Habitual sleep and kidney function in chronic kidney disease: the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort study

J Sleep Res. 2018 Apr;27(2):281-289. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12573. Epub 2017 Jun 23.


Physiological evidence suggests that sleep modulates kidney function. Our objective was to examine the cross-sectional association between kidney function and objectively-estimated habitual sleep duration, quality and timing in a cohort of patients with mild to moderate chronic kidney disease. This study involved two US clinical centers of the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study, including 432 participants in a CRIC ancillary sleep study. Habitual sleep duration, quality and timing were measured using wrist actigraphy for 5-7 days. Validated sleep questionnaires assessed subjective sleep quality, daytime sleepiness and risk of sleep apnea. Kidney function was assessed with the estimated glomerular filtration rate using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation, and the urinary protein to creatinine ratio. Lower estimated glomerular filtration rate was associated with shorter sleep duration (-1.1 mL min-1 1.73 m-2 per hour less sleep, P = 0.03), greater sleep fragmentation (-2.6 mL min-1 1.73 m-2 per 10% higher fragmentation, P < 0.001) and later timing of sleep (-0.9 mL min-1 1.73 m-2 per hour later, P = 0.05). Higher protein to creatinine ratio was also associated with greater sleep fragmentation (approximately 28% higher per 10% higher fragmentation, P < 0.001). Subjective sleep quality, sleepiness and persistent snoring were not associated with estimated glomerular filtration rate or protein to creatinine ratio. Thus, worse objective sleep quality was associated with lower estimated glomerular filtration rate and higher protein to creatinine ratio. Shorter sleep duration and later sleep timing were also associated with lower estimated glomerular filtration rate. Physicians treating patients with chronic kidney disease should consider inquiring about sleep and possibly sending for clinical sleep assessment. Longitudinal and interventional trials are needed to understand causal direction.

Keywords: circadian rhythms; nephrology; proteinuria; renal.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy / trends
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Habits*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography / trends
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / diagnosis
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology
  • Snoring / diagnosis
  • Snoring / epidemiology
  • Snoring / physiopathology
  • Young Adult