Sleep disturbances as nontraditional risk factors for development and progression of CKD: review of the evidence

Am J Kidney Dis. 2012 Nov;60(5):823-33. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2012.04.027. Epub 2012 Jun 21.


Despite the high prevalence and enormous public health implications of chronic kidney disease (CKD), the factors responsible for its development and progression are incompletely understood. To date, only a few studies have attempted to objectively characterize sleep in patients with CKD prior to kidney failure, but emerging evidence suggests a high prevalence of sleep disorders, particularly obstructive sleep apnea. Laboratory and epidemiologic studies have shown that insufficient sleep and poor sleep quality promote the development and exacerbate the severity of 3 important risk factors for CKD, namely hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. In addition, sleep disturbances might have a direct effect on CKD through chronobiological alterations in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and sympathetic nervous system activation. The negative impact of sleep disorders on vascular compliance and endothelial function also may have a deleterious effect on CKD. Sleep disturbances therefore may represent a novel risk factor for the development and progression of CKD. Optimizing sleep duration and quality and treating sleep disorders may reduce the severity and delay the progression of CKD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / etiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / complications*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology