Fatty liver disease: The sleep habits that could make you at higher risk of the condition

Sleep is a crucial time for the body, it’s when both it and the mind rest and recover from the day’s labours. A consistent lack of sleep can have a negative psychological and physical impact on the body including poor mental health and a weakened immune system. A new report from The Endocrine Society suggest how someone sleeps could affect their risk of liver disease. The researchers found certain sleep habits could have an impact on functioning of one of the body’s most important organs.

According to researchers, people with certain sleeping habits could be increasing their risk of fatty liver disease.

Fatty liver disease is normally caused by the build-up of fat in the liver, a situation often caused by a poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.

While these also play a role, researchers such as Yan Liu say napping, snoring, and staying up late are also crucial factors.

In a statement Liu said: “People with poor night time sleep and prolonged daytime napping have the highest risk for developing fatty liver disease. Our study found a moderate improvement in sleep quality was related to a 29 percent reduction in the risk for fatty liver disease.”

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The researchers reached their conclusions after analysis of self-reported sleep behaviours from 5,011 adults with fatty liver disease.

It was through these reports that napping, a late bedtime, and snoring were linked to the disease.

Liu added: “Our study found a moderate improvement in sleep quality was related to a 29 percent reduction in the risk for fatty liver disease.

“Given that large proportions of subjects suffering from poor sleep quality are underdiagnosed and undertreated, our study calls for more research into this field and strategies to improve sleep quality.”


One of the treatment pathways is to treat the problems associated with the condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity.

In the worst case scenario a liver transplant may be required.

This will only be necessary in the case of cirrhosis, a state where the liver stops working as it should.

While this sounds unnerving liver transplants normally occur if the condition of the patient has reached the final stage of NAFLD, at a point where all other treatments would be ineffective.

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