A new study has revealed a connection between lack of sleep and the development of kidney problems among women.
According to the researchers who conducted the study, the link may have something to do with the physical effects of not having enough sleep, Mirror reported.
For the study, a team of researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston observed the sleeping habits of over 4,200 female participants for 11 years. During the course of the study, the researchers also analyzed the conditions of the women's kidneys.
They discovered that those who slept less, which is less than five hours per night, have greater chances of developing kidney diseases than those sleeping for more than seven hours.
The researchers explained that the decline in kidney functions may be related to other medical conditions that care caused by not sleeping for an appropriate amount of time.
"Diabetes occurs more often in people who sleep less, as does high blood pressure," Dr. Ciaran McMullan, the head of the research team said according to Health Day.
"We know that two of the greatest factors that decrease kidney function are diabetes and high blood pressure," he added.
Dr. McMullan then went on to say that the lack of sleep can throw off the body's circadian clock, which is also regulates its natural rhythm. This could then affect the functions of the kidney since this organ works differently during the day and night, Youth Health Magazine has learned.
The researchers noted that the study only suggest a connection between kidney disease and lack of sleep. It doesn't show that one factor directly causes the other.
Also, since the study was only conducted on women, it is not yet clear if the same correlation can be found on men as well. Based on these factors, it seems further studies need to be conducted by the researchers regarding this subject.
The study conducted by the researchers is still pending for review but for Dr. McMullan, his team's discovery is concerning especially since over the past few decades, the sleep patterns of Americans have drastically changed.
Specifically, the average sleeping time of eight hours has decreased to only about 6.5 or less. Whether or not the findings of Dr. McMullan's team are true for all individuals, the decline in people's sleep duration over the last 20 years is still worrying. After all, previous medical studies have already shown that those who do not get enough sleep are more susceptible to developing various problems and diseases.