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Daylight Saving Time: Harvard Professor Explains The Health Risks Of 'Springing Forward' (VIDEO)

Posted: 03/11/2012 10:59 am

As part of National Sleep Awareness Week, the National Sleep Foundation's annual campaign to remind people about the importance and value of sleep, The Huffington Post and The Forum at Harvard School of Public Health collaborated on a live webcast event titled "Fighting the Clock: How America's Sleep Deficit is Damaging Longterm Health."

In this highlight from the event, Charles Czeisler, M.D. Ph.D., chief of the division of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and professor and director of the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, explains some of the harrowing effects of turning the clocks forward for the beginning of Daylight Saving Time. We may not worry about cutting just one hour of sleep, he explains, but, as you'll hear in the video above, "springing forward" significantly increases the risk of fatal car crashes and heart attacks.

If you're feeling the effects of the time change today, one thing that might help is to get some sun as soon as possible. "Sunlight helps us 'retrain' our circadian clock and allows us to get back on the right time [schedule]," Dr. Robert Oexman, director of the Sleep to Live Institute, told The Huffington Post. Also, even though it might be tempting to take a nap, try not to sleep during the day, so you can more easily fall asleep at the right time tonight, preparing you for a less groggy Monday.

What measures do you take to make sure you get enough sleep? Tell us in the comments below.

For more on sleep, click here.

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Filed by Sarah Klein  |