Sleep disturbances in dialysis patients

Sleep Med Rev. 2003 Apr;7(2):131-43. doi: 10.1053/smrv.2001.0240.


Sleep disturbances are extremely common in dialysis patients. Subjective sleep complaints are reported in up to 80% of those surveyed and sleep apnoea syndrome, restless legs syndrome, and periodic limb movement disorder are much more prevalent than in the general population. Excessive daytime sleepiness is also an important problem. These sleep abnormalities appear to have significant negative effects on quality of life and functional health status. Although long-term studies regarding other effects on health outcomes remain to be conducted, available data also suggest that sleep disturbances may have an important impact on morbidity and mortality. Achieving a more complete understanding of the sleep problems experienced by this group is absolutely imperative if improving health outcomes is the goal. Clinicians and researchers alike face numerous challenges in this regard, especially when considering the complex clinical presentation and treatment needs typical of these patients. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to present an up-to-date review of the literature regarding sleep disturbances in dialysis patients with special emphasis on the numerous factors potentially contributing to these problems and associated clinical and research implications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Nocturnal Myoclonus Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis / methods
  • Renal Dialysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Restless Legs Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / epidemiology*