Insomnia with Kidney Disease
How does kidney disease affect Insomnia ?
People who have kidney failure often have insomnia—trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep. Insomnia and other sleep disorders can worsen a person’s quality of life. People with kidney failure should discuss these problems with their health care provider.
Some people suffer from sleep apnea syndrome, which may be related to the effects of advanced kidney failure on breathing. Episodes of apnea are breaks in breathing during sleep. Over time, these sleep disturbances can lead to day-night reversal—insomnia at night, sleepiness during the day. This condition can cause headaches, depression, and fatigue. Some treatments may work with people who have sleep apnea, whether they have kidney failure or not. These treatments include losing weight, changing sleeping position, and wearing a mask connected to a small machine that gently pumps air continuously through a hose into the nostrils—nasal continuous positive airway pressure, commonly known as CPAP.
Many people on dialysis have trouble sleeping at night because of aching, uncomfortable, jittery, or restless legs. They may feel a strong impulse to kick or thrash their legs. Kicking may disturb a bed partner throughout the night. Theories about the causes of this syndrome include nerve damage and mineral imbalances.
Moderate exercise during the day may help, but exercising a few hours before bedtime can make restless legs worse. People with restless legs syndrome should reduce or avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco. Some people also find relief through massages or warm baths. Health care providers may prescribe medications called benzodiazepines, often used to treat insomnia or anxiety, for relief of restless legs syndrome. Benzodiazepines include clonazepam (Klonopin), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), diazepam (Valium), and triazolam (Halcion). A newer and sometimes more effective medication therapy is levodopa (Sinemet), which is also used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
Recommended Lifestyle Changes for Insomnia Treatment
The following are some of the best possible insomnia remedies:
Establish a consistent bedtime routine. This is one of the most important factors in insomnia treatment and maintaining good sleeping habits.
Reduce your intake of caffeine, particularly in the evening.
Avoid stimulants like caffeine and limit alcohol. Both, even when consumed early in the day, can affect sleep and inhibit insomnia treatment.
Use your bed only for sleeping and sex. Don’t use it to do work or watch TV.
Avoid large meals late in the evening.
If you can’t fall asleep within half an hour of going to bed, get up and read or do something calming until you feel sleepy.
Learn and use a relaxation technique regularly.
Take a hot bath before bedtime.
Spend some time outdoors as often as you can to get exposure to bright, natural light. If you are concerned about harmful effects of solar radiation, do it before ten in the morning or after three in the afternoon or use sunscreen.
Try to give yourself some time - up to an hour - in dim light before you go to sleep at night. Lower the lighting in your house and bedroom and if other members of the household object, wear sunglasses.
The two best natural sleep aids are valerian and melatonin.
Don’t obsess about not sleeping.