Five Ways to Curb Your Smoking Habit Today

curb-smokingMost ex-smokers will tell you that one of the hardest things that they had to do in their lives was quit. Almost all of us know that smoking is bad for our health, but nearly 1 in 5 Americans smoke. Across the globe, that number goes up to 21%. Smoking increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and a number of other chronic conditions. The Hope4Cancer® Institute and other cancer clinics will tell you that smoking raises the risk of many different cancers as well. Moreover, according to the World Health Organization, six million people die each year from the effects of smoking. This includes 5 million who will die from direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 who die are nonsmokers who succumb to second-hand smoke exposure. Nearly half of all people who smoke will die from a smoking-related disease.

Why Is It So Hard to Quit Smoking?

Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. states that nicotine is actually as addictive as other serious drugs like heroin and cocaine. When you smoke, you inhale nicotine, and it gets absorbed into your bloodstream much quicker than if it was taken by IV. The nicotine affects your heart rate and can improve mood and alleviate stress. However, these pleasures are short-lived, and the smoker will build a tolerance to nicotine. Therefore, he or she will require more nicotine to get the same effects as when he or she first started.

When you go through a period without nicotine, you may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. Many people who relapse do so because of these unwelcome physical and psychological symptoms. Common symptoms of withdrawal include irritation, anxiety, nausea, shortness of breath, difficulty concentrating, flu-like symptoms, and others. These symptoms will usually go away in a few weeks, but your cravings may linger for a few months after that. It may be a good idea to speak with your physician before your quit date, so he or she can help you manage withdrawal symptoms.

Five Ways to Quit Smoking for Good

Withdrawal symptoms are not the only reason why people relapse. Many smokers use cigarettes as a stress release tool, so an adverse event may cause relapse. For others, smoking is so ingrained into their daily rituals that they don’t know how to live day to day without smoking. Here are several tips to help you mitigate these risks and increase your chances of quitting for good:

  • A combination of phone hotline use and online cessation services can greatly improve a person’s chances of quitting.
  • Set a quit date and tell your friends and family about it so they can support you and not smoke around you.
  • Exercise more and practice other stress relief techniques.
  • Cut back on caffeine and alcohol and other common triggers.
  • Speak with a behavioral therapist who may be able to recommend lifestyle changes to improve the likelihood of complete cessation.

If you’re looking to quit, speak with a doctor, get support from your friends and family, and compile all of the tools you’ll need to help you succeed. While it may be difficult in the beginning, you may end up saving your life.

Routine Changes for Better Sleep

hope4cancerAre we sleeping enough for optimal health? The answer to this question is a resounding no. Unfortunately, too many of us prioritize work, family, school, and other responsibilities over sleep in the name of greater productivity. Additionally, many of are also stressed out, too connected to our mobile devices, and engage in poor lifestyle choices that affect our ability to sleep. In fact, 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder. One CDC Study determined that, among 74,571 adult respondents in 12 states, 35.3% reported less than seven hours of sleep during a typical 24-hour period, 48.0% reported snoring, Even more scary, 37.9% reported unintentionally falling asleep during the day at least once in the preceding month, and 4.7% reported nodding off or falling asleep while driving at least once in the preceding month.

Nodding off is not the only danger that you can face by not getting the eight hours of sleep you need for optimal health. A lack of sleep can cause restlessness, mood changes, difficulty concentrating on things, impaired reaction time, and poor memory. It also increases the likelihood of mortality of all kinds. You’re more likely to have high blood pressure, cardiac issues, metabolic syndrome, a variety of cancers, and diabetes. Individuals who want to minimize their chances of dealing with these consequences of short sleep can start with changing how they prepare for sleep.

How Can We Get Better Sleep by Changing our Routine?

  • Practice good sleep behavior. We are connected to our telephones, watch television, and work too late into the night. The blue light emitted from electronic devices throws your circadian rhythm off, making a sleep disorder more likely. Therefore, turn off electronics an hour before bedtime and don’t watch television in bed. Additionally, be sure to get up and go to bed at the same time, so your body knows when it is time to sleep. In regard to your bedroom, create the right sleep environment. A cool dark room is optimal for sleep.
  • Exercise more. This not only helps to tire your body and mind for a better night’s sleep; it can also improve how you react to stress, making it easier to sleep at night. Meditation may also reduce your stress levels and improve how quickly you’re able to fall and stay asleep.
  • Avoid spicy foods or a heavy meal right before bed. Eating these foods late at night can increase the risk of getting heartburn and may provide unwanted energy that will only keep you up longer. Obviously, it’s also a good idea to avoid caffeine before bed. Opt instead for herbal teas that can calm your nerves and help you fall asleep.

The Hope4Cancer®Institute incorporates a whole body treatment customized program that treats the underlying condition and not just the symptoms. Combining alternative cancer treatments that have shown successful results with lifestyle modifications, the Hope4Cancer® Institute helps patients heal. Sleep and rest are major factors in how well the body heals. If you find that you are always tired or stressed, take a look at your sleep. It might lead to improved mood, more energy, and better overall health.