Common belief suggests that it takes 21 days to consistently do something before it becomes a habit, but experts say there’s no set schedule that makes a behavior automatic. It can take between 18 and 254 days, depending on how easy or difficult the new routine is.
But sometimes, there are harmful habits that we need to remove from our system immediately. And the faster we switch to best practices, the better our quality of life. We have researched 4 habits that may be unconsciously bad for our health, and we’ll share some tips on how to combat them.
Using An Alarm Clock
The noise of alarm clocks wakes you up abruptly, which can be detrimental to your heart. It can cause an increase in blood pressure and increase stress levels due to adrenaline.
Getting up so suddenly can also lead to sleep inertia or the state of feeling groggy and experiencing reduced mental and physical performance. So how do we wake up without the loud ringing of our watches and phones?
Experts recommend establishing a consistent sleep routine, trying to nap and wake up at the same time every day, without an alarm. You can also practice gradually waking up to natural light.
Opening blinds and curtains, or placing your bed where direct sunlight shines through, can help. If you need to wake up before dawn, you can purchase alarm clocks with softer sounds (such as whistles and wind chimes) or light-based alarms that mimic the glare of the sun.
Smashing that alarm clock can also be good for your appearance. One woman tried to put this to the test by waking up alone for a week. After her experiment, she said her face looked noticeably fresher and the dark shadows under her eyes disappeared. Even her ability to walk and her stamina has improved.
Keeping The House Too Clean
Absolute cleanliness is mandatory in some environments, like hospitals, for example. But in the home, completely sterile environments can trigger certain illnesses. Studies have supported the “hygiene hypothesis,” which states that children who grew up in rural areas and were exposed to bacteria, pollen, and pet dander have stronger immune systems.
Meanwhile, those raised in very clean environments were more likely to develop hay fever, asthma, and allergies.
Some microbes are also good for the body because they help us with our physiology, metabolism, and brain functions. But that doesn’t mean you should stop cleaning and living in the dirt.
What you can do is manage how you sterilize or organize things. For example, children can wash their hands with regular soap instead of an antibacterial. Or if a toy falls on the floor that is not very dirty, a simple cleaning is enough and it is not necessary to disinfect everything too much.
Taking Too Many Vitamins And Supplements
Most people who take multivitamins do so to fill in nutritional gaps. But according to studies, taking these supplements does not bring any benefit to our health.
They do not reduce the risk of heart disease or cancer, and they do not help prevent memory loss or decline in mental abilities. However, a proven supplement is a folic acid (taken before or during pregnancy), which helps fight neural tube defects in babies.
Experts have also warned against consuming fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins in large doses. Too much water-soluble vitamin C can cause kidney stones, and excessive amounts of fat-soluble vitamin A can affect the liver.
It is ideal to consult your doctor if you have a vitamin deficiency that needs to be treated with medication. And instead of relying on supplements, it’s better to get much-needed nutrition from a well-balanced diet.
Cutting Your Cuticles And Using Your Nail As A Tool
Most manicure and pedicure sessions involve biting down on the cuticles or the layer of clear skin along the edges of the fingers and toes. Cutting them may make your nails more attractive, but you’re also removing one of your body’s natural forms of protection.
Cuticles help protect new nails from bacteria, and touching this area can cause skin damage, dryness, or infection.
Another nail habit to gradually eliminate is using your nail as a tool: to open cans or jars, remove stickers, or open key chains. These activities can easily break your nails, so an expert suggests using proper tools such as scissors or other devices.
Which of these seemingly innocent but harmful practices surprised you? Do you have an old personal habit that you have a hard time breaking?