Long daytime naps linked to higher risk of fatty liver disease, study finds

Those partial to long daytime naps are at higher risk of developing fatty liver disease, warns new research.

The research found those who nap for more than 30 minutes during the day, alongside a late bedtime and even snoring, were strongly linked to having a higher risk of developing the disease.

Those who slept less at night, and tried to make up for it with daytime napping are at higher risk of developing chronic conditions, scientists have found.

Severe liver damage leading to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) can also occur.

The link between lifestyle and fatty liver disease was further investigated with researchers in China looking at self-reported sleep behaviours of 5,000 Chinese adults with fatty liver disease.

Researchers found that sleep quality or lack thereof drastically increases the risk of a number of diseases including fatty liver.

The research adds to a growing number of studies linking the harmful effects poor sleep quality has in the body.

It was also found that obese people and “couch potatoes” suffered from worse side effects from poor sleep quality.

Fortunately, with an improvement in sleeping habits, researchers also found the men’s risk greatly improved.

“Our study found a moderate improvement in sleep quality was related to a 29% reduction in the risk for fatty liver disease,” said study author Dr Yan Liu from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, China.

“Our study provides evidence that even a moderate improvement in sleep quality is sufficient to reduce the risk for fatty liver disease, especially in those with unhealthy lifestyles.

“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.”

The liver has its own clock, and injury to it may mess with that clock.

Sleep deprivation alters liver metabolism and fat content, scientists have found.

Losing a single night’s sleep may affect the liver’s ability to produce glucose and process insulin, increasing the risk of metabolic diseases.

What is cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage.

The condition may not cause symptoms at the start.

Later symptoms include feeling sick and tired, yellow skin and eyes, itchy skin and a swollen tummy.