Manage Your Liver

Cirrhosis and sleep disturbances – How much do we know about them?

Cirrhosis and sleep disturbances – How much do we know about them?

Cirrhosis patients often experience disturbances in their sleeping patterns, which largely affect their quality of life. While western medical theory often treats health issues by looking at organs individually, Chinese medical theory has a different perspective when it comes to viewing the human body.

View from Chinese medical theory

To tackle the problem of disturbed sleeping patterns in cirrhosis patients, we can first take a look at how Chinese medical theory views the liver and the brain. Often named as the “Sea of Marrow”, the brain does not only control memory but also the circulation of Qi, a type of energy that can be interpreted as “life force” which maintains the healthy state of our bodies. And the linkage between the brain and the liver is that the liver also takes care of the flow of Qi and emotions. When a person is stressed, not only does the brain suffer but also the liver. In TCM, psychological illnesses such as depression have long been treated by managing the liver Qi circulation through the use of herbs that promote such circulation in the liver. 

Causes of sleep disturbances in cirrhosis patients

According to a research conducted by Indiana University School of Medicine, 81% of cirrhosis patients suffer from sleeping disturbances. Their most common complaints are insomnia, hypersomnia, and unusual events associated with sleep, for example apnea and heavy snoring. 

Even though sleeping problems are common among cirrhosis patients, little research have been done to investigate the possible causes of this phenomenon. Based on a study conducted by National Center for Biotechnology Information, impaired hepatic melatonin metabolism is observed among cirrhosis patients. In a healthy individual, melatonin, a hormone that is released at night to induce sleep, will increase in level at around 9pm and stay in blood for the next 12 hours. However, in cirrhosis patients, their melatonin levels are higher during the day and the onset of melatonin peaking is often delayed at night. 

Another possible cause is cirrhosis patients’ sleep-wake and circadian abnormalities. Circadian rhythm refers to mental, physical, and behavioural changes driven by a circadian clock that repeats around every 24 hours. It is noticed that cirrhosis patients have a preference for activities at night when compared with other healthy individuals. The tendency of preferring doing activities at night could alter the natural circadian cycle. Below shows a figure presenting other possible mechanisms that might affect circadian regulations in cirrhosis patients.












Ways to manage sleep disturbances

Common ways to improve cirrhosis patients’ sleep disturbances is light therapy. Patients will be exposed to artificial light that mimics natural outdoor light so as to bring back the natural circadian cycle. The advantage of this treatment is the lack of toxicity since most patients are already taking quite a number of pills for their cirrhosis treatments. Patients can also practice regular sleeping schedule and avoid over exposure to light in the evening.

While treatments like this do help, from Chinese medical theory’s point of view, it is crucial to bear in mind that the health of the brain and the liver are interconnected. Since sleep disturbance is caused by a malfunctioning liver, it is always a good measure to improve the liver function first. Based on a research that studies the effectiveness of herbal liver therapy, patients of liver diseases who were provided with the said herbal supplement showed a significant decrease in their transaminases level, suggesting a drop in their liver damage degree. User reviews also show that patients have more energy in their daily lives afterwards. All these suggest that once the liver function is improved, so will the quality of sleep.

  • * All research and clinical data should be used as reference purposes only, results may vary.
Related Questions
Nutrient deficiency has always been associated with some forms of illnesses and disorders. In a study conducted by Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, it is revealed that over 90% of cirrhosis patients have vitamin D deficiency. And vitamin D deficiency is shown to be associated with the worsening of liver functions. How is low vitamin D level related to the progression of liver disease? In light of this phenomenon, should cirrhosis p
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, there is increasing research data and clinical evidence showing that reversing fibrosis to a certain degree is now possible. This is a new hope for many liver disease patients, as fibrosis was once considered an untreatable condition. But what should be done, and how long does it take for us to achieve it?   The key to fibrosis reversal: Anti-fibrotic propertie
Hit Questions
The liver carries out essential functions, including detoxifying harmful substances in your body, cleaning your blood and making new blood and other vital nutrients. Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage. The loss of liver cells turns into scar tissue which prevents the liver working normally, reducing or in some cases, completely losing liver function. Cirrhosis is a long-term chronic liver damage; it is often caused by chronic live
ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase / SGPT) is an enzyme that is mainly found in liver cells. The level of ALT in our bloodstream is the primary indicator of liver health.   What does high ALT indicate? ALT enzymes are normally contained within liver cells when the liver is healthy, but when the liver cells are injured or damaged by whatever means, ALT enzymes are released into the bloodstream, causing levels to go up. Therefore, by measuring the
AST and ALT are two common markers for diagnosing liver diseases. Patients with liver disorders often find their AST and ALT levels unsatisfactory, but what do the figures actually imply? And do patients of every kind of liver dysfunctions have the same levels?   AST:ALT ratio Although the normal range of AST and ALT level varies among laboratories and countries, the ratio of AST:ALT is key when it comes to diagnosing liver diseases. The use
ALT (Alanine Aminotransferase / SGPT) is a type of enzyme found in liver cells. When the liver cells are functioning normally, the ALT enzymes should be contained within the liver cells.    You can imagine each liver cells as a balloon, and the ALT enzymes are the air inside the balloon. When the balloon is damaged, the air will be released. And when the liver cells is damaged, ALT enzymes are released into the bloodstream, therefore we are able to find out the l
YHK Liver Therapy
Your Liver

starts here.
Have Questions?
Sumbit your question to us for profeessional answers!
Looking for help? Ask our customer support team!
Contact Us
Subscribe To Our Mailing List And
Never Miss Another Great Promotion!
Join our mailing list to receive latest new about our company, plus health articles. You will also be able to receive early bird discount from us!
Maybe Later, Thank you.
Subscribe success! You will receive latest new soon.