Poor Sleep Hygiene is Linked with Increased Risk of Liver Disease

Sleep behaviors  are associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic-dysfunction associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), shows a Chinese analysis that suggests the effect may be independent of obesity. 

Late bedtimes, snoring, and prolonged daytime napping were significantly associated with MAFLD, increasing the risk by 37%, 59%, and 17%, respectively, whereas people with both poor nighttime sleep and prolonged daytime napping had the highest risk for developing fatty liver disease.

In contrast, having any of six healthy sleep behaviors decreased the risk by 16% each, and even a moderate improvement in sleep quality was related to a 29% reduction in the risk for fatty liver disease.

Sleep disturbance is increasingly prevalent, and an emerging contributor to multiple metabolic disorders, with insomnia and habitual snoring, for example, positively correlated with hypertension, impaired glucose metabolism, and dyslipidemia.

Further analysis indicated that individuals with a sedentary lifestyle and central obesity had a higher risk of MAFLD, but that the presence of obesity accounted for only 20.8% of the total effect of sleep quality on the risk of MAFLD.

Taken together, the results of this study suggest that obesity only partially mediates the effect of overall sleep quality on MAFLD. Bad sleep habits by itself are high risk to develop the disease, whether you have or not weight problems.


Jialu Yang, PhD, Shiyun Luo, PhD (july 28, 2022). Sleep factors in relation to metabolic-dysfunction associated fatty liver disease in middle-aged and elderly Chinese. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Retrieved from: https://academic.oup.com/jcem/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1210/clinem/dgac428/6648962