We have always known that getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for everything from memory and anxiety to overall health. But how does a poor night’s sleep affect us, particularly if we have a pre-existing condition? According to Physician’s Weekly, a recent study explored sleep and chronic kidney disease (CKD). The researchers sought to understand how and why patients with CKD often have worse, shorter sleep and associated hypoxia, which means that the body tissues are not receiving enough oxygen. Read the full findings published in Thorax.
For this study, researchers utilized 1,895 participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) Sleep Ancillary Study. To participate, those enrolled had taken part in a sleep questionnaire, polysomnography, and wrist actigraphy. The study also included 531 Black participants, 455 Hispanic/Latinx participants, and 209 Asian participants to account for the experiences of racial and ethnic minorities, who often have a more difficult time getting adequate healthcare treatment.
Researchers hypothesized that inflammation, hypoxia, and pre-existing conditions could worsen the association between poor sleep and CKD. Some research findings include:
- Patients who reported short or poor sleep were 40% more likely to have moderate-to-severe CKD.
- Those with sleep apnea typically had a 20% higher prevalence of CKD than other groups.
- Healthcare workers who assist patients with CKD should work with patients to discover new ways to achieve better sleep.
- Getting 7+ hours of sleep is important to reducing the burden of CKD.
While these findings are interested, the researchers have a reminder: they should not be taken at face value unless, and until, they can be replicated in other, larger studies.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Also known as chronic kidney failure, chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by progressively worsening kidney damage. Typically, CKD is caused by another disease or condition which impairs and damages kidney function, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, polycystic kidney disease, and urinary tract obstructions. CKD prevents the kidneys from filtering excess waste from the blood, causing toxic accumulations. Symptoms include:
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
- Pruritus (persistently itchy skin)
- Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies
- Shortness of breath
- High blood pressure
- Liver and spleen enlargement
- Bloody urine
- Increased need for urination
- Sleep issues
- Stunted growth
- Swelling of the lower extremities
- Muscle cramping and weakness
- Appetite loss