- Count backwards: Slowly, while lying in bed, count backwards from 100. Take your time – if you forget or hesitate about what number you’re on, start over from 100. Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated. Doing a monotonous activity like this can have the effect of making you sleepy.
- Analyze your sleep cycle: Record your sleep data, perhaps by tracking it in a journal or using an app on an electronic device. Once you identify your sleeping pattern, you can potentially identify problems and find ways to mediate them.
- Guided visualization: Relax your body from head to toe, and imagine yourself in a calming location (e.g. a beach). Go through each of the senses that you would imagine in that place: the smell, the sights, the sounds.
- Find ways to reduce anxiety: Subconscious anxiety or stress can impede on sleep. Check out your EFAP resources for ideas (enter “dalhousie” in the search bar) on how to reduce stress, such as mindfulness exercises, yoga or medication.
- Alternate nostril breathing: Using your finger to press on each of your nostrils while slowly breathing out of the adjacent open nostril can relax your nervous system.
- Improve your diet or exercise routine: Exercise can release endorphins that balance stress and releasing that energy throughout the day can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Eating a healthier diet, and changing up when you eat (e.g. not eating right before sleep) can also mediate uneasiness or insomnia.
Twenty minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate drops and returns to normal and your blood pressure and circulation start to improve. Here are some other things to expect over the next hours, days, and weeks:
- 8 hours: Nicotine levels in blood fall by 93%
- 12 hours: Body eliminates all excess carbon monoxide and blood oxygen levels are restored to normal
- 24 hours: Withdrawal kicks in, and you may experience irritability, headaches, insomnia, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating
- 2 days: Your senses of smell and taste are improved and the nerve endings damaged by smoking begin to heal
- 10 days: Cravings begin to go away.
- 1 month: Physical withdrawal symptoms end. Lung function drastically improves and you can exercise longer.
- 6 months: You may develop a dry cough, which is a good indication that the delicate hair-like structures in your lungs (called cilia) are now able to filter toxins out of your body.
- 9 months: Your lungs are nearly healed and the cilia can now fight infections.
- 1 year: Your risks of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke are now half those of a smoker.
- 5 years: Your risk of stroke are the same as a non-smoker.
- 15-20 years: Your risks of developing any smoking related illnesses are the same as someone who has never smoked.
The information from this post is from your Dalhousie University EFAP Resources. Click this link and enter “Dalhousie University” in the search bar to find more information.
Career stress and work-life issues have a significant impact on our mental health, and our sense of general well-being. Morneau Shepell offers Dalhousie employees a Career Counseling service to help achieve balance between work, family, and self.
Counselors can help you find solutions to career issues before they have an impact on your personal life or work performance. They will assist you in better understanding your professional strengths to better manage your career path and cope with organizational change or new role expectations.
It is offered free of charge to our employees and their families through our Employee and Family Assistance Program. Contact 1-800-387-4765 or workhealthlife.com.
For more information, including dates, times, and locations, go to dal.ca/flu.
Please note that if you do not have a valid MSI, provincial, or private insurance card, you will be required to pay a $20 injection fee – cash only – at the clinic, before receiving the vaccine.
According to researchers at Imperial College London, eating up to 10 portions of fruit and veggies a day will reduce the chance of heart attack, stroke, cancer and early death.
“Fruit and vegetables have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and to boost the health of our blood vessels and immune system,” says study co-author Dr. Dagfinn Aune. “This may be due to the complex network of nutrients they hold. For instance, they contain many antioxidants, which may reduce DNA damage and lead to a reduction in cancer risk.”
Although the Imperial College researchers say 10 serving of fruit and vegetables is ideal for prevention, eating a small amount of servings (around 2.5) still reduce the risk of heart and stroke demonstrably.
They also advise to strive for variety in your produce choices.
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