Objective: Sleep disturbance and the use of hypnotic medications are common in patients on hemodialysis. Factors that contribute to sleep disturbance and the use of hypnotic medications in hemodialysis patients were investigated. Methods: With the use of a questionnaire-based survey, we examined the prevalence of symptoms that reflect sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless legs syndrome (RLS), and snoring and use of hypnotic medications in 252 hemodialysis patients. Results: The overall prevalence of insomnia was 59.1%, with the prevalence of difficulty in initiating sleep (DIS), difficulty in maintaining sleep (DMS), and early morning awakening (EMA) being 47.6, 24.2, and 28.2%, respectively. Daytime sleepiness and habitual snoring were reported by 42.5 and 33.7%, respectively. The prevalence of routine use of hypnotic drugs was 25.8%. Both RLS and age were significantly associated with insomnia [odds ratio (OR), 3.75; p < 0.001, OR, 1.03; p < 0.01]. RLS was a significant factor for DIS, DMS, and EMA (OR, 2.26; p < 0.05, OR, 3.44; p < 0.0005, OR, 4.25; p < 0.0005) and age was a significant factor for DMS and EMA (OR, 1.03; p = 0.053, OR, 1.05; p < 0.005). Both insomnia and snoring were associated with the use of hypnotic drugs (OR, 2.97; p < 0.001, 1.59; p=0.13). Conclusion: Both RLS and sleep-disordered breathing may contribute to sleep disturbance in hemodialysis patients. RLS in particular may be an important factor in insomnia, which in turn is likely responsible for the high prevalence of hypnotic drug use in hemodialysis patients.
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