Health checks are a must in the series of unprecedented diseases evolving these days. There are many habits we develop by self assessment instead of consulting a physician. And by doing this, we push ourselves into potential risk-prone situations. Here is a collection of few such habits that most of us have developed, without knowing the severity of the consequences.
- Coffee right after waking up
Cortisol is our body’s hormone which gives us energy to combat stress, regulates our blood pressure, manages the carb, fats and protein usages in our body and controls our sleep or wake cycle. The level of cortisol is high during morning hours, especially at 7 A.M.
According to chronopharmacologists, who study the interactions between drugs and our biological processes, intake of caffeine when our body produces the highest amount of cortisol might illude the body to stop producing our natural anti-stress shield. So, for good health, avoid consuming coffee right after you wake up. Wait for a couple of hours before going for your caffeine fix. Safer times for coffee consumption are 12.00 PM to 1.00 PM and 5.30 PM to 6.30 PM. That can actually render the health benefits of coffee in your body.
2. Bending over cellphone
Glued to the smartphones in your hands, do you keep it on your lap and bend all the way towards it ? Then the term “text-neck” is for you. Text-neck is the condition of a bent posture of the neck that results from prolonged bending. This condition affects the spine, leading to shoulder ache and headaches.
To stay in the green zone, try keeping your smartphones at eye level, or take breaks in between to do some neck movements.
3. Holding a sneeze back
While COVID-19 has taught us enough safe sneezing habits, there is one important health check which no one might have taught. And that is holding back your sneeze. Sneezing is a reset mechanism of our body to bring our nose back to normalcy.
Did you know the mucus from the nose travels at a speed up to 100 miles per hour? According to a study in 2016, the pressure in the wind pipe can be around 1 psi (pound-force per square inch). And when we hold in the sneeze the pressure inside the respiratory system multiplies about 24 times more than that of the sneeze itself. This pressure might rupture the eardrums if the air travels the tubes in our ears. This might also cause infection in the middle ear, damage blood vessels in the eyes, nose or eardrum, cause diaphragm injury and a lot more such implications.
So, make sure to cover your nose and mouth while sneezing, but never hold a sneeze in.
4. Longer screen time before sleeping
The sleep-wake cycle of our body is aligned with our internal master clock in the brain, which is affected by sunlight. Melatonin, the hormone that induces sleep, is produced extensively in the dark, and not in the presence of sunlight. That is why we sleep at night, and are more alert in the daytime. The shorter wavelength of blue light that the smartphones emit, deceives our body to believe that it’s day time, and thus instead of falling asleep we become more alert. This prevents the production of melatonin, thus intervening in our natural sleep-wake cycle.
Studies show that 57% of teenagers who use technology in their bedroom experience sleep related issues. The 3 A.M. statuses reading “insomniac” is no joke. Inadequate and untimely sleeping can lead to depression, mood swings, unhealthy behaviours, hampered academic performance, weak immunity, suicidal tendencies, obesity and a lot more issues that adolescents keep complaining about. Give it a thought, and try this health check. Stay away from the screen for an hour or two before going to bed.
5. Brushing teeth right after a meal
No doubt about the fact that brushing teeth after meals is a good habit, but maybe no one has ever given you the health check of the time after which you should brush the leftovers away. Neem, salt or whatever your toothpaste might contain, nothing can save your enamel from damage if your food has some acidic content. When you have acidic food, it acts on the tooth enamel and makes it soft. Brushing right after eating such types of food will only injure the enamel, thus giving space for bacteria to affect the teeth.
So, keep this health check in mind and wait for at least 30 minutes to brush, specifically when you eat acidic foods.