Daylight Savings Time (DST) is when we welcome longer days of sunlight, but prepare to lose an hour of sleep when we move the clocks forward. It's a double-edged sword for sure, and without the necessary preparation, it could leave you feeling off for days after the time change.
This year, go into Daylight Savings Time with a plan! Here are a few of our favorite tips to adjust to the time change from FSAstore.com.
- Alter your routine in advance
The best way to get a jump on the time change is to plan ahead of time! A week before turning back the clocks, make an effort to go to bed and wake up a half hour earlier than usual for 2-3 days, before making the switch to a full hour at the conclusion of the week. When March 12 finally arrives, you'll already be adjusted to the time change and can hit the ground running.
- Adjust your home's lighting
The infusion and exclusion of light in your bedroom can make a major difference in helping you attain a restful sleep and rising in the morning feeling refreshed. As DST draws closer, make an effort in the weeks before the time change to dim the lighting in your bedroom in the evening to help the body adjust to sleep, while letting natural light in during the morning for a wake up boost.
- Prepare for hunger pangs
One of the side effects of being off your sleep and eating schedule is that you can resort to sweets and other unhealthy foods when you're feeling sluggish. Don't give into this temptation and instead plan ahead of time with healthy snack foods that will provide a source of energy and leave you feeling full. Veggies, lean proteins, nuts and complex carbs can provide the boost you need as opposed to poor nutritional choices.
- Stay Hydrated!
During the week of transition that follows DST, being stressed and feeling off your game may force normal, healthy behaviors to fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Staying hydrated throughout the day is important at any time of the year, but ensuring that you're drinking enough water can help you stick to a normal sleep schedule and stay alert during the daytime. Additionally, avoid caffeine and alcohol as these can dehydrate the body and interfere with the sleep cycle.
- Skip the mobile devices
The light that emanates from mobile devices, laptops and TVs can interfere with the body's cool-down period before sleep, so if you haven't already eliminated these from your nightly routine, DST is the perfect time to start! Make an effort to get off your devices at least an hour before bedtime to allow the body to adequately prepare itself to achieve a deep, restful sleep.
For everything you need to stay healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!
National Sleep Awareness Week (March 5-12, 2017) is held each year by the National Sleep Foundation in anticipation of Daylight Savings Time (March 12, 2017). While this awareness initiative encourages Americans to adjust their sleep schedule before switching their clocks back, it also sheds light on the importance of a proper sleep schedule and strategies to overcome the most common sleep disorders.
If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), your benefit covers a huge range of qualifying medical products and services that can improve your sleep cycle. Make National Sleep Awareness Week the catalyst to deep, restful sleep throughout 2017. Let's explore the most common sleep disorders and the ways that an FSA can help you get the shuteye you need to stay healthy.
As many as half of American adults snore during sleep, which occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in the throat, causing them to vibrate during sleep to create the harsh sounds that could disturb your partner's sleep. In addition to being a nuisance to your sleeping partner, snoring can also be the sign of an underlying health problem like obstructive sleep apnea or another major medical issue. It is recommended that you visit your doctor to find out the underlying source of your snoring, but in most cases snoring can clear up by living a healthier lifestyle by losing weight, quitting smoking and avoiding alcohol before bedtime.
- Sleep Apnea
It is estimated that more than 18 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, or about 1 in 15 adults. This condition causes breathing pauses during the sleep cycle due to obstructed airways, which can lead to other problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke over time. In severe cases, surgery is an option, but most cases of sleep apnea are controlled through specialized CPAP breathing machines and masks, mouth guards and other devices that are worn during the night. These products and accessories are FSA-eligible and could be a solution for various forms of sleep apnea.
Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night, but those who suffer from significant sleep issues called insomnia may have trouble coming close to this pivotal number. Short-term insomnia (which lasts days or weeks) can be caused by stress or a traumatic event, while long-term insomnia could last for a month or more and could be the sign of an underlying medical condition. In addition to FSA eligible over-the-counter sleep aids and prescription medications, FSAs can also cover the cost of cognitive behavioral therapy, sleep studies, acupuncture and many other treatments that could alleviate insomnia.
Bruxism is a surprisingly common disorder that involves the grinding of the teeth during sleep that can lead to tooth damage, as well as contributing to other sleep disorders like snoring, jaw disorders, headaches and other problems. In most cases, Bruxism does not require treatment unless it is severe, in which case dental surgery, therapies and medications are the most common course of action. Overnight dental mouth guards are the most common over-the-counter remedy, which keep teeth separated to avoid the damage caused by clenching and grinding.
For everything you need to stay healthy year-round, rely on FSAstore.com! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits!
There's probably no more important step for your short-and long-term health than to have a balanced sleep cycle. Learn more about that in the blog post.
There are a number of lifestyle and behavioral changes you can make to improve your sleep cycle.If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), there are products available to help you get a more restful night's sleep.
Here are a few FSA eligible expenses related to better sleep:
Therapeutic sleep masks are designed to provide relief to puffy eyes and inflammation. Often, these are the result of colds and viruses, but they can also comfortably block out any light. These masks are an optimal way to deliver aromatherapy or targeted hot/cold therapy.
OTC Sleep Aids
For those nights when you need a little extra help falling asleep, over-the-counter sleep aids are a great solution. These medications are made with antihistamines to provide that extra push to help you achieve a restful sleep. While these products are not habit-forming, continual use will reduce their efficacy over time.
Are the warm summer temperatures interfering with your sleep cycle? Cool down with the Chillow! This non-gel cooling pillow is stored in the refrigerator and can be placed underneath a pillow, between the user's legs, arms and hips to provide cooling relief when it's needed most. As an added bonus, the Chillow can provide relief for those experiencing fevers, migraines or hot flashes.
Check Out: Chillow® Plus Comfort Device
Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone in the body that is created by the pineal gland and is released during nighttime hours to prepare the body for sleep. As these levels rise, a person will become less alert and sleep will be more inviting, and this hormone will stay present for about 10-12 hours. For melatonin to be helpful, it's important to speak with a doctor to find the correct dosage, method and time of day it should be taken to be appropriate for the sleep problem.
Check Out: Natrol Melatonin 5 mg Strawberry, 90 ea (You will need a prescription for FSA reimbursement)
Nighttime Pain Relievers
Whether you suffer from arthritis, joint pain, recurring headaches or other conditions, these can dramatically interfere with your sleep cycle. This is why many individuals rely on nighttime pain relievers before bed to ward of minor aches and pains that may contribute to bouts of sleeplessness.
Check Out: Advil PM Caplets, 80 ea (You will need a prescription for FSA reimbursement)
Each spring when we turn our clocks ahead during Daylight Savings Time (DST), we gain more light, but how do we adjust? Learn more.
Daylight Savings Time is approaching quickly. Each spring when we turn our clocks ahead during Daylight Savings Time (DST), we gain an hour of sunshine each day, but lose a much-needed hour of rest each night. While most people can make it through the time change unscathed, some may feel out of sorts for days on end. A good night's rest is invaluable for your overall health, mood and fitness level, so as March 20 approaches, make sure Daylight Savings Time doesn't put a cramp on your style with these helpful sleep tips from FSAstore.com!
Skip the alcohol/caffeine before bed
Abstaining from alcohol and caffeinated drinks before bedtime is a smart lifestyle choice at any time of year, but it will certainly help during Daylight Savings Time. Caffeine is a stimulant and will keep you awake for hours after ingestion and while alcohol may help you get to sleep faster, it will limit the body's ability to enter the deepest, most restful sleep cycle, rapid eye movement (REM).
Stick to your sleep schedule
Adults should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, so even when the time change comes into play, make an effort to head to bed one hour earlier, or start going to bed 15 minutes earlier each night in the days before the time change. This will allow you to wake up fully rested each morning without having to suffer the extreme effects of that lost hour of sleep.
Aim for regular exercise
Exercising for just 30 minutes, 3 days a week or more can have a tangible impact on your sleep schedule, as this extra activity is good for your health and can help you fall asleep faster and achieve a more restful sleep. Be sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime, as this can give the body a mental and physical energy boost that could interfere with the sleep cycle.
Relax before bed
Preparing for sleep is just as important as sticking to a proper bedtime, as adhering to specific routines and abstaining from other activities can signal to your body that it's time to prepare for sleep. Read a book, take a warm bath or anything else that helps you wind down at the end of the day. A good rule of thumb is to set aside 30 minutes before bed for light activities that will prep the mind for restful sleep.
Optimize your sleep environment
Last but not least, it's next to impossible to get a good night's rest unless your bedroom is conducive to entering deep sleep. Some popular options to help are blackout shades, sleep masks, white noise machines or earplugs to block out outside stimuli that could interfere with a proper sleep cycle. Additionally, the temperature of the room is pivotal as well, so aim for temperatures in the range of 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Have a March 15 FSA Grace Period deadline? Shop for FSA-eligible items before your FSA dollars expire!
Bed Buddy at Home® Relaxation Mask
Imbued with fragrant oils and natural herbs to soothe aches and pains.
Struggling with a good night's rest? Learn about 5 methods to improve sleep from FSAstore.com.
Did you know that adults should aim to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night? How close are you to reaching this goal? A poor sleep schedule won't just leave you feeling groggy and slow each morning, it could have some very real health risks. Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, hypertension, stroke, diabetes and other potential health issues.
Of course, if you don't want to rely on sleeping pills and other prescription sleep aids, various lifestyle and behavioral changes can make a major difference.
Here are a fewtips on how you can transform your sleep schedule from FSAstore.com:
Before heading to bed, we may have a tendency to catch up on our favorite TV shows or surf the web on our mobile devices - but this will dramatically inhibit the body's ability to wind down and achieve restful sleep. Photoreceptors in the retina sense light and dark and regulate the body's circadian rhythms that allow us to be alert in the morning and wind down in the evening. Various studies have shown that light emitted from digital devices can interfere with the sleep cycle, so it's advisable to read or relax for an hour before bed to allow your brain to wind down and prepare for sleep.
We all know that joining a gym or setting aside time each day to exercise can be a major boost to your health, but it can aid your sleep regimen as well. Releasing some of that pent-up energy during the day can help you achieve a deeper, more restful sleep. However, be sure to avoid exercising too closely to bedtime as physical activity can be stimulating and you may be too energized to fall asleep quickly. Aim to complete all physical activity 4 hours before hitting the sack.
Reorganize your master bedroom
Is your bedroom as conducive to sleeping as it could be? Your master bedroom should be a space where the primary aim is to promote relaxation and eliminate outside distractions. First, the room should be at a cool temperature, between 60 to 67 degrees, as well as including blackout shades to eliminate any light filtering into the room that could interfere with sleep. Experiment with humidifiers, ear plugs, eye masks, white noise machines and anything else that can benefit your sleep schedule.
Regulate caffeine intake
Most of us can't imagine getting through the day without a morning cup of coffee, or even without the 2 pm cup to push through late afternoon fatigue. However, caffeine is a very strong stimulant that can stay in your body for hours, which can prevent you from entering a deep sleep or falling asleep altogether. Doctors advise against caffeine intake for at least 8 hours before going to bed to achieve optimal sleep.
Watch what you eat
Heading to bed when you're hungry or completely full can also interfere with your sleep, as the discomfort of either state can keep you up. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time between dinner and bedtime to fully digest, and if you do decide to have a late snack, stick with foods that combine carbohydrates, as well as either calcium or a protein that contains the amino acid tryptophan. These foods can boost the body's production of serotonin, which brings about a state of calm that can help you sleep. Cheese, crackers, yogurt, milk or peanut butter are great options to eat an hour before bedtime.
Want to relax ahead of sleep? Get this pain relief hot or cold therapy TheraPearl eye mask.
TheraPearl Hot or Cold Therapy Eye Mask
This pack delivers all the key benefits to relieve your pain.
Bed Buddy at Home® Relaxation Mask
Imbued with fragrant oils and natural herbs to soothe aches and restore tired muscles.