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Switch Your Sleep Cycle Smoothly

Daylight savings time ends this Sunday at 2 a.m. Millions of Americans will be setting their clocks back an hour.

On Friday's The Early Show, Dr. Arthur Spielman, of the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Weill Medical College at Cornell, talks about how the time change affects our sleep patterns and how to deal with it.

Here are tips from the National Sleep Foundation on adjusting from the switch out of Daylight Savings Time.

  • Maintain your regular bedtime Saturday night when clocks move back, and awaken at your regular time. This can give you an "extra" hour of sleep the next morning and help reduce your sleep debt.
  • Block out light and keep your sleeping area dark. Standard time means sunrise will occur about an hour earlier. This can impact sleep, especially for people accustomed to awakening before or around sunrise. The light itself can also disturb sleep. It is always best to sleep in a darkened room until you wake up.
  • Increase the light when you wake up. Light has an alerting affect that may help you wake up. It will also help adjust your biological clock to the "new" sleep schedule.
  • If you are a "lark" and tend to be wide awake and energetic in the morning and sleepy early in the evening, start a few days ahead; a gradual delay in bedtime and awakening a few days before the time change may help you adjust to the change.
  • If you have difficulty adjusting to the time change, staying awake at night or sleeping until gradually moving bedtime and awakening later by 15 minutes every one to two days may help your desired wake up time.
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