Night-times for sleeping right? - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Night-times for sleeping right?

Chelle_ profile image

Well it's become apparent over the past few days that sleeping is non existent....I don't seem to sleep too often in the day, Fridays along with the weekend are my time for having afternoon naps, but I do a lot of driving through out the week 400-600 miles depending on where I am headed to, so as you can imagine I am concerned that it's all going to catch me up...I'm not anymore fatigued than normal (I do spend a lot of time yawning in meetings) I try and keep myself awake during the day so that I can sleep at night - but nope, I just end up laying in bed counting sheep...reading a book or watching some unimportant tv...

Does and one else struggle with sleeping or is it just me? x

30 Replies

Are you kidding chelle, Jacqui and I have just pulled another all nighter, she,s not long flaked on me. Prob laying on the sofa in wellies, glasses and raincoat. ( don,t ask). Just joined up to reply to you (don,t ask)..Have our chats on another site (don,t ask) if you want to chip in. Otherwise you could ask about not sleeping, but can,t answer that one other than if you,re watching the news don,t comment on here!. There is something quite a few folk with liver probs seem to get on o.k with amirtripyline not sure of the spelling but your doc would know. Or if it,s due to stress worrying about TX news maybe other anti depressants. Hope you are well in yourself. Sorry not more helpful, been up all night, could you let me know your route plans just in case?. Something my doc told me, which oddly enough does seem to work sometimes is to eat bread, for some reason it makes you sleepy if you,re not too wound up and don,t want to go the pill route. Take care sweet, , anne.

Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to tillycindy

Bread ?? 🤔.. Well it can't work much can it Anne .. You don't sleep just like a lot of us on here .

tillycindy profile image
tillycindy in reply to Millie09

Strange but true Millie, try googling it. A piece of bread or toast before bed , any sort will do but whole meal/grain is the best and ought to help. I often have a peanut butter( protein 4 liver) sandwich last thing, Works a treat on me unless something/one has really wound me up. The carbohydrates raise the brain levels of Tryptophan and makes you sleepy. x

AyrshireK profile image
AyrshireK in reply to tillycindy

Hubby was given a diet plan when he was found to be malnourished and lost weight and we were told the following regarding carbohydrates and bedtime (though it was about the long overnight fast and the need to fuel the body for the fast).

Bedtime Snacks

You will need a large bedtime snack containing carbohydrate for your body to use overnight as it is a long time until breakfast!

You should aim to have 50g of carbohydrate in your bedtime snack; this equals 10 carbohydrate points.

Choose your bedtime snacks from the table below and make sure your food adds up to 9 or 10 points.


200 ml Milk 2

300 ml Milk 3

Horlicks/hot chocolate (made with milk) 3

Fortisip / Ensure Plus 7

Fortimel 4

Fortijuice / Enlive 10

Build Up 7

1 Slice of bread / toast 3

Jam – average spread on 1 slice of bread 1

Breakfast cereal with milk 6

1 biscuit 2

1 chocolate biscuit 2

1 cracker / crisp bread 1

1 packet of crisps 3

1 packet of rice cake snack 5

1 rice cake 2

1 banana 4

1 apple / pear / orange 3

1 slice of fruit cake 7

1 slice of plain cake 6

1 slice of Swiss Roll 4

1 scone 5

1 tea cake / toasted muffin 6

1 slice malt loaf 3

1 crumpet 3

1 Scotch pancake 3

1 flapjack 4

Saying that he also does get a better nights sleep if he has eaten a supper or taken an Ensure before bed so maybe something in that too.

Paulio profile image
Paulio in reply to AyrshireK

May I ask what an "ensure" is. Also, what is a "long overnight fast?".


tillycindy profile image
tillycindy in reply to Paulio

Ensure is a drink which replaces meals with all the proteins, vitamins we need. Can be bought or prescribed by a doctor for people not getting enough nutrients or finding it hard to eat. Overnight fast is simply the break between your last meal/snack at night until you eat again, hence the word Breakfast or breaking the fast. Hope that helps. x

Paulio profile image
Paulio in reply to tillycindy

Thanks for your reply.

Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to AyrshireK

Thank you Ayrshire ! I'm not one for carbs at all much . I used to be on fortisip but was taken off them last year as I did boy need them anymore . This is a really reality great post !! I do like a cup of hot chocolate at night but hours before I am due to sleep . I will screen shot this and use this as a guide ! Thank you so much . Linda 😊

tillycindy profile image
tillycindy in reply to Millie09

Katies for Christmas sounds good, we can hire a mini van and turn up en masse. ( she can show me how to slice that squidgy malt loaf, never got the knack of how) Xxx

Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to tillycindy

😂😂 omg ! You can read my mind Ann , I bought malt loaf , and Instantly thought of my dad bless him , how I used to hover over him whilst slicing a piece off .. To this day I still can't do it without it collapsing lol xxx

sheri44 profile image
sheri44 in reply to Millie09

i had the fortijuice i didn't like it at all. Was sickly sweet. Im allergic to milk so that was my only option. Xx

Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to tillycindy

Well I never knew that ! I was under the impression ( being a health freak ) not to eat any carbs after 7pm . I'll google that and have a nose . I do have a lot of protein , well my daily allowance as its not good to have too much protein . Never ever had peanut butter in my life 🙈. But I'll give it a try . Anything to see if I can sleep . Costing me a fortune in Elec and gas due to the fact I watch tv till I feel sleepy . Thanks Anne for your post xx

sheri44 profile image
sheri44 in reply to tillycindy

still struggling after my transplant with sleeping. Sorry i think I did too much before my transplant. Sick of lying awake at nights. Wish i could help xxx

Hidden profile image

hi Chelle ,,,i know about what your going through sleep wise,,i wasnt getting any for months, and i tend to dose off sometimes while at home ,,im not working and dont drive ,,,its not just you im sure manY suffer lack of quality sleep ,,,,,well i went to my docs for some pain relief and she gae me Amitriptyline its an antidepressant but has other benefits ,,,it helps with my joint pain which im happy about and it will do for now BUt it has helped me immensely with good long nights sleep,,,and im out like a light 20 mins from head down ,,next morning i dont feel groggy atall...well this is an idea for you ,,do chat to your doc im sure they will sort you sum thing,,good luck and i hope you find a remedy im sure the witches and demons on here will give you some of there potions lol hugz matt

Hi i had problems sleeping fir months , didnt have asleep patten but now back working furing 12 hours a day i sleep no problem . I had put it down to thinking much. Doctor also told me to stop driving.

Good luck sleep tight

Hi chelle , oh boy you are not on your own there ! Sleep ? What's sleep ? I am up till 6 am every single day . I have worries but nothing that is to cause insomnia . Why not see your doctor Hun ? I would , I did see mine last week but no way was I taking any meds , not that he offered due to liver . I have been placed on a waiting list for cbt sleeping ? No idea how that works but I'll let you know when it starts . Besides that how are things with you ? Not the sleep side of it ? Hope your ok Hun . My burst wishes , and big (( hugs )) you can always inbox me if ever you need .. Lv Linda xx

Pre transplant I also had an inverted sleep pattern.

On my Amazon Fire tablet there is a function to alter the screen to "blue shade". The screen loses all the blue light when being viewed at night. The reason for this is because the brain interprets blue wavelength light as a signal to be awake - no blue light = sleep. Therefore blue light from artificial sources such as televisions, computers and strip lights disturbs your sleep pattern.

Where am I going with this you ask !

In order to keep your brain thinking its day and now its night so sleep. Now this might sound bizarre but around 6pm you wear dark glasses indoors ! This ensures your melatonin ( the sleep / wake hormone ) are at the appropriate levels. There are glasses which are specifically designed for this purpose.

The theory is that with liver disease your melatonin levels are disrupted.

I tried it and yes I did look silly indoors wearing dark glasses. I think it did make a difference, but it might have been psychosomatic.


I struggle with it every night.

I can't sleep either but I am totally exhausted. I have hepatitis c cirrhosis I took the medicine for the hepatitis which is now undetected for almost a year. My doctors will not prescribe anything for my sleeping issues. If I do fall asleep it's for a very short period or periods. I have found that atarax (hydroxyzine) which I take for itching helps with relaxing some.

You can also try melatonin tablets

Dldtx profile image
Dldtx in reply to briccolone

I have tried melatonin along with several other otc natural sleep aids, which was not a good thing to do according to the doctors. Sometimes they work but with Cirrhosis I could take them at 6pm and not fall asleep until 2-3 am then up by 8, if I sleep at all. I am waiting to see if the doctor will prescribe lorazepam either for a short period or longer.

briccolone profile image
briccolone in reply to Dldtx

ok just a suggestion-the person I knew had liver cancer and it helped him a lot

Hi, another one that sleeps badly! The diet I was given for before I went to bed was the same as someone wrote above but it kept me awake...anything after 9pm is a no go...I take an old fashioned sleeping pill..have done for years, half a Nitrazapan 2.5mg five times a week..I was given zopiclone in hospital but it hardly worked. The nights without the pill are sleepless but at 66 I reckon I can carry on with the tablets and get some sort of life for as long as. GP is ok about it. Another thing that has helped is to read a book, not my ipad, until I am really feeling sleepy, and if I am lucky I get to sleep..for a while!

Caution about taking melatonin supplements with liver disease.

"Hepatic impairment

The liver is the primary site of melatonin metabolism and therefore, hepatic impairment results in higher endogenous melatonin levels.

Plasma melatonin levels in patients with cirrhosis were significantly increased during daylight hours. Patients had a significantly decreased total excretion of 6-sulfatoxymelatonin compared with controls."


LAJ123 profile image
LAJ123 in reply to LAJ123

This explains the feeling sleepy during the day.

Hello you lovely lot. So Friday I hit the Dr's armed with all your information and came out with a week of Zopiclone. Be careful I was told, addictive and isn't the best with liver but none of them are....

So half tablets during the week as I'm working but weekend full table and boy did I sleep....I must have needed it full 9 hours and I felt great Saturday....the sleeping has deteriorated a little but hey...what can you expect.

I've been having some bread with peanut butter on before bed and it's helping with tummy pains.

I did speak to the Dr about the pains but they said it's to be expected, when it stops me doing my daily activities then they can look at things. Am back in London tomorrow for my consult with the to what liver I would like - make it sound like a shopping trip don't they!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend xx

Dulux profile image
Dulux in reply to Chelle_

Add a little raspberry jam to the peanut butter then your on the money 😋

Millie09 profile image
Millie09 in reply to Chelle_

Hi chelle , well at last you had a decent sleep at last ! I refuse to take any more meds With my insomnia as I don't want any more toxins going to the liver . How did you find the peanut butter ? I'm not one for eating carbs late at night , gives me bad tummy . Hope all goes ok tomorrow Hun . I did not even know you could pick a liver lol .. I shouldn't laugh but I had visions of look thru a catalogue 😂😂. Let us know how things go ! Weekend was ok , hope your one was a good one . Love and hugs Linda xxx 💕💕

3 weeks post transplant, I'm getting flash backs to my time on ITU, which apparently I didn't tolerate at all well. I not longer get the hallucinations thank God, but the feelings of people touching me and fiddling with tubes drains etc is a repetitive theme throughout the night. This makes sleep almost impossible as I'm scared to close my eyes. I am litteraly dead on my feet before I can sleep. I'm praying it will get better.

jojokarak profile image
jojokarak in reply to TJB7

Chelle passed away a while ago 😢

Your sleep will improve though it's just going to take time... it's also the new medication your on it takes it's toll on your body and mind if you don't feel right you should speak with your transplant team they will take notice i had my meds changed 3 times in 6 months because of side effects x

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