Your super-efficient digital assistant
seewhatmitchsee/Shutterstock There’s a reason so many people joke that their smartphones are their “brain”—because it kind of is becoming your brain. Google, Alexa, Siri, and other digital assistants have taken the burden of remembering details off your mind, meaning that your brain misses out on making those connections. Case in point: What’s your mom’s phone number? Heck, millions of people don’t even know their own phone number. By acting as a personal memory bank, these services are making you smarter at knowing how to get information but dumber when it comes to remembering the actual information itself, according to a study published in Science. Learn more about how technology is making you dumber.
That late-night Netflix binge
Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock We’re all chronically sleep deprived these days, and one of the first things to suffer when you lose zzz’s is your brain—and it doesn’t take much sleep loss to start impairing your mental abilities. “Study after study has shown that even an hour or two less sleep each night for just a few consecutive nights can have negative effects on the brain,” says Vernon Williams, MD, sports neurologist and director of the Center for Sports Neurology & Pain Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute. “From delayed reaction times that can put you in danger while driving to mental fatigue and depression, burning the midnight oil can have serious brain repercussions.” When looking to improve your sleep, make sure you avoid these sleep aids that are actually hurting your slumber.