Sleep disorders in end-stage renal disease: 'Markers of inadequate dialysis'? Academic Article Review uri icon


  • Excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep disorders, including sleep apnea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder, occur with increased frequency in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The detection and management of sleep disorders in ESRD patients is often challenging but may have significant clinical benefits. Some of the poor quality of life in ESRD may be attributed to the presence of concomitant sleep disorders, yet the classical symptoms of sleep disorders (poor concentration, daytime sleepiness, and insomnia) are often ascribed to the uremic syndrome itself. Conventional risk factors and screening tools used in the diagnosis of sleep disorders seem to have limited applicability in dialysis patients implicating the unique pathophysiology of sleep disorders in ESRD. Emerging evidence suggests that sleep apnea may contribute to the augmented cardiovascular event rates and to the accelerated development of atherosclerosis in ESRD. Whether treatment of sleep disorders in ESRD patients can affect the high morbidity and mortality of ESRD patients has yet to be elucidated. To date, conventional renal replacement therapies do not appear to have a significant impact on the treatment of sleep disorders in ESRD. The promising therapeutic effects of optimal uremia control in the forms of nocturnal hemodialysis and renal transplantation on sleep disorders require further mechanistic and clinical studies.

publication date

  • November 2006