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Why is My Liver Waking Me Up?

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Is your liver upset?

Is your liver upset?

Have you been waking up in the middle of the night with sweats and restlessness and unable to go back to sleep for an hour or more? If so, it may be your liver talking to you.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, a Chinese “meridian clock” shows what time of a day each organ is most active.

1 am – 3 am – Liver

11pm – 1 am – Gallbladder

Your liver and gallbladder cover half the night. If your liver is waking you up at night, there may be physical and emotional reasons.

From the emotional side, the liver represents anger, frustration and resentment. If stress and emotional turmoil is a constant presence for you, then your liver may be trying to help you workout these feelings and be doing it on liver time – the middle of the night.

From the physical side, you could be suffering from a fatty liver or Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL), especially if you’re eating a lot of processed food that has loads of sugar and trans fat. The liver is supposed to have some fat but if it exceeds 10 percent of your liver’s weight than it is a problem. And sugar shoots up your insulin levels, which make your liver work harder at eliminating the excess amount of chemicals the sugar overload produces.

Too much alcohol can also lead to a fatty liver.

If you’re not eating well and are stressed, your liver will become toxic and will work overtime to find homeostasis. There are ways to specifically detox the liver

For information on detoxing your liver with Dr. Porter, check out this post on detoxing your body and mind 

In the meantime, we can’t control much of life’s outside stresses but we can try to arm our bodies with good food, good spirit and some helpful supplements.

If you’re waking up, try these tips to see if any of them relieve your insomnia and improve your sleep.

Helpful Tips:

  1. Ashwaganda – an herb that modulates emotions, promotes relaxation and helps the body dissipate stress.

  2. NAC – N-acetyl cysteine is a potent precursor to glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. It is given to patients who overdose.

  3. Milk Thistle – Silymarin is a natural detoxifier for the liver and biliary tract. Add dandelion for more of an effect. – detoxifies liver and promote glutathione production. Glutathione is the precursor to many antioxidants.

  4. Soak feet/ankles in hot water. Put some Epsom salt and lavender oil to make it more relaxing.

  5. Exercise – find a routine you can stick to, whether it is joining a club or meeting with friends or doing a DVD workout. Anything that gets you moving improves circulation, which helps the body detoxify.

  6. Eat whole, natural foods. This helps support the liver especially the cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower.



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