. Likewise, stop using electronics 2 hours before bedtime, and keep them in another room to avoid the temptation of using them. It’s also helpful to avoid long daytime naps, so keep this in mind. To prevent oversleeping, you must understand how much sleep you need. The National Sleep Foundation advises sleeping 7-9 hours daily. You’ll also find it helpful to create a sleep schedule and avoid sleeping in during weekends. You also want to stick to one alarm daily, so feel free to consider this.
2. Hand sanitizer overuse
Admittedly, using hand sanitizer is a great way to limit the spread of disease-causing microbes. However, you may be sabotaging its effectiveness when you overuse it. The overuse of sanitizers can cause bacteria and other microbes to become resistant to its effects. This can increase your risk of developing illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea. Likewise, it can dry out your skin and create cracks that allow microbes to invade your body. It can also cause alcohol poisoning, leading to vomiting, drowsiness, and confusion. Therefore, you want to limit your hand sanitizer use if you haven’t already. If you’re a huge fan of hand hygiene, you’ll find it helpful to follow these helpful tips.
You should note that hand sanitizers don’t eliminate all germ types. The CDC encourages you to clean your hands with soap and water, as it’s more effective for reducing bacteria and other microbes. When these aren’t available, you can leverage the hand sanitizer. However, using it on dirty, greasy hands will reduce effectiveness, so keep this in mind. Consequently, consider applying your hand sanitizer once an hour for the best results.
3. Smoking and excess alcohol intake
Smoking and excess alcohol intake can be harmful to your health. Cigarettes contain toxic chemicals like tar, arsenic, DDT, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. Nicotine in these cigarettes makes it easier to become addicted. However, prolonged smoking can trigger coronary artery disease, lung cancer, and heart attack. It can also damage your air sacs and airways, causing breathing difficulties and bronchitis. It can also affect women by reducing bone density and increasing their risks of infertility, stillbirth, and preterm delivery. Likewise, excess alcohol intake can also cause alcohol poisoning, acute intoxication, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, fatal accidents, high blood pressure, etc. Therefore, it’s important to eliminate your harmful smoking or drinking habits if you haven’t already.
If you want to give up smoking, you’ll find it helpful to consider nicotine replacement therapy. This therapy allows you to ditch cigarettes using nicotine gums, lozenges, and nasal spray. You also want to avoid places or people that can cause you to relapse. While it may be tempting to have one cigarette, you should avoid it. As a tip, chew on hard candy, raw carrots, or nuts to distract yourself. You can also limit alcohol use by setting a realistic goal regarding how much alcohol you can take daily. You can also record how many drinks you consume, so keep this in mind. Consequently, avoid triggers and learn to say no when offered alcoholic drinks. If you need professional help with quitting smoking and drinking, places like Pathways Real Life Recovery will prove helpful.
4. Watching too much television
Indeed, television allows you to watch your favorite shows, movies, and programs. You can also get information on what’s happening globally. Despite these benefits, watching too much TV can have adverse effects. It promotes a sedentary lifestyle, leading to excess weight gain and diabetes risks. Moreover, it’s easier to consume junk food, unhealthy snacks, and sugary drinks when watching your TV for prolonged hours. It can also interfere with sleep quality, causing fatigue and hormonal imbalance. This makes it essential to limit your screen time to preserve your health.
You can begin by determining patterns related to your TV habits. This way, you can develop healthier options to substitute excess screen time. For instance, if you watch TV after dinner, you can replace it with a walk. Consequently, consider reading a book, gardening, or journaling to entertain yourself. Hanging out with loved ones is also helpful, so feel free to consider this.
5. Excess worrying
Life can throw unexpected situations your way sometimes. However, worrying about them won’t solve them. Instead, you risk compromising your health and reducing your life expectancy. Excess worry can lead to stress, increasing your cortisol levels. This can elevate your blood pressure while slowing digestion. You are likelier to adopt other harmful habits like smoking, illicit sexual relations, etc. Fortunately, you can prevent yourself from worrying with the right steps. Talking with loved ones is prudent, as they can be a good support system. You can also get good advice to solve whatever issues you’re facing. You can also consider journaling, so keep this in mind.