Not getting enough quality sleep was linked with worsening kidney function, according to a study of chronic kidney disease patients presented at ASN Kidney Week 2016 in Chicago.

Ana C. Ricardo, MD, from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and her colleagues examined the sleep patterns of 432 adults with CKD. Participants wore a wrist monitor for five to seven days to measure sleep duration and quality, and their health was followed for a median of five years.

Participants slept an average of 6.5 hours/night, and during follow-up, 70 individuals developed kidney failure and 48 individuals died. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, body mass index, blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and baseline kidney function, each additional hour of nighttime sleep was linked with a 19% lower risk of developing kidney failure. There was also a significant association between sleep quality and kidney failure risk: each 1% increase in sleep fragmentation was linked with a 4% increase in the risk of developing kidney failure. Also, patients who experienced daytime sleepiness were 10% more likely to die during follow-up than those who were not sleepy during the day.

“Short sleep and fragmented sleep are significant, yet unappreciated risk factors for CKD progression,” said Ricardo. “Our research adds to the accumulating knowledge regarding the importance of sleep on kidney function, and underscores the need to design and test clinical interventions to improve sleep habits in individuals with CKD.”