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Remember: Fall Back Sunday

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With an autumn tingle in the air and leaves changing to their fall colors, it's that time again to set the clocks back.

Remember "fall back."

For one night, the shift will give many folks an extra hour of sleep as clocks are set back one hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, local time.

It also means this is the weekend some people get stuck working an extra hour — factory workers on the overnight shift, all-night convenience store clerks, bartenders, police and even some news reporters.

For most people, though, it simply means having to remember to set the clock back an hour before retiring Saturday night.

Daylight saving time returns on April 4.

While that technically means you should get an extra hour of sleep, plenty of people have a hard time adjusting to the change, says The Early Show medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay.

People in their 40s and up who have their internal clocks very set and little kids who have a rigid schedule will have a harder time adjusting, Senay points out. Consequently, parents who thought they could get an extra hour of sleep, think again. The kids will be up.

Depending on the age group, some people also think that since they gain an extra hour, they can stay up an hour later. But Senay says all you get is an extra hour of waking time because chances are your internal clock is going to get you up.

A lot of people like to use alcohol as a way to get to sleep, but Senay notes, alcohol may help you get to sleep but, ultimately, it will disturb your sleeping pattern.

Of course, there are things you can do to make the transition easier:
Make your room very dark and quiet. The minute you get exposed to light, your body is up and ready to go.

When you do get up, try to expose yourself to very bright light.

Regular sleep patterns are important because when you don't have enough sleep, you have all kinds of problems. There are studies that show that even losing an hour or two of sleep, if you need that, can affect you as if you had a or two glass of alcohol.

Our bodies don't function as well every day if we don't get that regular sleep.

The adjustment shouldn't take more than a few days, maybe a week at maximum, for most people.

If it takes six months, you're in trouble because that's when we spring forward.

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  • David Hancock

    David Hancock is a home page editor for CBSNews.com.