Using your mobile before sleep
Radiation given off by mobile phones can cause insomnia and headaches. It is found that people who used their phones before bed took longer to reach the deep sleep stages, considered essential for cell rejuvenation and repair. Experts say that radiation activates the brain’s stress system, making us more alert and so less able to fall asleep.
Limit the damage: If you need to make a phone call before going off to sleep, use your landline.
Nightly glass of wine
That’s because we always drink more than we realise. As a result most drinkers are consuming beyond safe limits every week, as per recent study figures. Not only has it increased the risk of liver damage and breast cancer, drinking can also have a serious effect on your emotional well-being. In fact, in the long term, it actually raises stress and anxiety, rather than reliving us of it.
Limit the damage: With larger-than-ever wine glasses, experts say one glass of wine now equals two (or sometimes three) units, instead of one. Buy new, smaller glasses or use a measuring jug to keep a check on amounts.
Wearing sunblock every day
Wearing sunscreen continuously can reduce the amount of Vitamin D your body is able to make, and put you at risk of serious health conditions.
Limit the damage: You don’t have to get a tan to get your supply of Vitamin D. Going out in the sun for 10 minutes a day will make enough Vitamin D for your body. After that you can apply sunscreen to avoid damaging effects.
Brushing your teeth after breakfast
As we sleep, bacteria and plaque build up on our teeth. This is multiplied by the sugar and acid in food and together they act to temporarily weaken the protective enamel. By brushing after breakfast you could be wearing away your tooth enamel before it’s had time to harden again.
Limit the damage: Always brush your teeth before breakfast or wait for at least one hour after eating. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride to coat the teeth and help protect against acid and sugar damage.
Listening to your iPod
Researchers at Harvard have found that ‘bud’ earphones, which are placed in the ear and used with iPods and MP3 players, encourage people to turn up the volume to dangerous levels to block out external noise. Listening at this level for more than 72 minutes a day could cause lasting hearing damage.
Limit the damage: The Royal National Institute for the Deaf advises that if you can’t hear any external sounds with your headphones on, then the volume is too loud. Take breaks every hour to give your ears a rest, and think about going back to old-fashioned ‘external’ earphones that cover the whole ear..
Normally we breathe using our lower lungs and our diaphragm moves up and down. But with too-tight waist belts, you’re forced to breathe in via the upper part of the lung, which restricts breathing and can lead to headaches and dizziness.
Limit the damage: Avoid wearing such belts for hours together. Choose looser styles that sit on the hips and allow you to breathe freely.
Wearing skinny jeans
Tight jeans and hipster trousers can cause crippling nerve pain, especially among women. They can squeeze a sensory nerve under the hip bone, causing a tingling, burning sensation in the thighs called paresthesia.
Limit the damage: Women should wear high-waisted trousers or loose skirts and dresses.
Drinking too much water
More than two litres of water a day is excessive. Drinking just a few litres over a short period of time can cause ‘hyperhydration’, which can lead to confusion, coma — even death.
Limit the damage: How much water one drinks depends on the person’s size, how much they exercise and how hot the weather is, but one-and-a-half litres of water a day is a good rough guide.
Taking painkillers too often
One in a hundred people suffer from recurrent headaches caused by taking painkillers to relieve the pain. And five times as many women as men fall victim to these ‘rebound’ headaches.
Limit the damage: Use painkillers no more than two to three times a week. The only solution for rebound headaches is to break the cycle. Stop taking the medication causing them.
Chewing gum all day
Chewing too much of the sugar-free variety of gum, which contains the sweetener sorbitol, can cause gas and even diarrhoea. As sorbitol breaks, they produce large amounts of gas, which swells the stomach causing pain and cramp.
Limit the damage: Cut back on how much you chew. One or two sticks a day shouldn’t be a problem. Instead, munch on carrot sticks to keep your mouth occupied.