With the New Year come several resolutions that the average Joe desperately tries to stick with. There’s the “I need to spend more time with my family”, then there’s the “I need to go to the gym more often”. But there’s one resolution that countless of Americans try to fulfil: “I need to stop smoking”.
There are a lot of reasons to quit smoking. Smoking increases one’s risk of cancer and heart disease not to mention it’s a filthy habit which leads to poor oral hygiene. But here’s another reason to quit smoking: Smoking ruins productive sleep, leading to cognitive dysfunction, mood disorders, depression and anxiety.
In a recent study, people who smoke are four times as likely as non-smokers to feel unrested after a night’s sleep. Habitual smokers also spend less time in deep sleep and more time in light sleep compared to non-smokers. This is linked to the stimulating effects of nicotine. Furthermore, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance.
But then again, quitting smoking isn’t as easy as it sounds. Here’s how you can get started:
1. Set a quitting date… and stick to it! Choose a date within the next couple of weeks and discipline yourself to gradually decrease the number of cigarettes you light up every day until you get to your quitting date and your light your last cigarette ever.
2. Inform non-smoking friends and relatives that you plan on quitting. This way, you will have a support system and positive enforcement whenever you feel like picking up that stick and lighter again.
3. Prepare for nicotine withdrawal. Ask your physician whether nicotine patches are effective enough for you to ignore your cigarette cravings.
After you’ve lit your last stick, the best way to follow up on this is to avoid habits or people who would cause you to smoke.
· Drinking. Most people who drink have a tendency to smoke so switch to non-alcoholic drinks whenever you’re out with your friends. If that’s not possible, try drinking in places where smoking is prohibited. It’s also good to snack on nuts and chips as an alternative.
· Other smokers. When people around you smoke, it’s the easiest thing in the world to come up to them and ask if you could bum a cigarette. The people around you need to know you are changing your habits and are in with your decision to quit. Try to surround yourself with non-smokers.
· End of a meal. For some smokers, lighting one up is a great way to end the meal. Try to replace that with something healthier such as eating fruit or a cup of warm tea instead.
Whether it’s getting a good night’s sleep or quitting your addiction, you can rely on Rebecca Ginder to help you get started towards a better and more wholesome life. Call 561.450.5255 and set up an appointment with Rebecca Ginder today!