Sleep behaviors may affect risk of developing liver disease

Sleep behaviors may affect risk of developing liver disease

Calling all night owls, afternoon snoozers and chronic snorers: When combined with a sedentary lifestyle, these circadian eccentricities could result in fatty liver disease.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism analyzed self-reported sleep habits from more than 5,000 adults with fatty liver disease. Late bedtimes, snoring and napping during the day for more than 30 minutes were significantly linked with an increased risk of the disease.

Interestingly, even a slight improvement in sleep quality resulted in a 29% reduction in fatty liver disease risk.

Fatty liver disease is exacerbated by things like obesity and Type 2 diabetes, and is the leading chronic liver disease worldwide. It is marked by liver inflammation and can lead to advanced scarring of the organ. In its worst cases, the ailment can progress to end-stage liver disease, which can be fatal.

Currently, a quarter of the adult population worldwide is affected by the illness, which is characterized by fatigue, pain, abdominal swelling, and occasional yellowing of the skin and eyes.

The study notes that large numbers of people who suffer from poor sleep quality tend to not realize it, so resources devoted to addressing that issue may decrease their likelihood of developing fatty liver disease.

Like many others, the study comes with certain limitations — like all of its its participants being based in China, rather than in several countries.

Regardless, it’s never too soon — or too late — to reintroduce the merits of a reasonable bedtime back into your nighttime routine. So, turn off all your electronic gadgets, settle in and reacquaint yourself with a good night’s sleep.

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