Nov. 4, 2011 at 12:40 PM ET
Daylight saving time ends on Sunday, which means there are a few of us asking ourselves, as we do biannually: "It's spring ahead, fall back, right?" and "Which one is the good one?" We're happy to remind our dear readers that a) it's "fall back" (duh) and b) this is the good one.
We'll get an extra hour of sleep Sunday morning, and we'll all enjoy lighter, brighter mornings. That also means longer, darker evenings.
Your body doesn't know it yet, but this is going to be awesome.
"Light is the most important timekeeper that signals to our bodies when we're supposed to be awake, so when are clocks are more in sync with the sun, it makes it easier," explains Dr. Anita Shelgikar, a University of Michigan neurologist. "It's certainly easier to adjust than it is in the spring."
Waking up when it's still dark for hours confuses your brain: You're up and going about your morning routine -- but your body and brain think you should still be sleeping. "That's why it's particularly important to expose your eyes to light first thing," Shelgikar says. If you'll still be rising before it's light out after we turn our clocks back, she advises to turn on the lights right after waking up -- don't tiptoe around your house in the dark!
But because we're "falling back" this weekend, some of us will be tempted to stay up and play for an extra hour on Saturday night. That's not a great idea, Shelgikar says. The important thing is still to stick to a routine -- a preset bedtime and wake time to avoid any sleep deprivation, she explains.
Are you looking forward to turning the clocks back? Leave a comment telling us why -- or why not.