Cirrhosis induced insomnia: i have non... - British Liver Trust

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Cirrhosis induced insomnia

JimmyJackson profile image

i have non alcoholic cirrhosis the worst aspect is continued insomnia which is most likely caused by the cirrhosis.I take Zopiclone intermittently which works but not sure if it exacerbates the cirrhosis, has anyone any other suggestions as quite desperate ?

11 Replies

Hi Jimmy yes I have had insomnia for a while ! don't know if it is due to my cirrhosis or just bad luck...anyway I got put on a 2mth course of the same sleeping first it worked wonders but as the weeks past it stopped working and made me feel absolutely terrible so I stopped taking it!

At the moment I'm not willing to take any sleeping tablets for my insomnia and I'm looking at alternative ways to deal with it..although not came up with any as yet! It's awful to be awake the entire night on a daily basis and drains you completely!

As for it making things worse for the liver I wasn't prepared to risk that with these type of drugs!

I use meditation, which is no cure but helps with coping with problem. I agree that Zopiclone is not to be used extensively, but I take 3.5 often cut in half, about twice a week so get some sleep on those days. I also put tab in spoon of jam which helps hide metallic taste. I take a chance on any further liver damage, but I am 82 in Jan, so quality which still isn’t great still takes precedence over quantity just would like to find something better

That’s a great approach to things jimmy. Like it 👍.

Hope you can find something better. If you do please let us (me 😁) know.

Hi Jimmy. When I had cirrhosis, I too had trouble sleeping at night and yet in the day if I sat in a chair I would nod off in no time. If I tried to stay awake in the day it still made no difference at night. I tried sleeping pills for a short while but I was on diuretics and if I got up to use the bathroom in the night the sleeping pills made me groggy and unsteady. I would have put up with that had the pills greatly helped my lack of sleep, but they didn't. From what I've read from others over the months on this forum, I think that disturbed sleep and lack of proper length of sleep is a common symptom of cirrhosis. Regards. Alf.

Hi Jimmy, my sympathies, I have suffered from insomnia for over 20 years and it is miserable. Don’t know if this applies to you but may help others. I was a smoker, if up during night I would have a couple of cigarettes. When I finally saw the light and quit the unexpected benefit was that I started sleeping through the night. If for no other reason than getting a good nights sleep and not feeling like walking through syrup all the time, this has been the best thing I have ever done.

Many thanks but was a smoker but gave up when 40 now 81 still miss it but not succumbed

Hi Jimmy, I was prescribed amitriptyline by my hepatologist, so must be liver friendly. It is also good a relieving pain during the night, so I can sleep. I've been taking them for 2 years now and have allowed me a near normal sleep pattern. Hope this helps.


I took amitryptaline 10mg for about 15 yrs for mild depression & bad sleeping ( although good compared with now), i am surprised your hepatologist you on it as mine said no.

It also can dry out your throat so make sure you dink plenty

That's very strange Jimmy, he just said it would help with my capsule pain (enlarged liver and spleen inside the rib cage) and sleeping, which it does. I guess doctors have their own opinions on what is bad for our damaged livers. If my GP prescribes me any medication, I always ask if it is OK for my cirrhosis. I will ask my hepatologist about it at my next appointment.


As you say each has their own opinion they are human I nearly didn’t say anything but then thought that you could double check

Best Wishes anyway

Thanks Jimmy ,I will check.


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