Our overall health is affected by each decision we make throughout the day, but good health habits don’t always require a major overhaul of your daily routine. Good habits can start small and expand from there. At PGOMG, we realized that our patients were basing some significant lifestyle choices on common misconceptions about health. The following discusses three health mistakes we all tend to make and how we can fix them, starting today!

Scrimping on sleep

It’s tempting to watch that extra half-hour of television or catch up on the activities of family and friends online, but the end of the day is not the best time to do so. Going to bed (and going to sleep) on time consistently can be hard to accept, especially when you’ve been thinking of that “extra” 30 minutes as your unwinding time – you know, the time where you get to choose what you want to do instead of taking care of all those responsibilities that keep you so busy in the daytime. However tempting it may be to stay awake and enjoy time for yourself, in the long term you will pay for this indulgence. Better to spend that 30 minutes sleeping than engaging in an activity that may over-stimulate. Make it a point to turn off all electronic devices earlier than normal – the television, computer, tablet and phone are distractions that stimulate our minds and can make it difficult to ease into a deep sleep. Go to bed at the same time each night.  You’ll thank yourself in the morning.

Delaying a doctor visit

“It’s not a big deal.”

“I feel good enough.”

“If it doesn’t get better, I might go see the doctor next week.”

Sound familiar? Everyone has reasons not to make or keep a doctor’s appointment – busy schedule, anxiety about what the doctor may find, or maybe you’ve just managed to convince yourself that that “thing” will go away on its own. At the moment, such a thought can be comforting, but it just doesn’t justify skipping out on seeing your doctor face to face. Your doctor can provide advice and treatment options that can help you recover from symptoms you may be experiencing. There’s absolutely no good reason to wait it out and assume you’ll feel better soon. If you are concerned or simply have questions about a symptom, please contact PGOMG today.

Dependency on artificial sweeteners

Are you cutting down on calories when you use artificial sweeteners? Most likely, yes. However, this does not mean that you should rely on them often and can count this product as “healthy.” Artificial sweeteners are everywhere, but be sure to practice due diligence when you use a packet or two in your morning and afternoon coffees. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration established an acceptable daily intake for approved brands of artificial sweeteners, and you will find this information either on the packet itself or on the box. Be sure to look up the acceptable maximum daily intake for your artificial sweetener.