Deep inside your brain you have an internal “clock” that maintains awareness of your daily cycles and internal rhythms or patterns. Your sleep/wake cycle, hunger/eating patterns and mental alertness patterns are examples of circadian rhythms that are kept in sync by your biological clock. These rhythms influence mood, stress levels, and even heart function and immunity. When working normally, our circadian rhythms help us maintain healthy schedules and habits… Dipak K.Sarkar, director of the endocrinology program and biomedical division of the Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University, wrote in an article, Alcohol Consumption and the Body’s Biological Clock (Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, May 2006) that “alcohol consumption has long-term adverse effects on the body’s internal clocks” and that “chronic drinking may increase the risk for sleep disturbances, depression, compromised immune function, and increased incidence of certain forms of cancers.”… Sarkar goes on to say that alcohol consumption can alter the molecular clock functions of certain hormone cells and immune cells, and it can also affect the ability of cells to “communicate” with one another. These changes set the stage for disrupted biological processes in tissues where timing plays a fundamental role, such as hormone function and immune function.
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