Posted October 8, 2014
We all have bad habits. Many are unhealthy or annoying to others, while some actually help us stay healthy or keep organized. It’s difficult to break bad habits, and it usually takes more than two months of repeating the same behavior to make new ones stick. Recently, U.S. News and World Report identified seven bad habits that you should break.
Any of these sound familiar?
- Slouching and poor posture – While you were growing up, a parent or teacher probably reminded you to sit up straight. Guess what, they were right. Medical experts say that slouching causes back muscles and ligaments to work extra hard to keep you balanced, which can cause headaches, strain and fatigue.
- Wearing contacts at night – It’s late, you’re tired and you wonder whether it’s OK to wear your contact lenses to bed. According to eye doctors, wearing contacts while you sleep increases your risk for infection and may damage your eyes (unless they’re specifically made for overnight wear).
- Chewing on ice – Many people chew on ice to alleviate nervousness or stress. This habit can be annoying to others, and it can create extra wear on tooth surfaces. If your teeth are chipped or worn, dental professionals report that chewing ice may damage tooth enamel.
- Cracking your knuckles – When you were younger, you may have been warned that cracking your knuckles would cause you to develop arthritis. While the habit may be annoying to others, medical experts say there are no health implications. The popping sound is simply caused by gases escaping from the joints.
- Biting your nails – The National Institutes of Health report that chewing your nails can lead to infections, and you may be putting nasty germs from your fingertips into your body.
- Hitting the snooze button – If you frequently sleep through your alarm, you’re probably not getting enough uninterrupted sleep. Most people need seven or eight hours of rest. Hitting the snooze button multiple times in the morning may leave you feeling exhausted, and you may be stressed as you rush to get ready for work or school.
- Snacking at night – Many people get the late-night munchies. Instead of eating chips or candy, reach for a small piece of fruit, yogurt or cup of tea to take the edge off your hunger. If you eat a lot before bed, your body will have to digest while you sleep. This can interrupt your rest and can also cause heartburn.