Health Hacks*

Friday, 17 July 2020, By Dan Allan

Social media is full of products that pretend to be the next great product that will improve your health. Unfortunately products like Fit or Detox Teas do little to nothing for your health but do drain your bank account. Below are a few little hacks that have actually be proven to have a positive effect on your health.

Mouth Taping

Mouth Taping involves taping your mouth shut while you sleep. This may seem like a strange thing to do but it has many benefits. With your mouth taped shut, it forces you to breathe through your nose. This is a simple way to get better sleep and improve your dental and general health. 

Your body produces 25% of its nitric oxide through nasal breathing. Nitric oxide provides many benefits such as, enhancing memory & learning, regulating blood pressure, improving sleep quality, promotes weight loss, and reduces heart disease risk. 

Many mouth breathers suffer from some form of disordered sleep breathing such as sleep apnea. Teeth grinding is your body's natural reflex when you have disordered sleep in order to force air into the airways. Teeth grinding can damage the teeth by leading to decay, premature aging causing yellowing and gum recession.

Mouth breathing also leads to a dry mouth. Having a dry mouth is harmful to the oral microbiome which negatively impacts oral and dental health. Teeth need to be bathed in saliva in order for the remineralisation process to occur. Saliva transports certain nutrients that are critical to this process. Cavities are promoted if the mineralisation process does not occur.

Many people also snore through their mouth. Taping your mouth will often reduce or stop this type of snoring (much to the delight of your partners). 

When you first start mouth taping it may feel a little strange. You will soon get used to this. If you are unable to breathe through your nose, you may wish to seek advice from a medical profession in regards to this.

Specific mouth taping strips are available. Somnifix Sleep Strips are an excellent product for this. A more cost effective way of mouth taping is to use a product such as Nexcare's Sensitive Skin tape.

Creatine

Most people are likely aware of the benefits creatine has on their physical performance. Creatine is one of the most studied supplements on the market and has been consistently shown to improve strength, increase lean body mass and improve power output. 

Studies have also found that creatine can improve cognition and brain function. The benefit of creatine on cognitive function is amplified for those on a plant-based or vegetarian diet as meat is the best dietary source of creatine. 

In older adults, it has also been found that supplementing with creatine significantly improved memory and recall ability. Creatine may also boost brain function, protect against neurological diseases, and reduce age-related loss of muscle and strength.

If you are looking to supplement with creatine, creatine monohydrate from a quality source is recommended.

Sauna

Saunas have been used for thousands of years across many cultures. Regular sauna use has been shown to increase lifespan and improve overall health.  Specific findings in relation to cardiovascular health have shown that your chance of dying as a result of heart disease decreases significantly with an increase in sauna use. Additionally, frequent sauna users were found to be 40% less likely to die from all causes of premature death.

With a single dose of sauna, hypertension or high blood pressure has been shown to be reduced. With regular use of sauna, the effects the sauna provide on blood pressure become more prolonged.

The benefits of sauna use even extend to neurodegenerative conditions with a greatly reduced risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's for those who used the sauna two to three times per week. Other health benefits can also be found with mental health with improvements in mood and reduction in depressive symptoms.

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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