Living Well

5 ways to adjust quickly to Daylight Savings Time

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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! We have the web's largest selection of FSA-eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your healthcare benefits!

Living Well

Improve your sleep cycle during National Sleep Awareness Week

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.

  1. Snoring

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.

  1. 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.

  1. Insomnia

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.

  1. Bruxism

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! We have the web's largest selection of FSA eligible products to help you maximize the potential of your employee benefits!

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