Stop Your Bad Health Habits Right Now!

From lack of sleep to slouching, nearly everyone has a bad health habit. The Doctors are here to help you get rid of those habits, right now!

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Bad Habit: Lack of Sleep
Do you ever have trouble waking up or just feel tired throughout the day? Whether you have a sleeping disorder or just don’t take the time to get enough Zs, The Doctors teach you how to quit those sleepless nights. “[Sleep] is actually important for just about everything,” says sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus. “Everything from immune system to cognition, how you think, how quickly you react. Anybody who drives a car should actually make sure they’re getting a good night’s sleep.”

If you do not get enough sleep, your body will not produce the hormone melatonin, which sets your biological clock and rids your body of waste products you don’t need. The melatonin is only released when you sleep in darkness and needs to be replenished every night.

How to kick the habit:
If you just can’t get the right amount of sleep, Dr. Breus suggests using light therapy, which can reset your circadian rhythm and help you get some shut-eye. Other sleep tips include setting your alarm clock for the time you are supposed to go to bed. “It forces you to walk into the bedroom, so now you’re in the bedroom,” Dr. Breus says. “It reminds you you’re supposed to be getting ready for bed.”

Taking melatonin supplements can help, as well, but make sure you are taking the proper dosage, which is between a half and a third of a milligram. Taking too much can cause health problems.

Bad Habit: Slouching
Bad posture can actually cause a number of health problems, including wear between joints, potentially setting the stage for arthritis, tendon problems and can even make breathing difficult. By fixing your slouching problem, you can help your breathing and digestion, and also increase the space between the lower ribs and pelvis, which can trim inches from your waist!

How to kick the habit:
A device called the iPosture reminds you when you slouch for 60 seconds with a vibration. Easy exercises you can do at home also promote correct posture. Using light weights, put your elbows at your side with your arms in front of you and pull your arms back. “You can literally do it sitting in a chair at home, or standing in front of the TV or anytime you need to,” Dr. Travis says. “Good posture is something that will allow you to have good health for the rest of your life, and it’s not just how you look.”

Bad Habit: Passing Gas
After eating certain foods, sometimes you cannot help but release some gas. “Passing gas when it makes noises is bad,” Dr. Travis says. “Passing gas when it makes noises and then smells, that’s a really bad habit!”

While you cannot always control your gaseous reflexes, there may be a way to control the potential odor!

How to kick the habit:
A product called Subtle Butt is a charcoal fabric you stick inside your underwear, which absorbs the smell of flatulence. “It detoxifies certain chemicals and things like that,” Dr. Jim says after admitting he is trying a Subtle Butt. “But you still get the sound!”

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Simply changing your diet by eliminating certain spices such as cumin can also help reduce the amount of gas you pass if you do not want to wear a Subtle Butt.

Bad Habit: Eating Too Many Carbs

Have you ever made a pot of pasta and weren’t sure what the correct serving size was, so you ate it all? Eating too many carbohydrates can result in weight gain. But there are ways to figure out the right amount to eat. “America’s supersizing itself into obesity, and we know if you eat less, you’re going to weigh less,” Dr. Lisa says.


How to kick the habit: The correct serving size of pasta is equivalent to the size of a light bulb. New plates, called Slimware, actually have the correct serving sizes for proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables measured out on the plate, and could be a great tool for weight loss.

Dawn, 35, began experiencing sharp chest pains four months ago and went to a cardiologist. He ran an EKG, an ultrasound of the heart and a stress test on her and tests show a left bundle branch block, which is not a sign of an underlying heart disease. The cause was probably a virus she had in the past. This would explain the pain in her chest. It is a form of heart disease, but will not cause problems in the future. It is important that she follows up with it and gets tests often because she may end up with a pacemaker if there is further degeneration. Her risk factor is high, which brings attention to her as a patient. She is slightly overweight; her good cholesterol is low, family history, etc. The good news is she is a 35-year-old, and not a 55-year-old who just had a heart attack. Prevention is key.

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OAD 2/11/09