Are you unable to figure out what's wrong with you- you feel tired all the time, you cannot concentrate, and you keep forgetting things. These 15 habits are so common that you may not have had a clue that they are taking a toll on your brain.

1. Eating protein bars and sugar-free ice-creams and drinking diet beverages impairs memory performance.

A study by the European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences found that aspartame, the chemical used as a sweetener in diet food and beverages, impaired memory performance and increased brain oxidative stress. 

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2. Eating too much salt causes hypertension which can restrict blood flow to the brain which will negatively impact memory and focus.

A study published by Neurology states that hypertension can restrict blood flow to the brain and impact focus, organizational skills, and memory.

3. Skipping out on exercise limits the amount hormones that stimulate memory from being produced.

In his book Headstrong Performance, Marcel Daane, a mental performance coach, says, "Movement produces proteins and hormones in the brain that stimulate memory and make you more alert."

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4. Sitting behind a desk all day slows down not only the body but brain function as well.

Moving muscles allows the pumping of fresh blood and oxygen through the brain which triggers the release of brain-enhancing chemicals. When we are sedentary for a long time, brain function slows down.

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5. Eating too much sugar and fat can cause cognitive decline.

Belly-busting desserts can impair your memory. Think twice before you roll out of your bed to satisfy your 2 AM ice-cream craving. 

6. Being a night owl and not sleeping enough can cause significant decrease in brain volume and memory.

A study showed that a single 90-minute reduction in sleep decreases brain performance and alertness by 32%.

7. Not drinking enough water causes shrinkage of brain tissue and can also impact cognitive performance.

Human Brain Mapping journal discovered that dehydration causes the brain tissue to shrink which has a negative effect on cognitive performance.

8. Staying in the dark for long hinders the brain from functioning efficiently.

Not getting enough natural light can make you depressed and that can slow your brain

9. Consuming saturated fats correlates with the development of Alzheimer's disease and decreased brain function.

A study by Physiology & Behavior found that consuming saturated fats correlates with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and decreased brain function.

10. Avoiding conversations and talking less increases the risk of reducing the efficiency of the brain.

A study found that people who socialized with friends and family performed better on cognitive tests than those who didn’t talk or share their feelings.

11. Smoking cigarettes can cause the brain to shrink, ultimately leading to Alzheimer's.

A study found that smoking leads to a decrease in the thickness of the cerebral cortex which can affect mental abilities.  

12. Skipping breakfast deprives the brain of much-needed nutrients.

Skipping breakfast causes a decrease in blood glucose levels which ultimately decreases brain function

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13. Overeating causes the brain arteries to harden which decreases mental capabilities.

A research found that people who were overweight had a 22% lesser cognitive ability than their slimmer counterparts.

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14. Speaking on the smartphone for long periods can lead to brain cancer.

A study on rats revealed a link between brain cancer and the use of cell phones. Instead of throwing your phones out, speak over the speaker or use a headset.

15. Frequently going on strict diets can cause the brain to eat itself. 

Not only your body loses weight when on a strict diet, but the brain as well.

Your own habits are killing your brain. You need to change your lifestyle to keep it healthy and efficient. 

P.S. Please consult a trained physician before making significant changes in your daily habits and nutrition.

All GIFs were sourced from Giphy.