It has been stressed over and over again that it is important for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) patients to get a good night's sleep. However, this is often easier to be said by others than actually done by those with CKD. Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain, stress, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, lower quality of life, and increased mortality. No one wants that, so in order to get the sleep you need you will have to take action.
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A number of individual components contribute to disturbances in your sleep cycle, including restless legs syndrome (a periodic limb movement disorder), consistent daytime naps due to sleepiness, trouble falling and staying asleep at night because of personal stress. Sleep disturbance is especially prevalent in those on dialysis, and becomes more severe with declining renal function.
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Given this information, how can CKD patients improve their sleep, longevity and quality of life?
Watch your food intake as a full stomach can make it harder to rest at night. Avoid eating heavy meals and caffeine rich foods or drinks an hour before bed.
Sort out and resolve whatever work, dialysis or personal issues that are causing you stress. Having a clear mind will help immensely when you are drifting off to sleep.
Limit mid-day naps as much as you are personally able. Pick a time to be in bed without distractions and stick to it. A routine is a key component in being a sound sleeper.
For patients who are established on dialysis, efforts should be made to improve dialysis adequacy and achieve a better cleaning. This may be achieved by using nocturnal dialysis daily. Others have suggested lower dialysate temperatures and exercise during dialysis to better manager sleep disturbance.
Now that you have some ideas of how to correct your inability to get a full night's rest, KidneyBuzz.com recommends that you talk to your doctor or healthcare team about this issue if disruption to your sleep-waking cycle persists. They will provide additional insights and medication if necessary.
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"A Better Night's Sleep in CKD." Nephrology Times.
"The Impact of Obstructive Sleep Apnea on Chronic Kidney Disease." US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.