Why Does Kidney Disease Give You Insomnia?

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Sleep deprivation is quite common in patients with chronic disease. The bad news, both conditions can affect each other, causing vicious cycle. Kidney disease can give you insomnia, too – why? It can affect your sleep in several different ways.

Sleep problem and chronic disease

It’s always important to have good sleep, even if you’re healthy. Your sleep is particularly more important if you have chronic disease. But unfortunately, it’s not always easy to do it.

And if you don’t get adequate sleep what your body needs, this can make the symptoms of the disease worse. It can affect the quality of your life, too.

Having chronic disease does have a large impact on your daily lives, including sleep. There are numerous different reasons of why sleep problem is common in people with chronic illness.

The discomfort symptoms such as fatigue and pain can lead to trouble sleeping at night, and drowsiness during the day. Some medicines used to treat chronic illness may cause or worsen your sleep problems, too.

Moreover, it’s quite common to find depression, stress, and anxiety in patients with chronic illness. These psychological problems can also affect you physically that make you difficult to sleep at night.

The treatment is usually dependent on particular symptom that does have an effect on your sleep. Some lifestyle changes are also helpful to improve the quality of your sleep.

Why does kidney disease give you insomnia?

image_illustration404Healthy kidneys are important to help support numerous body functions.  If something goes awry with them, this can lead to some complications from mild to severe. The common complications of kidney disease include:

  1. Fluid retention. Poor kidney function is often followed with swelling in particular parts of the body such as legs or lungs (pulmonary edema) since the body cannot regulate the balance of liquid as well.
  2. Hypertension (high blood pressure). While hypertension is a common cause of kidney damage, it can also be a consequence of poor kidney function.
  3. Cardiovascular diseases, conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.
  4. Anemia, lack of hemoglobin or red blood cells.
  5. Decreased the body immune response, putting you at high risk of infection.
  6. Decreased bone strength, bone fractures.
  7. Over time, the imbalance of particular substances in the body may also affect central nervous system – causing seizures, poor concentrating, or changes in personality.
  8. Pregnancy complications.
  9. And kidney damage which may become permanent.

Kidney disease can also cause sleep problems such as insomnia. The following are some possible reasons of why people with poor kidney (renal) function have difficulty sleeping at night.

Kidney pain

Pain, especially in the flank area, is common symptom of kidney problem. The pain can be painful enough to make you difficult to sleep.

Sometime, it is mistakenly for usual back pain. But if it’s followed with other urinary symptoms, it’s likely to be associated with kidney dysfunction. Learn more the differences between kidney pain and back pain in this section!

Other discomfort symptoms of kidney disease

Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, confusion, headaches, and fatigue can also be bothersome. And these may also have contribution to cause difficulty sleeping.

If you do believe that some of these symptoms have affected your sleep, talk to your doctor! Some medicines are available to help ease these symptoms.

Kidney dialysis

The kidneys are responsible to filter wastes and remove them through urine. They are also important to help keep the balance of water and many substances in the body. You have two kidneys and you need at least one functioning kidney to keep survive.

If your kidneys don’t work well, wastes will accumulate in the blood and you’re easier to have hypertension (high blood pressure). Your body will also lose control in regulating the balance of water in the body (learn more in here), causing edema or swelling in some parts of the body.

What is kidney dialysis? It is used to help support or replace kidney function.  It uses a special artificial machine to help filter wastes, salt or other excess substances (including water) in order to provide normal, healthy-balance blood.

This treatment is commonly suggested for people with end-stand kidney disease (kidney failure, permanent failure) or when you have 80 to 90 percent kidney-function loss. In some cases, temporary dialysis may also be necessary.

Kidney transplant is alternative treatment for end-stage kidney disease. But it is not easy for all patients to take it. Furthermore, you need a healthy kidney donor to do it!

Kidney dialysis can cause discomforts which some may contribute to cause difficulty sleeping or insomnia. These include lack of energy (fatigue), poor ability for daily routines (lack of physical activity), stress, and depression.

Insufficient dialysis clearance can cause sleep problem, too. If the dialysis doesn’t work well, the wastes and excess substances cannot be removed properly. This may make you feel uncomfortable and also difficult to sleep.

How to get to know when the dialysis is not working? To make sure that the treatment is working and removing enough wastes, you usually need to take blood tests at regular intervals.

Restless legs syndrome

It is a disorder associated with problem in the nervous system. With this disorder, it’s hard to keep your legs in the same position – there’s an irresistible urge to move your legs as often as possible!

Typically, you will have uncomfortable sensations (like itchy, creepy crawly, or pins & needles) in the legs. You need to move your legs to help ease the sensations! Many times, the problem is worse at night (particularly when sitting or lying). And this can affect your sleep at night!

The discomfort sensation can also occur in other parts of the body such as arms. But many times, it occurs in the legs, as the name suggests. It is also often misdiagnosed or unrecognized, particularly if the symptom is mild.

And it’s quite common to find restless legs syndrome in people with renal disease. The imbalances in the body or buildup of wastes in the blood may be the answer. Restless legs syndrome is also common in other chronic diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.

Some treatments are available to help cope with restless legs syndrome. These include:


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