Experiencing Sleeplessness? It’s a Sign of Poor Liver Health

Every so often you have a long day running errands. Whether it’s the conflicting priorities or just many things going haywire, the best way to restore is by laying on a comfortable bed, trying to catch a good sleep…But after tossing and turning for the umpteenth time, falling asleep seems impossible! According to a survey conducted, the prevalence of sleeping problems is 56% in the USA, 31% in Western Europe (France, Germany, Italy and Spain), and 23% in Japan.(1) Sadly, majority of the respondents have experienced these problems several times per week for more than 1 year!

The common types of sleeping problems includes:

  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Difficulty staying asleep/prone to wake up at night
  • Poor sleep quality or early awakening/non-restorative sleep

Having one or more of the above mentioned sleeping problems is known as insomnia.(2)  It goes without saying that sleeping problems deteriorates one’s physical, mental and emotional health – resulting in shoulder or neck pain; difficulty to concentrate; reduced productivity and bad mood such as easily angered, depressed or anxious. It affects your family life, social relationships, personal and professional activities.

It Might Be A Signal From Your Liver

Playing a vital role as the largest internal organ, liver is responsible for over 500 vital functions in our body. Poor dietary, environmental pollution and troubled emotions are detrimental to the liver and is almost impossible to avoid in today’s lifestyle. As it is a ‘silent organ’, you are unlikely to feel any pain or discomfort even when it is 70% degraded due to limited nerves around it.

Think you look good? Don’t flaunt it yet! Looking healthy doesn’t necessarily vouch for a good health especially if you’re battling for a peaceful sleep. Such case is a sign of your body indicating a deteriorating liver health. A few studies have reported that patients with chronic liver disease, such as liver cirrhosis,  Hepatitis C and primary biliary cirrhosis have sleep disturbances.(4-7)

The liver is the primary site for the clearance of circulating melatonin (a hormone responsible in regulating the sleep-waking cycles). Studies show that poor liver health may decrease the melatonin clearance rate causing increased daytime levels of this hormone and delay in the rise of plasma melatonin peak. As a result, sleep disturbance occurs! You will feel sleepy during the day and very alert at night.(8)

What is Quality Sleep?

We’re fully aware that adults should sleep about 7-9 hours. But, sleeping quality is not directly associated with sleeping quantity. To justify one’s sleep quality – falling asleep should be easy, minimal amount of waking up at night and feeling refreshed once awake. If it’s a tick for all, then congratulations! You are sleeping well! Or else, here are some recommendations to improve your sleep quality.

How Can I Get A Good Night Sleep?

This mainly involves lifestyle changes such as:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule
    -avoid sleeping after 12am
  • Avoid caffeinated products and daytime naps
    -if really needed, consume coffee before 6pm and restrict  power nap to 30 minutes (maximum)
  • Exercise regularly
    -to relax tense muscles which might help to improve sleep quality
  • Manage stress
    -go for enjoyable activities.  Eg: reading (printed material) or listening to soft music an hour before bedtime
  • Make sure your bedroom is conducive
    -not too hot or cold (about 24-25°C, it varies for each individual), free from noise and light, comfortable mattress and pillow
  • Limit screen time
    -stay away from electronic devices at least half an hour before bedtime.  (the blue light produced by these devices suppresses your body in producing melatonin – affecting sleep quality.)

Remember the times your elderly would casually remind you to consume supplements? Well, it’s true that it can do wonders like promoting better sleep. Sleep-aid supplements usually consists of herbs with a soothing and relaxing effect, such as chamomile and green tea  while others consists of melatonin that regulates your biological clock. Alternatively, start taking care of your liver with Hoganbo HD-1 which is made from the prized Hovenia Dulcis Berry.  You will be surprised to find yourself having a good sleep.

With the removal of accumulated toxins and regulation of hormones, your biological clock is ready to be set to normal. Wave goodbye to sleeping problems! To top it off, you will feel more energetic and have glowing skin in no time. Don’t wait any longer, take care of your liver and start having a good night’s sleep!

References

  1. Leger D et al. 2008. An International Survey of Sleeping Problems in the General Population. Current Medical Research and Opinion. Vol 24 (1): pp. 307-317.
  2. Ohayon MM. 2002. Epidemiology of insomnia: What we know and what we still need to learn. Sleep Medicine Review. Vol 6 (2): pp. 97-111.
  3. Tortora GJ, Derrickson B. 2009. Principle of Anatomy and Physiology. 12th ed. Volume 2. CA: John Wiley & Sons, (Asia) Pte Ltd.
  4. Zhao X & Wong P. 2016. Review Article: Managing Sleep Disturbance in Cirrhosis. Scientifica. Vol 2016: ID 6576812.
  5. AL-Jahdali H et al. 2014. Prevalence of Insomnia and Sleep Pattern among Liver Cirrhosis Patients. Journal of Circadian Rhythms. Vol 12 (1): pp. 1-6.
  6. Montagnese S et al. 2014. Sleep-Wake Abnormalities in Patients with Cirrhosis. Hepatology. Vol 59: pp. 705-712.
  7. De Cruz S et al. 2012. Sleep Disorders in Chronic Liver Disease. Semin Respir Crit Care Med. Vol 33 (1): pp. 26-35.
  8. Claustrat B et al. 2005. The basic physiology and pathophysiology of melatonin. Sleep Medicine Reviews. Vol 9: pp. 11-24.
  9. Harvey AG et al. 2008. The Subjective Meaning of Sleep Quality: A Comparison of Individuals with and without Insomnia. Sleep. Vol 31 (3): pp. 383-393.
  10. Olson EJ. 2016. How many hours of sleep are enough for good health?