More than half, and as much as 80 percent, of patients using maintenance hemodialysis reported problems either with sleeping (waking up too early, problems with waking up and not being able to fall asleep again) or with excessive daytime sleepiness (probably due to fragmented or insufficient nighttime sleep).
The study authors suggest that understanding the way hemodialysis is delivered, along with assisting patients with sleep habits, could help these chronically ill patients to achieve better sleep.
Other research from Canada and the United States also shows a possible connection between hemodialysis and other associated concerns related to insomnia. These include reduced pain threshold and depression.
Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis (SNE) and the sleep apnea connection
More casually known as bedwetting, SNE occurs in adults who usually control bladder function at night, yet experience problems with bladder dysfunction as they sleep.
A Taiwanese study published in 2016 showed substantial evidence for a connection between hypoxemia (a condition of reduced blood oxygen) and injury to the kidneys.
Snoring is also well known as a risk factor for underlying OSA. If a person who snores experiences SNE, it’s likely they will be tested for sleep apnea. Fortunately, treating sleep apnea can resolve the problem of SNE for most people.
Hypertension and diabetes: shared concerns
In both untreated kidney disease and insufficient sleep (by whatever cause), increased blood pressure becomes a common denominator. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, cardiovascular disease, and aggravation of other health conditions.
One of the kidneys’ chief jobs is to maintain healthy blood pressure. Poor filtration of substances in the blood by the kidneys, however, will eventually lead to hypertension.
Diabetes also joins high blood pressure in establishing confirmed links between poor sleep and kidney dysfunction. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. One quarter of all diabetics also suffering from poor kidney health.
The kidneys serve a critical endocrine function by supplying the blood with key hormones so that all organs can function properly. Because diabetes involves imbalances in blood glucose, insulin, and certain hormones meant to keep these products in check, the kidneys cannot hope to maintain proper function.
The prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) among people with sleep disorders
Previous cross-sectional research, led by Dr. McMullan and published in Kidney International last June (PDF), also shows that subjects with advanced CKD are more likely to suffer from one or more other sleep disturbances. These include reversals in day-night sleep pattern, trouble falling asleep, broken sleep cycles related to sleep apnea, and/or restless leg syndrome. Sleep deprivation, alone, is proven to result in a decline to kidney function as evidenced by data from the well-known Nurses’ Health Study.
In addition, CKD and COPD
Please join us in supporting Nephcure Kidney International, the only organization committed exclusively to research to understand the cause of a potentially debilitating kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) as well as the diseases that cause Nephrotic Syndrome.
- Participate in our sleep and kidney health discussion at the Sleeptember® forum.
- NephSpace provides an online community where people affected by kidney disease can connect with others experiencing similar challenges as well as find useful information to help navigate each disease stage.