The Effect of Sleep Apnea on Kidney Function

The Effect of Sleep Apnea on Kidney Function

sleep apnea, kidney, kidney function, renew sleep

Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders make it difficult for our bodies to maintain the functional balance known as homeostasis. When we lose sleep, our various biological systems are affected in adverse ways. As a result, the health of many of our organs including our kidneys is at risk.

The kidneys, two bean shaped organs located just below the rib cage, extract waste from the blood, balance body fluids, form urine, and aid in other important functions in the body.

The kidneys’ ability to metabolize certain medications and nutrients changes between day and night due to shifts in our circadian rhythm. Because kidney function is regulated by the sleep/wake cycle, the kidneys can suffer severe consequences from sleep loss and likewise kidney dysfunction can negatively affect sleep patterns.

The most common form of kidney dysfunction associated with sleep apnea is Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis (SNE) casually known as bedwetting. SNE occurs in adults who usually control bladder function during the day, but lose that control at night when they sleep.


While SNE is caused by a host of underlying problems, two of the highest on the list are snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. The connection between SNE and OSA was established in a study reported in The Western Journal of Medicine in November 1995, but recently ,a Taiwanese study published in 2016 showed substantial evidence for a connection between hypoxemia (a condition of reduced blood oxygen) and injury to the kidneys.

Sleep apnea occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea can stop breathing hundreds of times during their sleep leaving the brain and the rest of the body without enough oxygen. When your body doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can lead to brain and internal organ damage. And in the case of the kidneys, it can lead to kidney disease and/or dysfunction.

Snoring is also a well-known factor for underlying obstructive sleep apnea. If a person who snores experiences SNE, it’s likely they will need to be tested for sleep apnea. Fortunately treating sleep apnea can resolve the problem of SNE for most people.

The most used treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP breathing machine. Research studies show that 52-70% of people don’t wear their CPAP. If you are not able to wear your CPAP we may be able to help you with a dental device much like an orthodontic retainer. Those have been proven effective for many sleep apnea patients with success rates of 85% for long-term wear. Schedule a consultation with Renew Dental today to learn more. 


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