Healthy Lifestyle Changes: A Conversation with Dr. Stephen Schimpff Part 2
We will pick up from where we left in the last show with our guest Dr. Steven Schimpff. He was talking about the seven aspects of living a healthy life, and we had just discussed three of the aspects.
In this show, we will talk about the rest of the points so that you have a healthy life and greater longevity. The seven factors of staying healthy are discussed in Dr. Schimpff's book Longevity Decoded, and he has given e a copy which I'm almost done the reading.
I'm also taking down notes and will gift the copy and my notes to a lucky listener of the show. You just have to leave a comment in today's show note, and I will be making the lucky draw on October 30 on the Rock your Retirement Facebook community at 9 am Pacific time.
Now let's see what Dr. Schimpff has to tell us about healthy lifestyle changes.
Get Adequate Sleep
You need at least 8 hours of sleep to stay healthy. During our sleep, our brain cells shrink and create a free space which is filled with fluid. This fluid is like a slow-moving river and washes out the toxin created by the brain.
Sleeping also helps your brain convert short-term memories into long-term ones. Just like you save a file in a computer, our brain also creates the memories and places it according to so that we can retrieve it when we need. This is one of the most important lifestyle changes we need to do.
Many of us have trouble in falling asleep so Dr. Schimpff gives us a few pointers to achieve the task.
The first thing you should try is to calm down and set yourself in a relaxing mood. That means no agitating material before going to bed- no stimulating movies with violence or a book with intense thriller! You can do with some light, peaceful reading or maybe a comedy movie!
You should make your room absolutely dark and draw the shades if necessary. It would help if you also stopped using your phone or computer as the light interferes with our sleep. You can even turn the alarm clock so that the light doesn't disturb you.
We should let our natural sleeping cycle take over and do everything to invite it. If possible, you can tune your sleeping schedule to the sunset and sunrise time for maximum benefit.
Some of us wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to go back to sleep once again. Dr. Schimpff advises us not to drink a lot of water or alcohol before hitting the bed. If we do get up, we should not turn on bright lights and maybe can take help of a night light. It is also not advisable to drink as you may again wake up with the urge to go to the bathroom.
If you find difficulty in sleeping, you can go consult with a doctor and maybe take some sleeping aid such as melatonin.
Tobacco is one of the main causes of heart disease and will hamper your longevity for sure. Smokers are likely to die almost a decade earlier which has also been proved by studies. Though there is increased awareness about the ills of smoking, 17% people continue to do it. It is also more common in socially deprived areas where cigarettes remain more popular.
Cigarettes and other smoking items create a lot of harmful chemicals when they burn. It can cause heart diseases by creating plaque in the arteries and chambers. Smoking can also lead to inflammation which in turn leads to chronic diseases. You should cut out any form of smoking be it a cigar, pipe or modern vaporizers. This is also one of the important lifestyle changes we have to do.
Keep providing your brain regular challenges which keep it sharp and functional. There are various ways to stimulate your brain such as games like chess and sudoku, joining a discussion group or may be performing some art.
We already discussed in the last show that we cannot live as hermits. As a social creature, we need to interact with other humans. We need to have friends and should share and confide in them. We can use community settings like retirement living to interact and from social bonds