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Spring forward without falling behind

Who among us hasn’t wished for a few extra hours in the day at some point? Only a genie could grant that kind of wish (and sadly, genies don’t exist). But daylight saving time, which begins on March 14, comes close — it gives you an extra hour of sunlight outside the typical work day.

That means you have more time to take a stroll after work, eat dinner outside, or simply soak up some vitamin D-producing sunlight. Sounds pretty great, right? After all, research shows that spending time outdoors can lower feelings of stress and anxiety, and getting more exercise is associated with the same. Spending moderate amounts of time in the sun can also help you avoid vitamin D deficiency – something that can lead to various chronic illnesses like diabetes and hypertension.

Overall, that extra hour of sun can help you stay mentally and physically healthy, and even kickstart one of those new year’s resolutions you may have made. There’s just one catch: the transition to daylight saving time also means you lose an hour of sleep.

Feeling like you can’t keep up with the clock?

While one hour may not seem like a lot to some people, for others, it can be profoundly disruptive — not just the following day, but throughout the following week. For example, in a recent survey we found that over 64% of people said the spring clock change impacts their ability to feel rested and refreshed, and 59% reported that it impacts their mood and sense of well-being.

Recent research has found that the shift from standard time to daylight saving time can lead to sleep loss. Scientists also know that poor sleep patterns are linked to increased feelings of worry and anxiety. And of course, experiencing negative emotions can make it hard to fall or stay asleep in the first place. All these factors can make it difficult to keep up with your day-to-day, much less start new habits.

If you’re dreading the clock change, Sleepio can help

Losing an hour of sleep isn’t at the top of anyone’s to-do list. And while there are some silver linings, it’s hard to take advantage of them if you’re exhausted. The good news is that Sleepio, an online sleep improvement program designed by sleep experts, can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and feel energized the next day — so you can make use of that extra hour of sunlight.

Sleepio is available at no additional cost to members enrolled in any CU Health Plan administered by Anthem/CVS. To learn more, visit the Sleepio CU Health page.

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