Solutions To Sleep Loss And Its Serious Side Effects In Chronic Kidney Disease & Dialysis Patients

"I have been extremely tired lately and unable to sleep," a Chronic Kidney Disease patient wrote to He continued, "I know that this issue is pretty common among Dialysis patients, but I was surprised to learn today from my Nephrologist that lack of sleep may lead to Diabetes. Is this true?"

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This is a great question since as the viewer indicated above, many people with Chronic Kidney Disease, and especially those on Dialysis, suffer with lack of sleep and various sleep disorders. In fact, the Journal for Sleep Specialists, found that a 67% majority of End Stage Renal Disease patients "complained of sleep disorders in general." Researchers added that, "Chief complaints within this group include Periodic Leg Movement Syndrome (PLMS), Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS), Insomnia(45%), snoring, and Sleep Apnea (60%)." 

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For Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients, poor sleep quality should not be taken lightly. Yes, a lack of sleep can lead to or aggravate Diabetes in Chronic Kidney Disease patients or worse, a Memorial University study highlighted. Published in the journal, Renal Failure, Researchers  found that, "Lack of sleep and Chronic Kidney Disease independently lead to Hypertension (High Blood Pressure), Diabetes, lower quality of life, and shorter life expectancy." 

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Every day the Team responds to questions regarding lack of sleep or reads comments left on the Facebook fan page such as "I don't sleep at all," and
"Cannot ever sleep for more than 2 or 3 hours and then I am up for the next 3 days. What a life, right?"

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Given that sleep problems are so prevalent among Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients, what can those with Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis do to improve their sleep quality and avoid the dire life threatening side effects?

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First, a Chronic Kidney Disease patient may wonder, "How much sleep is appropriate?" Well, according to the National Sleep Foundation Scientific Advisory Council, given age variability, the following recommendations may apply:

  • Newborns (0-3 months ): 14-17 hours each day.
  • Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours.
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours.
  • Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours.
  • School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours.
  • Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours.
  • Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours. 
  • Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours.
  • Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours.

In order to combat sleep disturbances as well as improve their overall quality of sleep, Chronic Kidney Disease patients should discuss with their Nephrologists whether they may have an iron deficiency as it has been attributed to Restless Legs Syndrome. Nephrologists may prescribe an appropriate medication to combat the disorder. Also, make sure that you are getting a good Dialysis cleaning because poor clearance (build up of waste in the blood) has been associated with feeling ill and uncomfortable which could make sleeping more difficult.  

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Moreover, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients who find sleeping difficult should consider reducing the amount of caffeine in  their diets. Also, other foods may be less obvious, but act as a stimulant in their diets. Hence, Chronic Kidney Disease patients may keep an accurate food diary and show their Renal Dietitians for further assistance. 

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What's more, if you conduct Peritoneal Dialysis at night, the sound of your cycler may keep you awake. If so, you may discuss the issue with your Nephrologist. Also, worry, anxiety and sadness can keep you up at night. Thus, if severe sadness, anxiety or depression lasts for more than two weeks, tell your Healthcare Team promptly.

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What do you do to combat sleep problems? Click here to share your experience with the over 18,700 other Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis friends at the Facebook Fan Page. Like the Facebook Fan Page and Follow us on Twitter so that you do not miss a thing! Still, for the latest Breaking News and Information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes how to better manage their lives, visit daily.    

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"How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?" Http:// Sleep Foundation.

"Sleep Issues and Chronic Kidney Disease." Http:// DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc.

"Sleep Apnea and the Dialysis Patient - Sleep Review." Http:// Sleep Review.

"Sleep Quality and Its Correlates in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease: A Cross-sectional Design, , Informa Healthcare." Http:// Renal Failure.

"Chronic Kidney Disease: Sleep Problems Increases with Disease Progression." Http:// HCP Live.