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New Year’s resolutions, anyone?


All you need is just 15mins, today! 每天給自己15分鐘學英語

Over the holidays, many of us will drink, stay up past bedtime, eat an extra slice of pie and sleep in. Fun as they are, these activities can tamper with our circadian rhythms, the feedback loops that sync our body’s functions to our external environment.


The liver, which helps regulate your body’s metabolism, gets thrown off by unhealthy patterns of sleep or by changes in diet or alcohol consumption. If you’re experiencing indigestion or your energy levels are low after too many holiday parties, your liver could be out of sync.


Circadian rhythms are important for helping the liver anticipate the body’s demands throughout the day, such as stockpiling energy after meals and releasing it when we sleep.


Our daily liver cycles are molded by an interplay between sleep, food and alcohol. Sleep affects the master clock in our brain. Like most other bodily organs, the liver is partly governed by this central rhythm.


But the liver also has its own internal clock, which can be affected by food and alcohol.

To keep your liver’s clock consistent this holiday season, avoid extreme behaviors, said Lei Yin, an assistant professor of physiology at the University of Michigan.


That means maintaining your central circadian rhythm with a regular sleep schedule. You can stay up a little later, but try to avoid doing so more than two hours past your normal bedtime. A helpful tip is to go on a walk in the mornings. Light is the most powerful way to reset our internal clock, Dr. Yin said.


It also means staying cognizant of how food and alcohol affect your liver’s timers. Try to stick to normal mealtimes. And it’s fine to drink a little, but avoid binge drinking, which is defined as more than four or five drinks in two hours.


In the short term, sticking to these guidelines might ease your transition back to reality, once the holidays are over. In the long term, maintaining a regular schedule and drinking less can safeguard your metabolism and prevent disease.


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