A new study of pregnant women shows that restless legs syndrome (RLS) is common and is strongly associated with poor sleep quality, excessive daytime sleepiness, and poor daytime function, which are frequent complaints during pregnancy, Science Daily reports.
Results show that 36 percent of women in their third trimester had RLS, and half of the women with RLS had moderate to severe symptoms. Compared with pregnant women without RLS, those with RLS were twice as likely to report poor sleep quality and poor daytime function, and they were also more likely to have excessive daytime sleepiness. Additionally, the study found a positive dose-response relationship between RLS severity and the sleep-wake disturbances.
“While we expected that RLS would be relatively common in pregnant women, we were surprised to observe just how many had a severe form,” said lead author Galit Levi Dunietz, PhD, a T32 post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Michigan Sleep Disorders Center in Ann Arbor. “These women experienced RLS symptoms at least four times per week.”