5 Reasons the Holidays Can Be Bad for Your Brain

Think Christmas break is only bad for your waistline? Think again ... if you can!

If your brain feels foggy while you're thinking you may have already fallen prey to some of these issues:

1. S.A.D. Otherwise known as Sunlight Affective Disorder or Seasonal Affective Disorder, this mood disorder is due to low levels of melatonin and serotonin. To fix it, get more daylight take melatonin and talk to your doctor about medications for depression.

2. Indulging in bad or too much food. Overeating can cause inflammation throughout the body, which can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

3. Indulging in too much alcohol. Don't be surprised if you feel irritable the morning after. According to this article, "Abrupt cessation of alcohol use leads to brain hyperexcitabilitydue to the sudden release effect on receptors [that] had been inhibited by the alcohol."

4. Too much couch time. The article I read agued that this was about too much TV and low alpha waves. I'd argue it's about not enough exercise (and sunlight) as well.

5. Family stress. Stress leads to increased adrenaline and cortisol, the latter of which is bad for the hippocampus. If you can't avoid the holiday stress, do your best to exercise, eat well and get a full night of sleep.

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