Welcome to the

NightLife Study

Who are we?

Does night-time dialysis improve quality of life?

The NightLife study is a multi-centre study taking place across the UK, aimed at improving dialysis and quality of life for adults with kidney disease.

The ideal management for kidney failure is a kidney transplant, however, the availability of organ transplants are limited, and it is not always a suitable treatment option. As a result, many people with kidney failure rely on life-saving dialysis treatments. ‘Haemodialysis’ is the most commonly used dialysis therapy in the UK, and in most cases, haemodialysis is an ‘in-centre’ treatment, meaning it takes place at a hospital-based or satellite dialysis unit.

Although haemodialysis is a life-saving treatment, people still experience intrusive symptoms, limitations on their daily life, and ultimately their lives are shortened because of the kidney failure. Most in-centre haemodialysis treatments are organised three times a week, around four hours per session, with additional travel time either side. There is growing evidence that increasing haemodialysis treatment time is beneficial for overall health and well-being. Unfortunately, increasing treatment time during the day is limited by the hospital schedules and the large number of people needing haemodialysis.

‘In-centre nocturnal haemodialysis’ refers to overnight treatment at a hospital or satellite dialysis unit for six to eight hours, three times a week, almost doubling the total amount of haemodialysis per week. Receiving haemodialysis overnight also keeps the daytime free for people with kidney failure. The NightLife study is the first clinical trial across the UK to understand whether in-centre nocturnal haemodialysis can benefit quality of life, patient experience, clinical parameters like blood results and medications, and cost-effectiveness for the National Health Service (NHS) compared to the standard haemodialysis.

James Burton profile


James Burton

Chief Investigator of the NightLife study

Professor of Renal Medicine

Honorary Consultant Nephrologist

“Kidney failure is a devastating condition that results from many diseases and, in some cases, unknown causes. It has a huge impact on the quality and length of life. Medical advances mean there are life-saving dialysis treatments available for those with kidney failure even when a transplant isn’t an option. Dialysis treatments are far from perfect, with significant limitations placed on those living with kidney failure. Our aim is to improve the quality of life and experience of those living with kidney failure by enhancing the effectiveness of haemodialysis, so it becomes life-sustaining as well as lifesaving. The NightLife study is a major stepping-stone in understanding and developing alternative haemodialysis treatments, with the patient experience in the spotlight of the research.”


University of Leicester and NIHR

The NightLife study is funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) [HTA (NIHR127440)]. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care. The study sponsor is the University of Leicester and the Leicester Clinical Trials Unit is the co-ordinating centre.


News and events

Keep up to date with the latest NightLife Study events, updates and newsletters on our blog.