The Effect of Sleep on Gastrointestinal Functioning in Common Digestive Diseases

Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 Jun;5(6):616-624.doi: 10.1016/S2468-1253(19)30412-1.

William C Orr 1, Ronnie Fass 2, Shikha S Sundaram 3, Ann O Scheimann 4


Author information

1Lynn Health Science Institute, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.

2Department of Medicine, Metrohealth Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.

3Children's Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO, USA.

4Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address: ascheima@jhmi.edu.


Sleep quality and sleep disorders affect symptom manifestation and the pathogenesis of digestive diseases. Sleep is largely regulated by the light-dark cycle and associated circadian rhythms. These occurrences are closely regulated through several mechanisms with direct effects on the gastrointestinal tract. Misalignment of the circadian system is a common cause of sleep complaints, which play an important role in the presentation of many gastrointestinal disorders. This Review will focus on sleep disorders and how these alterations in sleep play an important role in many commonly encountered digestive diseases, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Therapeutic interventions focusing on resolving sleep disorders could optimise treatment and improve quality of life in these patients.

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